Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I was really hoping stuff like this would wait until after the democratic primary

Hillary was caught clearly, clearly lying about her experiences in Yugoslavia but I’m not sure it will damage her campaign all that much. While this will invariably do a little long term damage to her I think she’ll still take PA and I think if Obama’s campaign sputters toward the end (which it very well might) she still has a good shot at the nomination.

BTW, check out the video, just playing this over and over again on TV would be a slam dunk campaign, I hope Giuliani challenges her in NY and uses it.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama's "Dean Scream"?

Say Howard Dean and most Americans will think back to that high-pitched "YeaAHah!!!" he boomed for all of West Des Moines, and indeed, the world, to hear. That was defiantly the moment his chance at the Democratic Nomination took a dive, but I don't believe that was the reason.

People didn't really like Dean all that much; his positions on many areas were bordering on communism, his supporters were creepy and potentially unreliable, he wanted to make national fights out of local issues, he probably wasn't all that viable in a race against a determined Republican president, he didn't know much about international relations and he came off as a bit of a jerk to a lot of people. Wow that was a long sentence, but those were the real, complex reasons behind Dean's downfall. The scream was just the moment, something undeniably tangible that people could easily point to rather than explain all those other reasons that Dean didn't sit well in their guts.

Obama gave a pretty good speech this week, maybe even a great speech. It told us what we should all already know - some ethnic groups in America don't get along all that well and there are sometimes legitimate reasons behind this ill will. Mr. Obama doesn't really have any particular solution for this problem but never the less honestly talking about race in America doesn't hurt anything. So why are people, particularly democrats, reacting to this speech badly? Some will say its racism but those people are silly, any objective analysis says Obama's racial makeup has decidedly aided his campaign. I think this was Obama's Dean Scream Moment.

Obama is in many ways a Democratic candidate flawed in the same ways (though not to the same extent) as Dean was. He has an army of young volunteers who while enthusiastic are often not only poorly informed but also not registered to vote and will probably be made mince meat of by the efficient RNC cadres. His positions are not just left of center, economically they're left of left of left. He has no foreign policy experience. He too is looking to make federal issues out of state decisions. Above all else the Obama campaign of propelled by a naive optimism that more and more democratic leaders are seeing could be less effective than the tried and true Clinton machine.

I thought Obama's speech was at worst empty rhetoric, certainly there was noting bad about it but this opinion is not shared by many influential democratic bellwethers.

After February 4th there was a long stretch when all that was in the news was this unprobable swath of Obama victories which built momentum and enthusiasm. But that is over now, the voters and the Democratic party have a month and a half to sit back and as if they really want a state senator from south Chicago to be running the most powerful nation mankind has ever seen.

Obama is still in this, but after this speech I predict a chilling effect. I think donations will slow, the media will be more critical, he will get rocked in Pennsylvania, Indiana will not look good for him.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Border

I have only seen the pilot, but in a huge let down it appears that The Border is nothing more than a politically correct version of 24. bbooooooooooooo Canada.

Monday, March 3, 2008

South America on the brink of war?

“Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast!” - Ron Burgundy

A bunch of Columbian soldiers were chasing FARC rebels near the Ecuadorian border and ended up straying over it. They claim it was an accident, but at the same time say they found documents linking Ecuador’s anti-American president with the terrorist group. Ecuador cut off relations, moved some armed forces into the region and called for the OAS to meet as would be expected after such an incident. And then BAM! Chavez makes his move!

Hugo also suspended diplomatic relations with Bogota and ordered his defense minister to move around 10,000 men along with tanks and jet fighters to his border with Columbia and threatened war. Chavez has called Uribe, the democratically elected president of Columbia, a liar and gangster while praising the recently killed FARC (read terrorist) leader Raul Reyes.

Chavez has spun what would have been an international dispute into a situation that could trigger war and he has done it coming to the aid of a terrorist organization. Chavez’s reforms inside Venezuela has led to sharp economic decline inside the country (including a food shortage) despite the recent rise in oil prices. Chavez knows his country is headed for domestic political turmoil and is trying to head it off by finding a foreign enemy, it is heavy handed and most people will see it for what it is. Let’s hope he doesn’t think a real war is necessary for him to stay in power.