Sunday, August 31, 2008

Obama and Biden Together on 60 Minutes

Great interview. Obama says he likes beer and says if he was pandering for votes he wouldn't go bowling.

Economic History Favors Democrats

This is becoming more apparent as the rich folks forget how many houses they own and the rest of us scramble to pay for milk and gas. You can't expect to keep giving tax cuts to the wealthy in hopes they'll create jobs and pass it down. The wealthy know tax loopholes and how to make more of their money anyway.

NYT: CLEARLY, there are major differences between the economic policies of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. Mr. McCain wants more tax cuts for the rich; Mr. Obama wants tax cuts for the poor and middle class. The two men also disagree on health care, energy and many other topics.

Such differences are hardly surprising. Democrats and Republicans have followed different approaches to the economy for as long as there have been Democrats and Republicans. Longer, actually. Remember Hamilton versus Jefferson?

Many Americans know that there are characteristic policy differences between the two parties. But few are aware of two important facts about the post-World War II era, both of which are brilliantly delineated in a new book, “Unequal Democracy,” by Larry M. Bartels, a professor of political science at Princeton. Understanding them might help voters see what could be at stake, economically speaking, in November.

I call the first fact the Great Partisan Growth Divide. Simply put, the United States economy has grown faster, on average, under Democratic presidents than under Republicans.

Income inequality doesn't pay.
It is well known that income inequality in the United States has been on the rise for about 30 years now — an unsettling development that has finally touched the public consciousness. But Professor Bartels unearths a stunning statistical regularity: Over the entire 60-year period, income inequality trended substantially upward under Republican presidents but slightly downward under Democrats, thus accounting for the widening income gaps over all. And the bad news for America’s poor is that Republicans have won five of the seven elections going back to 1980.

Levees Strength Questionable

Imagine that, after all this time, the strength of the levees (the weak levees is what really caused the destruction in New Orleans) is still in question.

Swamp: I just watched Homeland Security Sec. Michael Chertoff's brief press conference at Andrews Air Force base just before he got on a plane to head to the Gulf Coast region to check in on preparations for Hurricane Gustav.

The secretary, a very nice man, said the levees are stronger than they were before Hurricane Katrina. Chertoff should doublecheck that information.

The reporting I've read indicates that the levees are not generally and absolutely stronger. True, some levees have been strengthened and rebuilt after they failed.

But there've been questions about the rebuilding efforts that reconstructed levees that failed after Katrina.

There's also been seepage under a few of the levees that has confounded the Army Corps of Engineers.

Obama Biden in Toledo Ohio Aug. 31

Obama and Biden in Dublin Ohio


Note: Obama and Biden will be on 60 Minutes tonight.
Here's some of what Obama and Biden talked about. They seem very comfortable together. 
You gotta love Joe. He's such a relater. Obama-Biden are the perfect combo. Brilliant judgement on Obama's part. Unlike the other candidate in this election.
Biden says there are big differences between he and Sarah Palin.
For one, she's good looking, he said.
Someone from the audience says "You are gorgeous." Biden walks out to the audience and asks her to repeat it again for his wife. Then he walks over to Obama.
"Hanging around with this young good looking guy," he kids Obama.
Obama must be quietly laughing.
Then he attacks McCain on jobs.
Here's a good line: "As Barack likes to say Made in the USA."
The middle class built America. Our responsibility is to rebuild the middle class.
Joe is very effective.
Obama up
He says: "Holy Toledo." He's being silly.
Obama says people are worried. He talks about the similarities between McCain and Bush.
That's why they're holding their convention in the Twin Cities. You can't tell them apart. "That's Hillary Clinton's line but it's a good one," he says.
Bush and Cheney, by the way, got their pass out of the convention -- Gustav. They can't get it wrong this time.

It strikes me that the biggest difference between Obama and McCain, is McCain could give a flip about middle class issues like education and healthcare.

"McCain's new vp seems like a very engaging person, a nice person," Obama says. Then he rails on McCain's opposition to equal pay for equal work for women.

On restoring America's standing in the world, we need to renew partnerships and alliances. Obama is referring to leadership a lot more often -- good. Obama is a leader. That's his strength and it's what we need. George Bush is the epitome of a poor leader and illustrates what happens when someone with zero leadership qualities is president.

Question on trade: He believes in free trade but there has to be reciprocity.

China is a huge competitor and they should be treated as such.

Biden steps in. Look at the Olympics. China is investing 10% of gross domestic product in new infrastructure. Why is a company going to stay in Toledo, where the roads and bridges are falling apart.

Joe is good. Real good.

An audience member asks: How to stress to cynical people that they need to get out and vote.

Obama: If you think you're better off, then don't vote or vote for John.

If you think we're in a defining moment in history, then vote Obama. It is your obligation to get out and vote.

Biden: There's nothing like a hanging to focus one's attention. Go Joe.

Obama and Biden look comfortable together.

Question: Someone asks for specifics on education funding. We're going to change No Child Left Behind. Federal government will give you more support -- money and best practices -- in return for creative programs and professional development. 

Biden: When another country out-teaches you they will out-compete you. John McCain is supporting $100 billion in tax cuts for people who make $1.4 million a year, he said. Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value. 

Obama adds: We're going to stop millions in Iraq and start spending it here. 

Keith from Toledoans for Obama: How do we rebuild our cities? 
I'm holding the greatest book on rebuilding cities, he says. Obama knows the book. Obama says you can't have a good suburb without a good city. 

Here's the video

Obama Rally Milwaukee Wisc Sept. 1

Update: Looks like it is being streamed at cnn.com or barackobama.com.


Update: Obama cut short his earlier rally in Detroit due to Gustav, so he will likely do the same with this one and it may not be live streamed. 

Likely to be live streamed at cnn.com or barackobama.com

Join Barack Obama at a Rally for America’s Workers in Milwaukee, WI

RALLY FOR AMERICA’S WORKERS WITH BARACK OBAMA

Marcus Amphitheater
Summerfest
200 North Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI
Monday, September 1st
Doors Open: 3:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 6:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. However, tickets are required.

Members of the public are invited to pick up free tickets at the locations on the right beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 31st, until tickets run out. Tickets and space at the event are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal belongings. No signs or banners permitted.

Sarah Palin McCain's Bridge to Nowhere

Now that's funny. Here's a blogger in Alaska, who was surprised by the choice.
Take a look at the photo of the town of Wasilla, where she was mayor.

Here's my theory on the Palin Pick: John McCain, Mr. Maverick, got so disgusted by being pushed, prodded and shaped by all the republicans, including lowly talk show hosts, that in a fit of rage that he's known for, he just threw up his hands, picked Palin and said - "Happy now."

Apparently, the bridge to nowhere that she fought against, is actually one she championed:

Perhaps the brain was still a little fuzzy from the shock of McCain’s new VP pick, Alaska’s own governor Sarah Palin. Perhaps it was still stuck in the endless loop of wondering - why? why? why? Whatever the reason, it took more than 24 hours for Palin’s first big untruth to register with me.

Today, while I watched her hop out of the “Straight Talk Express” bus, and give the second reading of her acceptance speech, one of my fellow viewers said, “You know, I don’t remember her opposing the Bridge.” And it hit me. I don’t remember that either. A quick double-check with the third member of our watch party confirmed our confusion. We all live here. We all watch the news, read the paper, and pay attention to the local political circus, but none of us connected Sarah with her claims of rebuffing the controversial earmark.

The backstory on the "bridge to nowhere" is juicy. Check out this factcheck.
Reaction from Alaskans.
Palin could come through.
Palin's foreign policy experience.
How the vice presidency could change under McCain.
Palin: The republican babe.
Wootengate -- Palin and small town politics, where everybody knows everybody.

Cindy McCain is Reassured: Palin is a Mother

Update: Here's a transcript of Cindy McCain talking up Palin's foreign policy experience. It's precious. (Palin got her passport in 2007).
Cindy McCain is reassured by Palin's mother-ness. She also throws in Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience. Who are these people trying to kid?


Cindy McCain: "You know, she -- the experience that she comes from is with what she's done in the government,'' McCain added, with a certain geography lesson meant to underscore Palin's national security bearings: "Also, remember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. So it's not as if she doesn't understand what's at stake here.

'She started out like everybody else -- a member of the PTA, small government at home, then a mayor, now the governor,'' she said. "She comes with the kind of experience behind her. And also, I might add,'' said this mother whose own son has served in Iraq: "a son who is about to deploy to Iraq.''

Cindy McCain needs to be called out for being a nitwit. This is just out of hand.

McCain Wanted To Choose Lieberman

That's according to Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press. But the voters (and talk radio show hosts) wouldn't let him.

Some maverick.

He can't even make his own choice so he chooses someone he barely knows, one that Rush Limbaugh, a radio talk show host, pushed. He also called her a "babe."

All that maverick stuff is spin. Ruth Marcus makes the case:

The spin on John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate is that it reinforces his maverick credentials. I see it the opposite way: It undermines them. McCain looks like any other calculating politician, willing to do whatever it takes to win.

The maverick argument is that Palin is an outsider -- the only one of four on the November ballot. "She's not from these parts and she's not from Washington," McCain said in Dayton, Ohio. Palin complements McCain's reformer credentials, having spoken out against corruption and earmarks in a state that has an oversize share of both. She is a young, fresh and, yes, female face. "A running mate who can best help me shake up Washington," McCain said.
But fear not, a vice president under McCain won't be like Dick Cheney, who acted as the real president. It will be a public relations office.Charm is Palin's strongest suit.

Big foreign relations problem? Some old guy in McCain's cabinet will have it covered. McCain gets sick? Some old guy in McCain's cabinet will have it covered. She will be an overpaid token. 

The story also points out that Geraldine Ferraro is still ignorant.
Palin's selection, though, feels like a disappointing retreat to the identity politics of 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was picked for the Democratic ticket solely because Walter Mondale wanted a woman. On Friday, Ferraro was on Fox News, talking about how "people are looking for a historic campaign," and suggesting that the choice of Palin "might do it."

So women "who are disaffected by how Hillary was treated by the media, by how she was treated by the Obama campaign," as Ferraro sees it, are going to flock to McCain simply because he panders to them with Palin? Because Palin, who just a short time ago was describing Clinton's "whine," lauded her Friday for showing "such determination and grace"? Because, as Palin said, "it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all"?

Ferraro is a very bitter woman

Tim Pawlenty Defends Palin on Meet the Press

Tim Pawlenty says Palin has more experience than Obama.

Brokaw countered him, defended Obama himself, but didn't let Pawlenty respond. Pawlenty gulped.

The Daily News-Miner in Alaska, which insults Obama (Alaska is very republican), says Palin is a neophyte next to Obama.

Pawlenty turned it back on Obama: What is it in his background that helps him in matters of security?

Palin has been running a large enterprise in Alaska, he said. Gulp. Brokaw then suggests that Pawlenty has a bigger job than hers in Alaska. He doesn't bite. I miss Tim Russert.

If it were me asking the questions, I would've hammered Pawlenty. Brokaw let him get off way too easy.

Pawlenty thinks Hillary's supporters are going to relate to her cool personality and choose McCain because of that. But he said the fact that she's a woman is not the reason McCain chose her. Huh? Pawlenty is nuts.

Brokaw asked about creationism, which Palin supports in schools. Pawlenty believes creationism is plausible and credible and says local boards should be able to decide whether to teach it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Some Lack Money to Evacuate New Orleans

Update: 90% evacuated. Wow.

Update 8-29: Bush urges evacuation. He and Cheney pass on convention.
  
Lack of money shouldn't prevent evacuation. This is what Obama means when he criticizes Bush for the "ownership society," as in you're on your own. Too poor. Too bad.
McCain uses it as a campaign stop. A recount of McCain's Katrina history.
CNN: "You gotta make as much money as you can, because when we shut down -- and we're gonna shut down -- that's it for a long while," the 26-year-old said, exhaling, a dribble of sweat rolling into his mouth.

"The thing is," he continued, "most people don't have cars to leave, don't have money for gas. Pay for a hotel for that long? I mean, you have to do whatever you have to do, and I guess I'm gonna stay and work."

Though Maspero wasn't doing half the business it usually does, customers were still coming in for $2 clam buckets. A few packs of tourists, identifiable by their slightly off-kilter walk and gigantic hot pink test tubes of booze, ambled down St. Louis Street, peeking into bars and asking, "You still open?"

Most were, up until the hour that Mayor Ray Nagin told the public to run for their lives.

"It's the storm of the century," he said.

What really happened in New Orleans.

Palin Never on Meet the Press

She poses for Vogue

But she made the cover of Alaska for being hot and she likes moose burgers and her nickname was Sarah Barracuda. Maureen Dowd puts her lovely snarky twist on the Palin story. She also explains the meaning behind each of her kids' eclectic names: Trig, Bristol, Willow, Track, Piper.

NYT: It’s easy to see where this movie is going. It begins, of course, with a cute, cool unknown from Alaska who has never even been on “Meet the Press” triumphing over a cute, cool unknowable from Hawaii who has been on “Meet the Press” a lot.

Americans, suspicious that the Obamas have benefited from affirmative action without being properly grateful, and skeptical that Michelle really likes “The Brady Bunch” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” reject the 47-year-old black contender as too uppity and untested.

Instead, they embrace 72-year-old John McCain and 44-year-old Sarah Palin, whose average age is 58, a mere two years older than the average age of the Obama-Biden ticket. Enthusiastic Republicans don’t see the choice of Palin as affirmative action, despite her thin résumé and gaping absence of foreign policy knowledge, because they expect Republicans to put an underqualified “babe,” as Rush Limbaugh calls her, on the ticket. They have a tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West, like the previous Miss Congeniality types Dan Quayle and W., and then letting them learn on the job. So they crash into the globe a few times while they’re learning to drive, what’s the big deal?

Obama may have been president of The Harvard Law Review, but Palin graduated from the University of Idaho with a minor in poli-sci and worked briefly as a TV sports reporter. And she was tougher on the basketball court than the ethereal Obama, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda.”

The legacy of Geraldine Ferraro was supposed to be that no one would ever go on a blind date with history again. But that crazy maverick and gambler McCain does it, and conservatives and evangelicals rally around him in admiration of his refreshingly cynical choice of Sarah, an evangelical Protestant and anti-abortion crusader who became a hero when she decided to have her baby, who has Down syndrome, and when she urged schools to debate creationism as well as that stuffy old evolution thing.

Check out Palin's resume.
How Palin is polling.

McCain Palin Make Gustav a Campaign Stop


Maybe McCain should put up some of the evacuees in one of his 7 houses. Do you think he's trying too hard to separate himself from 2005, when Katrina hit and he and Bush were having cake, celebrating McCain's birthday? See the timeline. Read all about it. 

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Likely GOP presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are traveling to Mississippi on Sunday to check on people getting prepared for Hurricane Gustav.

Their trip comes just as delegates are preparing for the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday.

Aides say McCain and his wife Cindy will join Palin in traveling to Jackson, Miss., Sunday at the invitation of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour because of concerns about people threatened by the storm, which was heading into the Gulf of Mexico and menacing the same area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina three years ago. The storm could hit the United States as early as Monday afternoon.

The McCains and Palin will receive a briefing at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency — a permanent operations center monitoring hurricane response.

Republicans are worried about holding their national convention during the storm.

The Obamamobile

Obama The Underestimated One

Breakfast in Ohio


Frank Rich is spot on. Obama continues to outwit everyone by playing smarter, cooler and jumping higher. 
NYT: His campaign, unlike TV’s fantasists, knew the simple truth. The New York Times/CBS News poll conducted on the eve of the convention found that the Democrats were no more divided than the G.O.P: In both parties, 79 percent of voters supported their respective nominees. The simultaneous Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll also found that 79 percent of Democrats support Obama — which, as Amy Walter of National Journal alone noticed, is slightly higher than either John Kerry and Al Gore fared on that same question (77 percent) in that same poll just before their conventions.

But empirical evidence can’t compete with a favorite golden oldie like the Clinton soap opera. So when Hillary Clinton said a month ago that her delegates needed a “catharsis,” surely she had to be laying the groundwork for convention mischief. But it was never in either Clinton’s interest to sabotage Obama. Hillary Clinton’s Tuesday speech, arguably the best of her career, was as much about her own desire to reconcile with the alienated Obama Democrats she might need someday as it was about releasing her supporters to Obama. The Clintons never do stop thinking about tomorrow.

The latest good luck for the Democrats is that the McCain campaign was just as bamboozled as the press by the false Hillary narrative. McCain was obviously itching to choose his pal Joe Lieberman as his running mate. A onetime Democrat who breaks with the G.O.P. by supporting abortion rights might have rebooted his lost maverick cred more forcefully than Palin, who is cracking this particular glass ceiling nearly a quarter-century after the Democrats got there first. Lieberman might have even been of some use in roiling the Obama-Hillary-Bill juggernaut that will now storm through South Florida.

The main reason McCain knuckled under to the religious right by picking Palin is that he actually believes there’s a large army of embittered Hillary loyalists who will vote for a hard-line conservative simply because she’s a woman. That’s what happens when you listen to the TV news echo chamber. Not only is the whole premise ludicrous, but it is every bit as sexist as the crude joke McCain notoriously told about Janet Reno, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.


The best part of the story points out how sexist McCain's choice was, which is why many women, like me, were outraged.
The main reason McCain knuckled under to the religious right by picking Palin is that he actually believes there’s a large army of embittered Hillary loyalists who will vote for a hard-line conservative simply because she’s a woman. That’s what happens when you listen to the TV news echo chamber. Not only is the whole premise ludicrous, but it is every bit as sexist as the crude joke McCain notoriously told about Janet Reno, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

Obama Rally Detroit Michigan Sept. 1

Sign up in St. Paul for the Republican convention

This event should be live streamed at cnn.com or barackobama.com. It IS being live streamed here. 
Please join us Monday, September 1st, for a rally with Barack Obama in Detroit, MI:

Rally with Barack Obama

Hart Plaza
Jefferson Avenue E. and Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI

Monday, September 1st
Gates Open: 8:30 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP using the form to the right.

Use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. Limited public parking will be available at the following locations: Joe Lewis Garage, Cobo Arena Garage, Cobo Center Garage, and Miller Garage.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Obama and Biden Battle Creek Michigan Aug. 31

This event should be live streamed at cnn.com or barackobama.com.

Please join us for this special event in Battle Creek:

An Evening On the Road for Change
with Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Brown Stadium at Bailey Park
1392 Capital Avenue NE
Battle Creek, MI

Sunday, August 31st
Gates Open: 5:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP using the form to the right.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Parking is very limited. Please carpool or take public transportation if possible.

The Obamas and Bidens Eat Breakfast in Ohio

Another Look at Palin

First outrage, but I can buy this. One of the women in this video explains Sarah Palin's appeal - She is an example of the return to the days when ordinary people ran government. I like that idea. It would be great to have more regular people in politics. For me, that's part of the appeal of Obama. He's not a Washington Insider. Palin might be able to ramp up quicker than anyone would expect. She may be brilliant in the debate against Biden. She may use her woman powers to her advantage to score big time in foreign relations. She's better than Mitt Romney if you ask me. But Palin still shares McCain's beliefs on policy and issues.

Obama and Biden on 60 Minutes

Obama on Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

Vice President: Office of Public Relations

Now that I'm over outrage (well, not quite), Sarah Palin ultimately doesn't matter.

McCain chose her to help him win an election. He's counting on women being foolish enough to vote for a woman just because she's a woman, and there are women (PUMAs) who will do just that. Palin is not breaking the glass ceiling. She's being used. The republicans are also hoping that the pundits will play into their hands and write the: Obama should've picked Hillary story. Divide. Divide. Divide.

He'll also get the person who votes solely on abortion and if McCain makes it to office, the vice presidency will become the most overpaid office in the country. It will be the office of public relations. Palin, who was Miss Congeniality, will attend funerals and eat moose burgers with foreign leaders. Republicans don't believe in government anyway.

Meanwhile, McCain's cabinet will be there for starting wars and staring down Putin and such.

So Palin is insignificant. She's a token, a tool. McCain is using a woman for political gain. How sad. 

That's not to say that she doesn't do a good job running Alaska, where they have problems like shooting moose without a permit. But Alaska to vice president is a giant leap, an obvious pander.

Joe Biden, however, adds heft to the Obama ticket. The democratic ticket now has more experience than the republican ticket.

In an Obama administration, the vice presidency would be an important position. Biden will help Obama govern and his talents would be used. Obama's greatest strength is leadership-- underestimated in this election-- and as far as I can tell, he's surrounded himself with talented and brilliant people.

But you really have to give republicans credit. They are masterful campaigners. We'll see if that beats Obama's ground campaign.

Still The Same McCain

McCain made his best leap to say that he too was a candidate of change by picking a beautiful distraction to run as his vice president, but nothing's changed. McCain still has bad judgement. Some guy with old fashioned politics, making decisions based on politics, not on what's good for the country. 

On that note, Obama's new ad

Friday, August 29, 2008

Comic Relief Drew Danburry

Drew actually sings quite well with his own voice.

Palin Foreign Policy Experience

Alaska is next to Russia.


McCain's arrogant choice:

TNR: It may be John McCain's birthday, but it seems like he's the one giving out gifts today. The selection of Palin doesn't simply, as others have pointed out, undermine the notion that Obama is too inexperienced to be president; it gives Obama the chance to actually take the edge on national security while making John McCain's age a central issue of the campaign.

Whatever the political calculations involved in picking a veep, the most important qualification for the vice presidency is the ability to assume the presidency in a crisis. Given that of the last 12 presidents, three have either died or resigned, this is hardly a hypothetical consideration--in fact, given that McCain is 72, it is a very real consideration. Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerald Ford all faced multiple foreign policy crises immediately upon assuming office, whether it was the onset of the Cold War, the North's invasion of South Korea, the Vietnam War, or the withering of détente and the resulting increase in nuclear tension with the Soviet Union. The next president will have to finish the denuclearization of North Korea; prevent the nuclearization of Iran; organize a departure from Iraq that maintains some level of stability; defeat a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan; establish, nurture, and make the most of a relationship with Pakistan's new leaders; and confront a revanchist Russia while preserving and enhancing its cooperation on nonproliferation and climate change--to say nothing of working with India, China, or our allies.

Could Sarah Palin conceivably manage this task?

Palin: The Republican Babe


Blowhard Rush Limbaugh has hailed Sarah Palin a "babe." And she has family values, he says. As you know, that's important to Rush. He's such a family man. I see what's happening here.

Swamp: Palin, named today by McCain to fill out the GOP ticket as his running mate, has been on Limbaugh's radar screen in the veepstakes since February, when he noted that she was on the right side of the issues and "a babe" besides.
Palin seems likeable, down to earth, and compelling. She hunts moose and makes them into burgers and then she eats mooseburgers. You can't get much more compelling than that. 
She's got family values -- five of them. What I wonder is how does anyone afford 5 kids? 
But the babe factor obviously works to her advantage. Who knows? Maybe she can woo Putin. 
McCain has demonstrated how little he respects women with such a blatant pander and delicious distraction. 

What exactly is it that the VP does, asks Palin

Desperation?

Obama's Nomination Acceptance Speech Video

Palin's Troopergate Scandal

Obama On Palin


WaPo: Sen. Barack Obama told reporters Friday that he has never met Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the new GOP vice presidential candidate, but "she seems like a compelling person . . . with a terrific personal story."

The Democratic nominee spoke to Palin for several minutes this afternoon from his campaign bus. According to senior campaign aide Robert Gibbs, Obama told Palin she would be a terrific candidate and that he looked forward to seeing her on the campaign trail. "He also wished her good luck, but not too much luck," Gibbs said.
The Obama camp is probably delighted. She had better bring her fur and her rifle and moose burgers to the vice presidential debate.

38 Million Watched Obama's Speech

Mr. Obama’s speech — a historic one given his status as the first African American nominee of a major political party — reached significantly more viewers than the comparable addresses in 2004. Coverage of John Kerry’s acceptance speech in 2004 had 24.4 million viewers; coverage of George W. Bush’s convention speech that same year drew 27.5 million.

The audience estimate of 38.3 million means that Mr. Obama’s speech reached more viewers than the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final “American Idol” or the Academy Awards this year, the Associated Press notes.

Palin a Strategic Decision

No one knows anything about Sarah Palin, not even McCain

Who's McCain trying to kid and what's he trying to pull? I smell a rat.

Politico: John McCain on Friday announced a running mate whom he met only six months ago and with whom he spoke just once on the phone about the position before offering it in person earlier this week.

McCain’s first encounter with Sarah Palin came at a Washington meeting of the National Governors Association in February, according to a campaign-provided reconstruction of how the little-known Alaska governor was thrust into the national spotlight. The two discussed the position by phone on Sunday before McCain invited Palin and her husband to Arizona to formally make the offer. McCain, joined by his wife, Cindy, did just that Thursday morning at their home near Sedona, Ariz.
It seems Alaskans are easily impressed. 
More on Palin

McCain Shows Judgment Lapse


Listening to McCain's Ohio event this morning, Sarah Palin was audibly nervous and spoke little of her own experience (she has little) and instead cheered for McCain and pandered to Hillary. 

The way she spoke was cheerleader-ish in content and tone (maybe it's just her high-pitched voice). As a woman, what an insult. What an insult to think that women just want a woman in high office. She has to be qualified. She has to be even more qualified, given that McCain hammered Obama on experience. The audacity. 

The choice shows McCain lacks judgment in choosing a vice president, someone to take over in case he gets sick or otherwise, who's lacking. Alaskans say: it's like one of your friends was chosen for one of the highest offices in the nation. They're shocked.

Alaska? I could run Alaska. 

She has five children, so she obviously doesn't believe in birth control. I admire her not aborting her baby with down syndrome but she's not a special case. I'd argue most women wouldn't have an abortion if they were carrying a downs syndrome baby. But even still, that does not make a vice president or a president. Abortion is not the single most important issue to this nation, contrary to what conservatives preach. 

She's also accused of using her power to benefit her sister, in the middle of a custody battle. 

She's against putting the polar bears on the endangered list. It would hurt oil business, she said. She doesn't believe the ice is melting, contrary to scientific evidence. She wants to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I'm so sick of oil. 

Let's not forget she was Miss Alaska runner up.

She likes to hunt and fish and eat moose burgers. She was called Sarah Barracuda. Who cares. 

McCain chose Palin purely for politics. He did NOT choose someone to help him govern. This was an effort to shock, gain attention, sway a few Appalachian women voters (PUMAs). He's out of touch, no doubt.

McCain Picks Sarah Palin Former Ms. Alaska Runner Up



John McCain picks a token woman, Alaska governor Sarah Palin. She was a mayor just three years ago and was elected governor in 2006. Is she ready to be Commander in Chief? They've been hammering Obama, after all. 

Celebrity? She was former Miss Alaska runner up. 

Does this mean they're pretty sure they're going to lose so they're rolling the dice? Does McCain really think there are enough PUMAs? 

Alaska?

She's a drill here, drill now proponent. Here's her letter to Sen. Harry Reid, pushing for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

I'll need to look into Palin's biography. 
Here's a blogger who's been an advocate for Palin. Here's her post on how to beat Joe.
The reasoning:

1) A energetic, young, fresh face who will energize the electorate
2) Not connected to the current administration
3) Pro-Life
4) Pro-Gun
5) A woman or minority to counter Hillary or Obama and put to rest the idea that America only elects white males

One of the first names I found that fit these qualifications was that of Sarah Palin, the recently elected Governor of Alaska. I knew that I had stumbled upon a fantastic candidate for national office, but I kept looking in the hope that I could find other potentially viable choices. However, after looking at every GOP governor, senator, and congressperson, I found that Palin had only become more appealing.
Here's more:
She eats moose burgers and rides snowmobiles and is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. Most important of all, the residents of Alaska believe in her ability to lead. Palin has a bright future and is young enough to be able to set her sights as high as she likes. We’ll be watching this woman and will be anticipating even greater things in her future.

Frankly, I'm just glad it's not Mitt Romney.

People are Talking Columns?

A bunch of backhanded compliments mixed in with the mostly great reviews of Obama's speech last night.

Then, of course, the petty conservatives weigh in, criticizing the columns, which I barely noticed.

Peggy Noonan, WSJ writer (and former Reagan and Bush speechwriter), said she got the columns - they were an evocation of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech.
Here's Noonan's take:

The speech itself lacked lift but had heft. It wasn't precisely long on hope, but I think it showed audacity. In fact, by the end of the speech I thought it was quite a gamble.

This was not a "Happy Days Are Here Again." This was not Smiling O. He was not the charmer or the celebrity, and he didn't try much humor. Mr. Obama often looked stern, and somewhat indignant, certainly serious throughout.

There was a funny thing that marked the entire production, a mix of sight and sound that wasn't a colliding of sight and sound but was--well, unusual. At the end of the speech there were fireworks and colorful confetti shot from a cannon – the picture was bright and beautiful as the floodlights spanned the crowd and picked up flag-waving kids and happy grandmas in big hats. But the sound of the event, the music that filled the hall at the close of the speech, wasn't your basic upbeat convention music, part Vegas and part high school marching band. It was instead muted, softly orchestral. It was like the music they play in the background in a big movie just after a big battle, when everyone's absorbing what happened.

It was all very interesting, and surprising. You could see it coming in the biographical film they used to introduce Mr. Obama. It was lovely, full of unusual shots and lingerings on images, but it was similarly muted, low-key, without any particular joy. I think I am correct in detecting, in the background score, some of the more tender music from "A River Runs Through It" and "A Beautiful Mind."
NYO: If they had it to do over, it’s a good bet that Barack Obama’s campaign would not have moved the final night of the Democratic convention from a cozy basketball arena to an open-air football stadium.

CNN still tries to drive the news, hanging on McCain's words:
CNN: The problem for the McCain campaign is simple: The more successful it has been in spreading the meme of Obama as an unqualified celebrity candidate, the easier it has become for the Illinois senator to exceed expectations.

Maybe Obama's oratory hovered more than soared for most of the night -- but it landed safely. The policy proposals are up for debate. But they can't be dismissed entirely.
CNN, only a certain audience believes Obama is unqualified.
EJ Dionne: His message focused on bread-and-butter empathy, on harnessing John McCain firmly to President Bush's views and record, on a lengthy list of policies that stood as an answer to critics who say his campaign is longer on inspiration than on specifics. It was a speech aimed less at stirring the faithful, though no doubt it did, than at persuading and reassuring those who harbor doubts.

But the medium and Obama's oratorical power served to underscore his effort to recapture a sense of movement and reinforce his claim that "all across America, something is stirring."

If it did nothing else, this week's Democratic National Convention served as a reminder of the historical import of Obama's nomination and the astonishing transformation of the country in just three generations.

If you can bear it, the bitter old guy at the Washington Post, who's absolutely railed against Obama this election didn't criticize Obama's speech but the entire convention:
Barack Obama is an immensely talented man whose talents have been largely devoted to crafting, and chronicling, his own life. Not things. Not ideas. Not institutions. But himself.

Nothing wrong or even terribly odd about that, except that he is laying claim to the job of crafting the coming history of the United States. A leap of such audacity is odd. The air of unease at the Democratic convention this week was not just a result of the Clinton psychodrama. The deeper anxiety was that the party was nominating a man of many gifts but precious few accomplishments -- bearing even fewer witnesses.
Huh?
And from a racist writer (anyone who diminishes Obama as simply the affirmative action candidate is a loser and ignorant):
The psychic investment in Barack's candidacy is immense.

So great is the moral pressure to conform that John Lewis, the young hero of Selma Bridge, buckled and recanted his endorsement of Hillary. And that act of disloyalty and betrayal, a capitulation to race solidarity, is regarded as praiseworthy.

Black radio has become a cheering section for Obama. Every GOP ad mocking Obama is inspected for racial motives. Campaign books that portray Obama as a radical or phony are denounced by people who have not even seen them. The thought police are out in force.

Michelle Obama's speech about her upbringing and beliefs -- crafted by Barack's hires -- is said to be the last word on what a mainstream patriotic woman she is. But why, then, would she have taken her two lovely daughters to be baptized by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and to listen on Sundays to his racist rants against America.
The depth of cynicism is mind blowing.
David Brooks manages to overtake Maureen Dowd's snark  (he never does snark) and writes one for the conservative's looking for something to hate.

Romney: McCain Can't Beat Obama

John McCain is set to announce his veep this morning, so here's a goodie for you.

McCain crowd speechless

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's Speech Soars

Obama wrapped every town hall speech and every rally speech into one beautiful, meaty, powerful speech.
Maybe the best line: John McCain "We all put our country first."
Video
I'll post video when it's up.
Text:

Democratic Convention at Invesco Field
Denver, Colorado
As Prepared for Delivery

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it. more, more, more. 


Will I Am and Legend Perform Yes We Can

Obama and McCain Action Toys

Even toymakers can tell the difference between Obama and McCain. Get them here.





Here's Hillary too

Of Course Obama is Progressive

Cass Sunstein explains Obama's pragmatism or if you're a cynic, you call them flip flops. 

TNR: IN the last few weeks, a number of people on the left have expressed disappointment with Barack Obama. Obama has said that the death penalty may be appropriate for child rape. He has applauded the Supreme Court's recognition of an individual right to own guns. He has voted for wiretapping reform that includes retroactive immunity for telephone companies. Having raised doubts about NAFTA during the primary, Obama recently said that he does not want to reopen negotiations unilaterally.

Perhaps because of Obama's strong and early opposition to the Iraq war, and because he has not been on the national scene long, some people on the left have projected their own views onto him. They think that his recent departures from left-wing orthodoxy are a form of flip-flopping or some kind of betrayal.

These objections miss the mark. Obama has not betrayed anyone. The real problem lies in the assumption, still widespread on both the left and the right, that Obama is a doctrinaire liberal whose positions can be deduced simply by asking what the left thinks.

Of course Obama is a progressive. From health care to assistance for low-income families to education to environmental protection, he emphasizes that Americans have duties to one another, and that government should be taking active steps to provide equal opportunity and to help those who need help. But, by nature, he is also an independent thinker, and he listens to all sides. One of his most distinctive features is that he is a minimalist, not in the sense that he always favors small steps (he doesn't), but because he prefers solutions that can be accepted by people with a wide variety of theoretical inclinations. read the rest.

Obama's Speech Excerpts: The American Promise


If you would rather be surprised, don't read the excerpts:

"Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

"It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

"It is why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

"We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

"Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay and tuition that is beyond your reach

"These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed presidency of George W. Bush.

"America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this."

***

"This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

"Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

"But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush was right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change."

Obama and Biden Rally Dublin Ohio Aug. 30


This event is likely to be live streamed at cnn.com or barackobama.com

Please join us for this special event in Dublin:

An Evening On the Road for Change
with Barack Obama and Joe Biden

Dublin Coffman High School
6780 Coffman Road
Dublin, OH

Saturday, August 30th
Doors Open: 4:30 p.m.
Program Begins: 6:45 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. Please RSVP using the form to the right.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Public parking lots are available at the corner of Coffman Road and Emerald Pkwy, as well as at the corner of Post Road and Emerald Pkwy. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

John Lewis: We Were Just Trying to Get a Hamburger

Congressman John Lewis of Georgia spoke at the convention: We still have a dream.
"We must march like we've never marched before" to elect Barack Obama.

Lewis spoke with NPR earlier. 

He was one of the speakers who participated in the Civil Rights march 45 years ago and recounts that day. Lewis spoke that day, speaking before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He said he never ever imagined a black man would be nominated for president. Back then, black people were just trying to get a hamburger. He said King would be looking down saying Halleluja!

Convention Speakers: How to Win an Election

Speakers at the convention (live streaming here) are encouraging people to work for the campaign. Nancy Pelosi just called the DNC to order.

Joe Biden's Brilliance


Obama made the greatest pick in Joe Biden. Obama is a big thinker, wise, a leader. For some that's scary and the republicans used it against Obama: Look at that scary smart man, that's all he is, was the message. But Biden has the ability to translate scary smarts into emotion for an easier connection.

American Prospect: Biden spoke of his family, but unlike Obama, he did not enlarge them into themes. They did not stand in for racial progress and simple dignity and the power of our quiet commonalities. Rather, he shrunk them down to kitsch, rendering them -- and him -- recognizable and human in the process. Detailing his mother's loving encouragement back when he stuttered, he recalled her saying, "Joey, it's because you're so bright you can't get the thoughts out quickly enough." That's not the story of America; it's the story of your grandparents.

Similarly, his attacks on John McCain were neither grudging nor high-minded. They were simple. "In the Senate," said Biden, "John has voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time. And that is very hard to believe. And when John McCain proposes $200 billion in new tax breaks for corporate America, $1 billion alone for just eight of the largest companies, but no, none, no relief for 100 million American families, that's not change; that's more of the same." This was not a speech built to inspire, or elevate. It was a message crafted to move polls.

The story concludes that Obama should take a cue from Biden for his speech tonight. I hope that Obama is just himself. That's what got him here.

Cindy McCain's Sister Voting Obama

Here's a gossipy little item. Who knew she had a sister? But I guess that's the point. 

Swamp: That's what Kathleen Hensley Portalski tells Usmagazine.com. "I'm not voting for McCain," Portalski tells Us. "I have a different political standpoint... I'm voting for Obama. I think his proposals to improve the country are more positive and I'm not a big war believer."

Cindy McCain, 54, likes to say she is an only child -- and she is the only daughter of the late Jim and Marguerite Hensley. Her father founded the Anheuser-Busch distributorship in Pheonix which is the source of her wealth today.

But Portalski, 65, was born of Jim Hensley and his first wife.

In an interview with NPR News' All Things Considered last week, Portalski said that she had felt "like a non-person" after Cindy McCain had described herself as an "only child." Portalksi calls her half-sister: "kinda cool, standoffish.''

McCain Billboard and a Congrats

McCain congratulates Obama in this new ad. ? Sarcasm ? Heard the crowd tonight was going to sing Happy Birthday to McCain, who is 72 Friday. 

Billboard in the Twin Cities, where the twins will meet, hug, next week at their convention. 


The Scene at Mile High Stadium







2:10 p.m. Volunteers having trouble recruiting people to use phone bank at Invesco.
2:00 p.m. Mexicana For Obama" reads the message on towering red-and-white hat worn by Washington state delegate Antonia Gonzalez at Denver's stadium. She says she's confident "change" includes an immigration system fix so that raids no longer break up immigrant families.
1:59 p.m. Phone-banking for Obama inside Invesco gates is off-the-hook, with drawing to get on the field.
1:56 p.m. Parking lot at Invesco looks like an RV and satellite trade show.
1:53 p.m. Lakewood Police Officer Ryan McKone watching crowd atop steps at Denver's stadium: "Everything's good, real peaceful. Protesters are following what they said they would do."
More at the Denver Post.

All the haters are going to say what they're going to say but Obama is going to rock the stadium. Some commentary.

Here's the field

A Fine Moment in Denver: Roll Call

I have to say, yesterday's roll call was exciting because it was symbolic and gracious and energizing. 


When they got to New Mexico, the delegates "yielded" to Illinois, and I didn't know exactly what that meant but then Illinois yielded to New York and in walks Hillary, circled by a horde of photographers.

Then Hillary moved to nominate Obama and that was moving. Rival nominates rival. It signified the end of any divisions. It couldn't have been done any better. On this blog, no more PUMAs, no more NoBamas, no more drama between Hillary and Obama camps. We're moving ahead.
Salon: For all the stories about the dysfunctional tensions between the Clinton and Obama camps in the last two weeks, it's worth singling out what may remain the best moment of this convention, even after Barack Obama blows everyone away at Invesco Field Thursday night. And that was Wednesday's roll call vote. It was handled with an incredible dignity and sweetness that went a long way to redeeming the bitter feelings on both sides. It even had a tiny bit of suspense, not about the outcome, but exactly how it would end.

And when Illinois yielded to New York, and Hillary Clinton, speaking from the floor, in the heart of her delegation, moved to nominate Barack Obama by acclamation, well, that was catharsis. Sometimes catharsis is angry, sometimes it's quiet and calm; wholeness is restored. The entire roll-call process was a healing ritual handled by both sides with kindness and even tenderness, which you rarely see in politics.

Here is the moment

Obama Shoots Hoops Practices Speech

Painting by Phil Fung
Scenes from Denver from the Denver Post

AP: He put finishing touches on his speech Thursday morning, but also found time to shoot some hoops on a basketball court at the Denver Athletic Club.

He also spoke to a luncheon for female Illinois delegates. "I had this speech tonight. I wanted to practice it out on you guys. See if it worked on a friendly audience," Obama joked. He didn't actually give the speech.

"I haven't forgotten where I came from," he added. "It's because of all of you that Michelle and I have this great honor of helping to lead the party and win back this White House."

Aides said his address accepting the Democratic presidential nomination would be a "direct conversation" with Americans on what's at stake and the risks of putting another Republican in the White House.

A look at how the scene at the Mile High stadium is shaping up.

Beau Biden Introduces Joe Biden

Beau Biden, Joe's son, introduces his dad, emphasizing Biden's dad-ness and all around good guy-ness. As CNN put it, Biden is the ham and cheese in the pairing with Obama, who they call the arugula. I'd argue that Obama is the banana split, all good things in one.

John Legend at Democratic Convention

His song "If You're Out There."

John Legend on why he supports Obama

Prickly McCain

That's what Time magazine called McCain.
Here's part of the interview. He's like a cactus:

What do you want voters to know coming out of the Republican Convention — about you, about your candidacy?
I'm prepared to be President of the United States, and I'll put my country first.

There's a theme that recurs in your books and your speeches, both about putting country first but also about honor. I wonder if you could define honor for us?
Read it in my books.

I've read your books.
No, I'm not going to define it.

But honor in politics?
I defined it in five books. Read my books.

[Your] campaign today is more disciplined, more traditional, more aggressive. From your point of view, why the change?
I will do as much as we possibly can do to provide as much access to the press as possible.

But beyond the press, sir, just in terms of ...
I think we're running a fine campaign, and this is where we are.

Do you miss the old way of doing it?
I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? Come on, Senator.
I'll provide as much access as possible ...

Here's another thing, expect republicans to make a really big deal out of Obama's speech being held at the Mile High stadium, where 80,000 people will watch. That's because McCain can barely fill a 5,000 seat venue. It's Karl Rove tactics of using someone's strengths against them.

I Have A Dream Aug. 28 2008

On this 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, here's to hoping Obama does what he needs to do. 

This is the speech in which Obama draws "the fierce urgency of now" that he speaks of so often. Every now and then a great leader comes along to uplift and inspire change.

Trick or Vote

The Halloween voting registration.

Convention Schedule Aug. 28

Highlights: Al Gore speaks tonight, Howard Dean, Bill Richardson, Will.I.am and Stevie Wonder perform, David Plouffe makes remarks and of course, Obama takes the stage on the 45th anniversary of the I Have A Dream speech.

Thursday, August 28 2008: Change You Can Believe In
Time Shown as local – Denver, Colorado MST

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (LOCAL)

Live Performances (before gavel)
Yonder Mountain String Band Performance
Jeff Austin, Adam Aijala, Ben Kaufmann, Dave Johnston

Voter Registration Presentation

Remarks
The Honorable Luis Gutierrez
Member of the US House of Representatives, Illinois

David Plouffe
Obama Campaign Manager

Ray Rivera
Obama State Director, Colorado

Call to Order
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention
Member and Speaker of the US House of Representatives, California

Invocation
Rabbi David Saperstein
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism – Washington, DC

Presentation of Colors
Disabled American Veterans

Pledge of Allegiance
Shawn Johnson
US Olympic Gymnast

National Anthem
Jennifer Hudson
Academy award-winning singer and Broadway performer

Welcome
Elbra Wedgeworth
President/Chair, Denver Host Committee

Presentation of Resolutions
Democratic National Committee Vice-Chairs
Mark Brewer
The Honorable Linda Chavez-Thompson
The Honorable Mike Honda
The Honorable Lottie Shackelford
Susan Turnbull

Remarks
Honorable Bill Ritter, Jr.
Governor of Colorado

The Honorable Ed Perlmutter
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable John Salazar
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable Diana DeGette
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (LOCAL)

Video & Remarks
The Honorable Howard Dean
Former Governor of Vermont
Chair of the Democratic Party

Video & Remarks: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King
The Honorable John Lewis
Member of the US House of Representatives, Georgia
Rev. Bernice King
Daughter of the late Dr. King
Martin Luther King III
Oldest son of the late Dr. King

Remarks
The Honorable Bill Richardson
Governor, New Mexico

Live Performances
will.i.am
Accompanied by John Legend (piano), Agape Choir, and band

Sheryl Crow
Singer/songwriter

Remarks
Ray Rivera
Obama State Director, Colorado

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (LOCAL)

Remarks
The Honorable Jan Schakowsky
Member of the US House of Representatives, Illinois

The Honorable Mark Udall
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado

The Honorable Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia

Live Performance
Stevie Wonder

Remarks
The Honorable Al Gore
Former Vice President of the United States

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (LOCAL)

Remarks
John Kuniholm
Wounded Iraq veteran

Live Performance
Michael McDonald
Singer/songwriter

Remarks
Susan Eisenhower
Granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Retired Generals Tribute
Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration (Ret)
Accompanied by additional generals

American Voices Program
Roy Gross
Monica Early
Wes Moore
Janet Lynn Monacco
Nate Flick
Teresa Asenap
Pamela Cash-Roper
Barney Smith

Remarks
The Honorable Dick Durbin
US Senator, Illinois

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (LOCAL)

Video/Remarks
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Benediction
Pastor Joel Hunter
Senior Pastor of Northland in Central Florida

Adjournment
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Permanent Chair, Democratic National Convention