Presidential Candidates Assault the Senses February 5, 2008Posted by chuckwh in News and politics, Obama, Politics.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bush, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Obamamania, primaries
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Note to regular readers: As the campaign heats up, The Gore Years will be continuing the news on real events, rather than the fantasy world of The Gore Years. We leave it up to our readers to discern the difference between reality and that other thing, whatever that other thing might be. We appreciate your patience.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Buoyed by cheering crowds and bolstered by more than $1.3 million a day in TV ads, Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton continued their love fest as they raced through the final hours of an unpredictable Super Tuesday campaign across 22 states. The Republican race turned negative on the eve of the busiest day in primary history.
“We’re going to hand the liberals in our party a little surprise,” boasted Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, holding a small, hand-held telescope to help him search the tiny crowd for liberals.
He then criticized John McCain for his positions on tax cuts, gay marriage and immigration and predicted an upset win in delegate-rich California. “McCain will try to undo the damage of the Bush administration, and that can’t be a good thing,” he told an excited crowd of Republican ex-office holders in Tennessee. “If we cannot maintain the policies of this administration, then we can’t keep getting you all to vote against your own interests. We believe in moral majorities!” he screamed to the small crowd, which responded by tossing foreclosure notices into the air.
And then, in an apparent dig at McCain, he screamed, “And we believe in standing up!”
Shortly afterwards, eBay’s CEO Meg Whitman, who heralds from the same venture capital fund company as Romney, Bain Capital, stunned the crowd and approached the podium and announced that all eBay sellers who were willing to vote for Romney would never pay eBay insertion fees for as long as they live.
“We need to give eBay sellers something to live for in this economy,” she explained to TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington.
McCain struck back a few hours later Monday with a television ad that showed Romney sitting at a desk, pining away for Whitman. The ad clearly shows a despondent Romney drumming his fingers on a huge, walnut desk while staring at one of several computer video screens showing Whitman captivating a crowd of eBay sellers with promises of “better things to come.” The crowd threw various artifacts at her, and there is a rumored YouTube video of her getting nailed on the head by a Pez dispenser, but, according to Romney pollsters, it hasn’t stopped the Romney juggernaut, and didn’t change Romney’s infatuation.
Meanwhile, outwardly, McCain projected confidence, not only about wrapping up the nomination but about staying healthy until November’s general election as well. “I can lead this nation in medication, and motivate all Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest, as long as they continue to stuff their throats with pharmaceuticals” he said while campaigning at a fire station in New Jersey, during a photo opp with Merck. Asked by The Gore Years if he might accidentally fart during some future press event helping to solidify America’s hundred year commitment to Iraq, he replied, “God, I hope not.” The Gore Years has always appreciated his honesty.
Unwilling to leave anything to chance, both men hastily rearranged their schedules to make one more late stop in California, the largest state, with 170 delegates.
After months on the road, the wear on the candidates was showing, and the schedules strained human endurance.
Clinton’s voice was raspy, and at one stop, she struggled to control her coughing. She denied it had anything to do with the Obama love fest. “Don’t you ever compare me to that nasty intern,” she scolded one reporter who asked how she was holding up.
Romney had breakfast in Tennessee, was in Georgia at lunchtime, was touching down in Oklahoma at the dinner hour, got drunk with former candidate George W. Bush after dinner, arranged for a Britney Spears-like pickup of Baseball Commisioner Bush around 10 pm, and was scheduled to arrive in California for a rally at the Spears residence just before midnight local time, partly, his aides said, because he was in the mood for “more debauchery”.
All before flying through the night so he could attend the West Virginia state convention on Tuesday morning and meet the few people still left in America who might vote Republican in the next election.
The Democrats were spending unprecedented amounts of money on television advertising. Records showed Obama and Clinton each spent $1.3 million last Wednesday and have been increasing their purchases in the days since. In fact, some broadcast industry analysts have been reporting that Clinton, through a proxy, has purchased KRON-TV from Young Broadcasting and will, according to one source, “begin broadcasting All Billary, all the Time.”
Obama spent about $250,000 to run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl in selected, less expensive regions. Clinton bought one hour of time on the Hallmark Channel for Monday evening to air a live town hall meeting from New York. However, the Hallmark Channel refused to air the meeting. One reason, sources say, is that Hallmark is concerned about rumors that Hillary and Obama got a room (see above link). The other, more significant issue, according to pundits and Hallmark insiders (assuming there is such a thing as a Hallmark insider), is that Hallmark CEO Donald J. Hall, Jr. is not a fan of Bill Clinton. “I have seen poster boys for Hallmark Cards,” Hall is known to have said, “And my friends, Bill Clinton is no poster boy.”
The prize in each race was a huge cache of delegates on the biggest primary-season day ever. The biggest concern about that cache was that somehow the Republicans would find a way to get Diebold to create an electronic cache of Democratic votes and somehow turn them into Republican votes, and throw the election again in 2008.
But for today, it was all smiles as Hillary and Obama continued their love fest, and McCain and Romney each tried to figure out which part of the past to represent.
Associated Press reporters Beth Fouhy, Glen Johnson, Jim Kuhnhenn, Nedra Pickler, Libby Quaid and Liz Sidoti contributed to this report. The Gore Years reporter Chuck White made it all right.
Obamamania January 8, 2008Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, News and politics, Obama.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bush, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Obamamania, primaries
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Barack Obama’s apparent impending sweep of the Democratic primaries speaks loudly about the American mood. Even in a time of unprecedented prosperity under Al Gore, Democratic voters are shunning his would-be successor, Vice President Hillary Clinton.
It may be that Americans simply don’t like the idea of dynasties. If Clinton would be elected, not only would it be the second Clinton in office, but it would extend the Clinton/Gore dynasty to, potentially, nearly a quarter century. Americans are understandably squeamish about such things.
Ironically, this kind of feeling could have been exacerbated by some of the fears generated by progressives who have repeatedly pointed out that a cadre of Republicans such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney, pushed hard for an invasion of Iraq and have since written that had George W. Bush won the election, they would have launched preemptive strikes against Sadaam.
A Newsweek journalist even raised the hairs of many Americans by posting a fictional blog called The Bush Years which painted a nightmarish, almost science fiction-like alternative future that had America sending ground troops into Iraq and spending hundreds of billions of dollars funding a long-term quagmire. Most economists scoffed at the premise: that the war is largely funded via long-term debts to China. In the blog, the American dollar becomes nearly worthless, and America is reviled throughout most of the world.
These are events that, had they happened, would have been blamed at least partly on dynastic politics.
In real life, of course, Sadaam, has long since disappeared from the scene, having been stricken down by his own people. The Middle East is thriving even as the U.S. is throwing off the chains of its oil dependency. The American economy, fueled in no small part to a host of emerging technologies spurred on by the Gore Administration’s industrial policies, is humming along like a well oiled machine.
Still, voters appear to be on the brink of rejecting Hillary and embracing Obama.
There are two things that Gore has not accomplished that might help explain this phenomenon. One, he has not healed the divisiveness between Republicans and Democrats that has existed since the Clinton years. In fact, under Gore, it may be worse, as the Republican Party has become marginalized because of the domination in that party of evangelicals and the far right. Eventually, though, the GOP will return to a more moderate focus, and the pendulum in Congress will swing back. It always does.
Obama, though, isn’t waiting. He’s already reaching out to Republicans and leveraging his long-term mantra of unity by pointing out that we don’t live in red states or blue states, but in the United States. This message is resonating.
The other thing Gore hasn’t accomplished is in regards to lobbyists. They still have way too much control, and Obama has promised to do something about that. These are two powerful messages. Combine that with Americans’ inherent distaste for dynasties, and you have a rout in the making.
Hillary’s mistake may have been to simply assume she was the appointed successor to the throne. The Bush Years did a nice job of pointing out how dangerous a dynasty can be, even if it did seem a little far-fetched in its apocalyptic tone. And the American people don’t need much help anyway in rejecting the concept of the throne. They’ve been doing it for 232 years.
Wishing They’d Play Nice November 21, 2007Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama.
Tags: Democrats, Hillary, Hillary and Iowa, Obama, Obama + Hillary, Obama and Iowa
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Today I find myself hoping that Hillary and Obama start to play a little nicer with each other. The reason is based on pure strategy. If Hillary wins the nomination, it seems to me that a Hillary/Obama ticket could very possibly lead to 16 years of non-Republican governance.
If you want to see the full effects of what can happen when a country changes its political pendulum check out the video here:
When Ronald Reagan was elected, it signaled a massive political tsunami that has had America reeling for more than a quarter century.
Imagine an American president doing what Richard Nixon, a Republican, did, and imposing wage and price controls. The right wing would probably scramble to Texas and declare it a sovereign state, just to get away from the horrors of federal economic controls.
If progressives want to return to liberalism, it will require more than the obvious necessity of capturing hearts and minds. It will require that Democrats (sadly, the closest thing we have to liberalism) don’t shoot themselves in the foot when it is so clear that the government is theirs for the taking for a very long time.
If Obama wins, I’m sure Hillary won’t be the Vice Presidential candidate, but if Hillary wins, Obama seems like a perfect fit. Right now, the attacks are really fairly soft. Candidates have taken bigger shots at each other and found themselves as running mates. But I hope both sides keep a close eye on their gun happy artillery men.
Obama Visits Havana August 21, 2007Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Cuba, Election 2008, elections, Havana, News and politics, Obama.
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On what has become a fixation of Democratic candidates on the American campaign tour, Barack Obama visited Havana, Cuba, today. He is the sixth Democratic candidate to visit Havana during this campaign season. Diplomatic relations with Cuba have been rockier than many suspected after Gore initiated the Havana Proposals shortly after the Democratic rout of Republicans in the last congressional election, but it has not stopped the march of candidates into Habana.
American diplomats have had to walk a fine line between the obvious necessity of treating Cuba like a normal person, and Raul Castro’s love affair with Hugo Chavez.
Chavez, although he has made several “I Love Al Gore” pronouncements, has nationalized and renationalized most of the hard core industrial infrastructure in Venezuela.
Obama’s reaction to his visit was a mixture of happiness and concern.
“On one hand, it’s good to see the new trade pact taking hold,” he said, referring to a new trade package between the U.S. and Cuba, “but, on a personal level, it is difficult to be a witness to the commercialism and greed that is pushing the folks who have been the backbone of this economy inland. I’d like to know what becomes of them.”
Obama then toured the suburbs of Havana and the adjoining countryside.
In a political season bereft of major issues, Obama tried to seize one: “This is a beautiful country. Now that we have established relations with Cuba, think eminent domain, multiplied ten fold.”
Obama Says He’ll Nuke China If It Helps Him Get Elected August 1, 2007Posted by chuckwh in Al Gore, Al Queda, Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucus, Obama, Politics, President Gore, Terrorism.
Senator Barack Obama today said he’d nuke China if it would help him get elected. The hawkish statement was said in the aftermath of polls showing he has lost ground to Vice President Hillary Clinton after the recent YouTube debate that many pundits claimed demonstrated Clinton’s experience over Obama.
“If we have actionable intelligence suggesting that, say, China was prepared to launch a strike against Tawain, then, not only would I have to reconsider my former position vis a vis talking to hostile leadership, I would have to seriously consider the possibility of an all out nuclear strike,” Obama wrote in a long email to The Gore Years. “The American public should get what it wants, and any consequences derived from those desires should be born fully by the electorate.”
“Imagine,” the email continued, “a world in which George Bush had won the election instead of Al Gore. Many of the foreign policy heavyweights Bush was considering bringing into his administration, people like Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, were advocating an invasion of Iraq, which of course would have been disastrous. I, and almost all the military and intelligence experts I’ve talked to, have felt that such an action would have resulted in possibly a decades-long quagmire. But if, following such a disastrous policy, the American people would have re-elected a President responsible for enacting that policy, then the American people would themselves be culpable. Luckily, of course, that is not the path we went down.”
“However,” he continued in apparent reference to the recent dip in the polls, “the American people appear to be engaged in a bit of pro-war sentimental fancy, and I’m willing to accommodate that.”
Clinton, Obama Bicker on YouTube Debate July 24, 2007Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Neo-cons, News and politics, Obama, YouTube.
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The stars of CNN’s YouTube debate were clearly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but it was Clinton’s reaction to a question posted to Obama that is curious, given the success the Gore administration has had dealing with hostile regimes.
Stephen Sorta of Diamond Bar, Calif. asked the candidates if they’d be willing in their first year in office to talk with the leaders who, from the viewpoint of some U.S. policymakers, are considered the world’s troublemakers, including presidents Fidel Castro of Cuba, and Kim Jong Il of North Korea.
SEN. OBAMA: I would. Not only has this been the guiding diplomatic principle of this country, but this administration has demonstrated the importance of maintaining this approach with its successful rapprochement with Iran and Fatah in Gaza, which has led to the highest level of peace the Middle East has seen since World War II. (Applause.) Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to the Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them, they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we have the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.
But Hillary Clinton, one of the architects of the diplomatic efforts in Iran as Vice President under Gore, disagreed, saying, “While I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these during my first year, I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort, because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don’t want to make a situation even worse. We’re not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and, you know, the president of North Korea.”
This was a curious reaction considering the successful waves of diplomacy initiated under Gore. Especially odd was her reference to making a promise, which wasn’t part of the question (the question was whether candidates would be willing to talk to hostile governments, not whether they would issue promises to that effect).
Clinton continues to distance herself from the progressive end of the Democratic party (and her own administration) by sounding the foreign policy mantras of her husband, who was centrist only in name and only within the relative scope of the era he presided.
Keep in mind just how far right the Reagan era swung the pendulum of political discourse. In many eras, Clinton the Husband’s foreign policy would have been considered far to the right and subservient to special interests, but he looked progressive when matched up against conservative Republicans and neo-cons (who wanted to invade Iraq, which would have been an unmitigated disaster).
Today, the U.S. still isn’t talking to Cuba, a harmless little island to the South whose fangs, if there ever were any, were removed by the fall of the Soviet Union. Diplomatic relations would only help the island’s economy. And maybe even ours. If we’re the good guys, there’s nothing left, right, or centrist about that position, and making an effort towards that regime or any other hostile regime can never be harmful.
Obama Concedes Iowa November 9, 2006Posted by chuckwh in Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Iowa, Iowa Caucus, News and politics, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Senator Barack Obama.
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Potential Democratic candidate Barack Obama (D, IL) today conceded Iowa, saying on the Oprah Winfrey show that, “Even if I were to run, and I am not suggesting that I am a candidate, but if I were to run, obviously I would have to concede to a defeat in Iowa to a very good man, Gov. Tom Vilsack, who has run the great state of Iowa admirably and professionally. He’s done great things for Iowa, and has lived up to the challenge of governing that state with aplomb.” Vilsack is governor of Iowa and the first stated Democratic presidential candidate. “Actually,” and with that Obama held up a ripe plum, “I meant to say that governing with plums is not easy, especially in a state that faces as many challenges as Iowa.
“I think, especially, his challenge is a unique one in America, in that, and I say this with all candor, that, in rejecting the common notion that Iowa must undergo a conversion from an agricultural state to an industrial one, he has spoken to the people, and I admire him for this. Instead, he’s hooked into this notion, this audacity of hope, that perhaps Iowa is not a corn state, but a plum state. I see, because of this man’s vision, orchards of plum trees in Iowa, rising against the purple sunset.”
Upon saying that, the audience cheered wildly, and one woman ran up to Obama and jumped into his lap and kissed him. She was taken away by security guards, but could be heard screaming, “I love you, Obama, and I would give my plums for you!!! ”
In related news, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, apparently hearing the approaching feet of the coming Vilsack blitzkrieg, today officially bowed out of the Democratic presidential nomination race.