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Another Prominent Republican Dumps McCain October 31, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain.
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October 31, 2008
Posted: 01:35 PM ET
From

Duberstein is pulling for Obama.

Duberstein is pulling for Obama.

(CNN) — Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official – Colin Powell – in his decision.

“Well let’s put it this way – I think Colin Powell’s decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama.”

Powell served as national security advisor to Reagan during Duberstein’s tenure as chief of staff.

Duberstein spoke with Zakaria about his final days in the Reagan White House. The Reagan official, along with Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, also discussed the transition process to a new administration.

Watch the full discussion on the next administration this Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fareed Zakaria GPS.

There Goes Another Republican October 29, 2008

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Shays concedes McCain defeat

Staff Reporter, Yale Daily News
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The first ballot has yet to be tallied, but some Republicans are already hammering nails into the McCain-Palin campaign’s coffin.

Locked in a tight congressional race, Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut’s 4th district is the latest in a slew of Republican incumbents, including Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, to concede a near-certain victory to the Obama camp.

“I just don’t see how [McCain] can win,” Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.

Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain’s campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain’s race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.

“He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign,” Shays said.

But Shays — who is famous for never running a negative campaign ad, even when behind — said the negativity in the presidential race has nevertheless been flowing both ways. He said that though they have been diluted by positive ads, Sen. Obama’s campaign has empirically run a greater number of negative ones.

“Obama has four times the amount of money McCain has, so for every negative ad he runs he can balance it with an upbeat one,” Shays said. “McCain, on the other hand, has been nearly 100 percent negative.”

Shays laid much of the blame on the far right, which, he said, has “hijacked” the Republican Party, threatening to walk out if its demand are not met — despite being in the minority.

He said this situation is a cautionary tale for the Democratic Party, whose Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and MoveOn.org have imposed their often-radical ideas on the rest of the party.

But Shays also said he was skeptical of Sen. Obama’s promise to rule from the political center.

“It’s what all presidents should do, but [Obama] has never been there,” he said, referring to Obama’s left-of-center congressional record.

McCain’s other Connecticut co-chair, Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67, has not publicly commented on McCain’s chances on Election Day, but he has continued to campaign for him, most recently in Florida on Monday.

Jeff Grappone, New England communications director for the McCain campaign, did not return several requests for comment Monday.

Palin’s ‘going rogue,’ McCain Aide Says October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in John McCain, Sarah Palin, U.S. Election 2008.
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From Dana Bash, Peter Hamby and John King CNN

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (CNN) — With 10 days until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense, they are spilling out in public, sources say.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday.

Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.”

A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.

McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan.

A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

“Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

A Palin associate defended her, saying that she is “not good at process questions” and that her comments on Michigan and the robocalls were answers to process questions.

But this Palin source acknowledged that Palin is trying to take more control of her message, pointing to last week’s impromptu news conference on a Colorado tarmac.

Tracey Schmitt, Palin’s press secretary, was urgently called over after Palin wandered over to the press and started talking. Schmitt tried several times to end the unscheduled session.

“We acknowledge that perhaps she should have been out there doing more,” a different Palin adviser recently said, arguing that “it’s not fair to judge her off one or two sound bites” from the network interviews.

The Politico reported Saturday on Palin’s frustration, specifically with McCain advisers Nicolle Wallace and Steve Schmidt. They helped decide to limit Palin’s initial press contact to high-profile interviews with Charlie Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, which all McCain sources admit were highly damaging.

In response, Wallace e-mailed CNN the same quote she gave the Politico: “If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there.”

But two sources, one Palin associate and one McCain adviser, defended the decision to keep her press interaction limited after she was picked, both saying flatly that she was not ready and that the missteps could have been a lot worse.

They insisted that she needed time to be briefed on national and international issues and on McCain’s record.

“Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”

Schmitt came to the back of the plane Saturday to deliver a statement to traveling reporters: “Unnamed sources with their own agenda will say what they want, but from Gov. Palin down, we have one agenda, and that’s to win on Election Day.”

Yet another senior McCain adviser lamented the public recriminations.

“This is what happens with a campaign that’s behind; it brings out the worst in people, finger-pointing and scapegoating,” this senior adviser said.

This adviser also decried the double standard, noting that Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama‘s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, has gone off the reservation as well, most recently by telling donors at a fundraiser that America’s enemies will try to “test” Obama.

Tensions like those within the McCain-Palin campaign are not unusual; vice presidential candidates also have a history of butting heads with the top of the ticket.

John Edwards and his inner circle repeatedly questioned Sen. John Kerry’s strategy in 2004, and Kerry loyalists repeatedly aired in public their view that Edwards would not play the traditional attack dog role with relish because he wanted to protect his future political interests.

Even in a winning campaign like Bill Clinton’s, some of Al Gore’s aides in 1992 and again in 1996 questioned how Gore was being scheduled for campaign events.

Jack Kemp’s aides distrusted the Bob Dole camp and vice versa, and Dan Quayle loyalists had a list of gripes remarkably similar to those now being aired by Gov. Palin’s aides.

With the presidential race in its final days and polls suggesting that McCain’s chances of pulling out a win are growing slim, Palin may be looking after her own future.

“She’s no longer playing for 2008; she’s playing 2012,” Democratic pollster Peter Hart said. “And the difficulty is, when she went on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ she became a reinforcement of her caricature. She never allowed herself to be vetted, and at the end of the day, voters turned against her both in terms of qualifications and personally.”

The Exodus Continues October 25, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, John McCain, U.S. Election 2008.
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Tony Campbell, 10/24/08

 http://www.republicansforobama.org

In the wake of Colin Powell’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama last Sunday I wrote the following statement:

“My gut feeling is that there will be a significant number of moderate Republicans who will endorse Obama over the next week or so.

Four hours later, I wrote this update after Ken Adelman announced he was voting for Obama.

“Ken Adelman is a bonafide Conservative. If he is able to vote for Obama, then the exodus is just beginning…”

Scott McClellan, Bush’s former press secretary has announced that he is going to vote for Obama. McClellan stated that he is supporting Obama because he has “a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000.” How ’bout them apples? W’s “Compassionate Conservatism” meets O’s “The Change We Need”.

Another former G.O.P. office holder, Minnesota ex-Governor Arne Carlson, endorsed Obama after Powell’s announcement. Obama’s last major hurdle is to win the endorsement of a sitting Republican member of Congress. It has long been rumored that Senator Chuck Hagel may break from the pack to support Obama or perhaps Senator Richard Lugar (Indiana) may support Obama based on his direction for U.S. foreign policy.

My prediction: By Sunday, a sitting member of Congress from the Republican Party will endorse Obama. If that occurs, all bets are off as far as a landslide victory for Obama on November 4th…as the Republican Exodus Continues…

By the way, on a lighter note, when did D.L. Hughley get a news program? If an Obama presidency means that he and David Alan Grier are allowed to get their own shows…I might have to vote for Bob Barr or Ron Paul.

Palin, Patriotism and Alaskan Separatism October 9, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Sarah Palin.
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This is a post from Mudflats, an Alaskan blog that tells it like it is:

The Palins’ Imperfect Union.
2008
Sarah Palin has taken her position. She has shown her cards. She has stuck her flag in the ground. She has crossed her arms.

Palin likes the spotlight, she likes power, and she has decided she will do or say anything to get it. That much is obvious to anyone who has been watching her performance over the last week. Many Alaskans have watched, sickened, at Palin’s insinuations, before cheering crowds, that Senator Obama is a terrorist sympathizer. Others, have agreed. She stands in the glow of the lights, soaking up the energy from a crowd, whipped into a frenzy of hatred, engendering comparisons to a Nazi rally or a KKK meeting. Shouts of “Kill him!”, and “Terrorist!” referring to Senator Obama have been picked up on media microphones covering the McCain-Palin roadshow.

Hatred, like an iceberg, leaves 90% of its mass below the surface. The media has not picked up on comments that aren’t screamed at the camera – the conversations in living rooms, the knowing nods, and the dark thoughts that McCain and Palin have given people permission to think.

“He doesn’t think like we do,” she tells us. We love the country. We are patriotic. We are like us. We can’t turn our country over to THEM.

The Republican party has become very good at pointing fingers, both literally, and figuratively, at Obama. Last night, McCain pointed a finger at him during the dabate and referred to him as “that one.” The undercurrents of dehumanization, objectification, and scorn rose to the surface.

Attack Obama on his “lack of patriotism” and his “otherness”, and he’ll spend his time defending it. It’s never good when you have to defend your position. The attacker always has the greater position of power.

Strangely, in light of this new patriotic furor, the following video has not gained much traction in this election. It surfaced some time ago, and I’ve posted it here before, but its worthy of another look. This is a meeting of the Alaskan Independence Party. The speaker is Vice Chairman of the AIP, Dexter Clark. A partial transcript is below. It’s worth watching in full.

The Alaskan Independence Party believes that Alaska may have become a state against its will. Anyone in the party today, is likely there because they think Alaska would do just fine without the rest of the country being attached to it. The image, on most maps, of Alaska detached from the rest of the country in its own little box works for them just fine.

They don’t like the way the statehood vote was worded, and Clark explains why.

The basic argument of the Alaskan Independence Party has always been the number one plank in our platform – the question of our vote to become a state. So…the most blaring disparity in that vote was the definition of an eligible voter. Among those qualified to cast a ballot were 41,000 American soldiers and 36,000 dependents. Now, to the native population of Alaska, to me, these were occupation troops! And they were made eligible and, in fact encouraged to vote. There were educational meetings held on the military bases. I can’t imagine them telling anyone that anything but that statehood would be very good for the military – in fact they still have 6, 7 big bases and numerous smaller holdings in the state. Statehood would be good for the military. Now can you imagine the international uproar if American troops had all went and got their purple fingers in Iraq?

After Clark’s discussion of the American ‘occupying troops’ getting the right to vote on Alaska statehood, he goes on to say that Alaskans should have been able to vote to remain a territory, become a commonwealth, become a state or become an independent nation. In reality, voters were only given the option: Statehood? Yes or No.

Now, we get to the interesting part, just before 6:00 on the video.

“Our current governor, we mentioned at the last conference, the one we were hoping would get elected, Sarah Palin, did get elected. There’s a joke, she’s a pretty good looking gal, there’s a joke goes around we’re the coldest state with the hottest governor. (laughter) And there was a lot of talk about her moving up. She was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town — that was a non-partisan job. But to get along and go along — she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that. She also had about an 80% approval rating, and is pretty well sympathetic to her former membership.“

What Clark is saying here, is that Palin’s philosophical loyalties lie with the Alaska Independence Party, but in order to get elected, she had to distance herself from the AIP and pretend to be a Republican, because that was the only way for her to get elected. But not to worry, Clark reassures those in attendance, her heart is still with us at the AIP, and her sympathies are with our agenda, namely, Alaskan ndependence.

He goes on:

If there is ever a time that is right for change, this is it. [snip] The pitfalls of an organized political party – you don’t have any control over who joins that party. They put the X next to it on the registration form, and if they join the — go into the primary, and win that primary, they’re your candidate, like it or not. I think Ron Paul has kind of proven that. He’s a dyed -in-the-wool Libertarian. He came to Alaska and spoke as a Libertarian. And he put the Republican label on to get elected. That’s all there is to it. And any one of your organizations should be using that same tactic to infiltrate.

Palin claims to have been a member of the Republican Party since 1982. Clark is telling us that Palin ‘marked the Republican box”, but she isn’t one. He loves the fact that she got elected. He’s already dreaming about ripping one of those stars off the flag. And though Sarah Palin’s membership is not documented officially, there is no dispute that Todd Palin was a card-carrying member of the AIP as recently as 2002 when his wife was the mayor of Wasilla. After that, he decided to change his registration to “Unaffiliated.”

How does the rest of the country feel about the concept of Alaska secession, especially considering the strategic importance of the oil reserves in Alaska of which Governor Palin is so fond of reminding us? Works well for the nation of Alaska, but not so well for the truncated version of the United States of America it leaves behind.

I don’t think that the Alaskan Independence Party stands much of a chance of getting their wish of an independent Alaska. But, how can we allow Barack Obama’s patriotism and loyalty to his country to be challenged, without ever mentioning the fact that the woman who may be a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the United States, and her husband have legitimately condoned and supported a secessionist group?

And finally, here’s the quote of the day from AIP founder Joe Vogler.

“The fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government, and I won’t be buried under their damn flag! I’ll be buried in Dawson, and when Alaska is an independent nation, they can bring my bones home.”

Reverend Wright suddenly sounds stunningly patriotic.

Sarah Palin, meanwhile, is saying that the fact that Barack Obama served on the same non-profit board as Bill Ayers a Weather Underground member 40 years ago, “is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” She continued, “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” Palin said.

So, how does Sarah Palin “see Ameirca?” Does she see it as “so imperfect” that one of its 50 states needs to vote on whether it wants to secede from the Union? Should a political party in this state “target its own country,” and if successful, devastate energy reserves, and compromise the national security of the rest of the nation by taking its oil, and leaving? Maybe, maybe not. But you just watched her tell the group whose purpose it is to vote on that issue to “keep up the good work.”

If Senator Obama had made such an address to an Illinois secessionist party, or any other group who wanted to make off with 13% of the nations oil supply, what would be said about his patriotism?

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