Bush's Third Term

The key finding in the CBS NYTimes Poll is not the 6 point lead it shows for Barack Obama, 45-39. And it isn't the race relations stuff Adam Nagourney fixated on that has some of the blogs hopping mad (and apparently and foolishly, the Obama campaign.) The key findings come from Question 42, which asks "If John McCain were elected President, do you think he would generally continue George Bush's economic policies or not?" 63% of those polled said McCain would continue George Bush's economic policies. In that, they agree with John McCain, who also says he will continue George Bush's economic policies (he does not say those words literally, he just promises to continue policies that George Bush has implemented.)

The reason this is the key finding is found in the data produced in Question 14, which asks "do you approve or disapprove of the way George Bush is handling the economy?" 20% of Americans approve while 71% disapprove.

This ain't rocket science. The Obama campaign should know what to do - tie McCain to Bush. State ACCURATELY that John McCain will continue George W. Bush's policies. That he is running for George W. Bush's third term.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Aren't we really disappointed? (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by nellre on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:07:34 AM EST
    Shouldn't Obama be 15 points ahead? Or more?
    Democrats Maintain Significant Generic Presidential Ballot Lead .

    Yes he's our under achiever. (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:25:02 AM EST
    Negatives (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:30:37 AM EST
    Now that Clinton is out of the race and enthusiastically stumping for Obama, shouldn't some of those negatives go down?  How long is this unity thing going to take?

    Emma, there is a lot more to it (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:58:12 AM EST
    than the candidates.  The party is corrupt.  To knowingly "unite" with and support corrupt institutions is to be implicit in the corruption -- and to do nothing to force it to fix itself.  

    Well I agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:19:28 AM EST
    But I'm a little more involved in politics than most folks, I think.  (If not more informed </snark>)

    I sort of figured that regardless of how I feel about HRC and the primary, there would be a unity bounce when it was all done b/c everybody I know isn't as personally involved in this as I am.  There seems to be a collective shrug of the shoulders about DNC corruption, IME.


    What I'm hearing (5.00 / 4) (#118)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:41:43 AM EST
    from folks not really tuned in yet to the campaign is that they don't know the details, as us junkies do -- but they do know that something reeked about the way the primaries were conducted, more than the usual stink of politics.  

    Maybe that won't be enough to tamp down turnout.  But maybe it will.  

    Btw, these aren't Clinton voters, Obama voters, Kucinich voters, etc. -- just Dem voters.  So many were Bill Clinton voters, and they still bring up their bafflement that he could be accused of being racist.  What I hear ought to be really worrisome to the Dems: Well, if he can be accused of being racist, any of us could be next.

    Thus, the Obama campaign over-reactions to stuff like the New Yorker cover really ought to stop.  It's slipping back into a campaign about the candidate, not a campaign about the voters.


    This seems to be the problem (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by dianem on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:19:22 AM EST
    There seem to be two worlds out there. In one of them, the Obama world, Bill Clinton is a racist who tried to use Obama's skin shade to win the primary for Hillary Clinton and John McCain is a Bush redux. In the other world, the one populated by most Americans, Bill Clinton is legendary for 2 things: lying about sex and being so race-friendly that when he was called "the first black President" it seemed more amusing than ironic. In this world, McCain is a competent politician who is about as unlike Bush as any politician could be: he is detail oriented, involved in the political process, and quite competent, while Bush leaves the details to his underlings, doesn't read the newspapers, and seems to be a "nice guy" who is totally incompetent as President.

    As any gardener knows, it's a lot easier to plant seeds in a fresh bed than to pull out weeds and replace them. People are reluctant to give up their perceptions, and if Obama's campaign depends too much on changing what people believe, they will lose.


    There's also that other world, (1.00 / 1) (#177)
    by brodie on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:14:57 PM EST
    the Real World, where most Americans 1st or 2d thought about Bill Clinton's presidency involves not matters of racial solidarity with blacks but his 8 yrs of Peace and Prosperity --  especially, these days, the Prosperity part.  But thanks for your frank revealing of your Inner Republican with your backhanded double-slap of the best president this country has had in the past 45 yrs.

    As for McCain, sure just about anyone with a pulse is going to look more competent, detail oriented and involved in the process than Junior.  Possibly this group would include John McCain.  But the jury's still out on that one.  He's not exactly impressing people with his tendency to shoot hisself in the feets when he isn't reading from a teleprompter.

    But I did enjoy your closing para with the Chauncey Gardner homegrown political philosophy.  Thanks for the chuckle ...


    it wasn't a slap at Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:37:53 PM EST
    That's just Clinton's legend.

    Rasmussen sees things a little differently. (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by Shainzona on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:11:38 AM EST
    "Obama Leads Bush by Twenty, But Clinton Does Better Against McCain
    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Barack Obama says a vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush's third term, but a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that the Democratic hopeful would have a much easier time of it if he were actually running against the incumbent president this year......

    ......These numbers help explain why Election 2008 is competitive even though events so heavily favor the Democrats -- because the Republicans are on course to nominate their strongest possible general election candidate but the Democrats are not. Perhaps even more importantly, the data suggests that voters don't see a potential McCain Administration as the third term of President Bush...."

    Actually (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:16:45 AM EST
    that does not even make sense. Explain what you think Ras is saying there.

    That voters do not closely associate... (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Shainzona on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:26:26 AM EST
    a McCain presidency as a third Bush term.  I thought you were suggesting that they do, hence BO will win.

    But that's not what Rasmussen has found.

    McCain seems to have his own identity and BO is not the strongest candidate against that persona.


    Then Ras is making stuff up (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:35:51 AM EST
    He has no data that supports that statement.

    Maybe not (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by rdandrea on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:10:40 AM EST
    But it was very interesting to watch the Hart/Annenberg York, PA focus group when the participants were asked to characterize President Bush in one word.

    I believe only one or two responses were positive.  The rest of the participants characterized Bush in terms like "ineffective" or "incompetent."

    While it's hard to extrapolate from a single focus group, that was very enlightening to me.  The focus group participants seemed to associate the Bush administration's failures with the person, not the policies.  The failure of Bush's policies seems to have stuck only to Bush thus far.

    We readers of TL are a lot wonkier than most Real People.  We tend to think in terms of policies.  It's easy to forget that there are many, many so-called "average" voters out there who don't think that way.  It's much simpler for Real People to dismiss failed policies as the failures of a person.  That's much more black-and-white to many people.

    For "Bush 3" to be a winning issue for Obama, he's going to have to get average voters to think in terms of policies.  That's the job at hand, but it's going to be tough to do.  


    Very interesting point (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:17:11 AM EST
    It would some way to explaining why Obama's lead is weak.

    And that's especially hard ... (none / 0) (#115)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:37:13 AM EST
    because Obama doesn't like to talk about policies.

    Very perceptive -- I watched, too (none / 0) (#125)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:50:55 AM EST
    and didn't pick that up as a major point, until you mention it now.  There were several, as I recall, who didn't like the policies that took the country in the wrong direction, but they still liked Bush's personality or at least were uncomfortable with attacking a president.  

    This could explain a lot about the polls.  Obama being "not Bush" is not enough.  The focus on the opponent's personal characteristics instead of the issues worked in the primaries, but those are over.  For example, I really think that the ageist snipes at McCain, not from Obama that I know of but from his camp or supporters, ought to stop.  

    Treat his speeches, his policies, as if they were coming from a man in his 40s -- and go after McCain on the issues.  Treating a sitting Senator and former First Lady with disrespect was a turnoff, and treating another sitting Senator and war hero won't work any better.  It seems so Chicago-style to me -- where campaigns are so much about personalities, because everyone is a Dem with little differences on the issues.  


    a recent Rasmussen poll shows (none / 0) (#134)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:12:44 AM EST
    Clinton outperforming Obama against McCain.  

    thats a change (none / 0) (#136)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    I can believe in

    ABC News is also reporting (none / 0) (#155)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:50:21 AM EST
    some new poll results that shows the youth that plan to actually vote going down from the 60's into the 40's.  Not good news for Obama.

    no, it isn't. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:19:06 AM EST
    This ain't rocket science.

    however, having said that, it does require at least a fundamental grasp of basic economic theory, either by the candidate himself or one of his top advisors.

    it's apparent that neither candidate possesses such fundamental knowledge, and haven't acquired anyone on their top staff who does. the net result: two economic virgins, fumbling around in the dark.

    with mccain, this isn't at all surprising, i'd bet real money he can't balance his own checkbook, and he's publicly stated his disdain for economists.

    obama disappoints. with his education, he should at least have a basic grounding in the field. he seems totally baffled. he has to do better, or get more effective counsel.

    arguably (none / 0) (#18)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:24:29 AM EST
    we have recessions and bubbles because of colusion between economists and political scientists.  It's not hard to distain economic theorists.

    I don't see any difference (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:27:03 AM EST
    between Obama and McCain on the economy.  I'm not saying there aren't any.  I'm saying nobody's told me any.

    Here's where I've been told, by the campaigns, that there's a difference between McCain and Obama:

    Iraq.  But I don't believe anything anybody says about getting us out of Iraq, so I don't particularly care about this.  McCain won't get us out of Iraq?  Neither will Obama.  Neither would Clinton, btw.

    Women's rights.  I don't like or trust Obama on this issue, and feel confident that women's groups will mobilize against McCain in a way they won't against Obama.  And I think they'd need to against Obama on abortion.  

    Energy (due to recent ads in my area).  But Obama voted for the Bush energy bill so I'm not feeling the love here, either.

    That's what I've got.  Anybody else got any contrasty things they're getting from the campaign?

    If this is true (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:33:55 AM EST
    then you aren't paying any attention whatsoever.

    Taxes - Obama advocates repealing the Bush tax cuts. McCain advocates extending them and implementing further tax cuts.

    Iraq - Obama has a stated objective of getting the bulk of our troops out of Iraq within 16 months.  McCain believes that we MAY be able to withdraw troops within 5 years.  

    Iran - Obama advocates beginning a prudent dialog with Iran.  McCain is hostile and willing to attack Iran.

    Women's Rights - So you prefer an ardent pro-life President over an ardent pro-choice President in order to mobilize women's rights groups?  Why haven't these women's rights groups mobilized to deal with ardent pro-life Bush?

    Energy - A complicated and politically charged issue.  I don't think there is an easy answer to this question at this point.


    Contrast (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:48:20 AM EST
    Taxes.  Please explain to me how repealing the tax cuts is an economic plan?  Also, I haven't HEARD Obama saying this.  I've heard YOU saying it.  I get the strong impression that neither candidate knows or cares jacksh*t about the economy.  It's all about "leadership" and values and visions for a new future.  Not about an economic plan.  Rolling back the tax cuts does not equal an economic plan any more than keeping the tax cuts does.  They are equally opaque on this issue.

    Iraq.  I don't believe what anybody says.  Say it again, I still won't believe it.  Say it one more time:  out in 16 months, I still won't believe it.  Say it until you're blue in the face, I still won't believe it.  Here's what I DO believe:  nobody gets us out of Iraq.  Oh, and nobody's actually promised to get us out of Iraq, including Obama.  I have heard that much.

    And I've also heard Obama saying he's going to redeply troops to Afganistan to fight the "real war on terror".  Again, no contrast.  War on terror = war on terror no matter what country people get killed in, be it Iraq or Afghanistan.  Hey, Pat Tillman died in Afghanistan, not Iraq.

    Iran.  I've heard Obama talking about walking back his stance on talks with Iran with no preconditions.  Also, as with Iraq, I've heard no specifics about Iran.  I haven't heard contrast about Iran.  I've heard some weird stuff about "no preconditions" and then a lot of "refining" after that.

    Women's rights.  I do not trust Obama on women's rights or the SCt.  Full stop.  It's a non-starter for me and the McCain pro-life boogieman doesn't scare me any more than a born-again Christian -- which Obama is -- Democratic presidential candidate waffling on abortion and adopting right-wing talking points and framing on the issue.  YMMV.

    So.  You see contrast.  I see a broad sameness in areas like indifference to the economy, continuing the war on terror, opaqueness about actual goals re: Iran, and a level of comfort with right wing stances on abortion.


    Anyway (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:05:04 AM EST
    I started this out by saying I see Obama contrasting w/McCain on three issues, women's rights, Iraq, and energy.  But those contrasts don't matter to me b/c I don't believe or trust Obama on any of them.  Add Iraq to that list, too.  Maybe I'm an outlier, that's fine.

    I haven't really seen contrast on the economy.  Maybe I'm paying less attention than anybody here and/or less attention than the average voter.  That's fine too.

    If that's a valid explanation, then Obama's not doing anything wrong.  He's making the contrasts, I'm just atypically not seeing them or believing them.  If that's the explanation, that's fine.  If that's an excuse, then it could be a problem for Obama.


    It's your right (3.00 / 2) (#166)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:00:24 PM EST
    to not believe Obama on anything.

    If you don't think that tax policy is part of an economic plan then I suggest you take an Econ 101 class.  To help you out here is a primer on the subject.  Presidents are not economists.  They are political leaders who carry forth the policies of their economic advisers.  

    I once thought there was no difference between Al Gore and George Bush.  Obviously history has proven me emphatically wrong.

    You pretending there is no difference between the 2 candidates simply betray your own prejudice.


    I'm not (none / 0) (#181)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:19:59 PM EST
    pretending there is no difference.  Please stop insulting me.  I've been polite in my posting, even in the face of your insults.  Please be polite back and stop calling me names.

    Don't project your own... (none / 0) (#202)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:06:10 PM EST
    ...ignorance about the contemporary and historical differences between Gore and Bush onto other posters.

    Obama will spend most of his tax rises on defecit reduction and debt repayment.

    there will be no redistribution of wealth.


    the 1 was for (none / 0) (#204)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    assisting Bush into power in 2000 :-)

    Nobody's told you any? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:34:56 AM EST



    Well, look (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:39:41 AM EST
    I'm not always the most informed person in the world, that's true.  But I'm telling you what I have seen.  These are the contrasts I've seen being drawn by the campaigns:  Iraq, energy, women's rights/Sct.  

    So, you know, being sarcastic towards me isn't really going to change what I've seen or haven't seen.  Hey, I'm happy to cop to the charge that I haven't been really paying attention.  But I know that I've been paying MORE attention than most of the people around me.  

    So you can take what I've said as information or you can imply, as you have done, that I'm just stupidly not paying attention to what's "really" going on.  Whatev.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:41:51 AM EST
    Actually, I do think you have not been paying attention apparently but I also think Obama has not done a good enough job of contrasting and negative branding McCain as Bush's Third Term.

    Oh, I'm sorry (none / 0) (#48)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:44:01 AM EST
    My bad, then.  I read a tone in your post that clearly was not intended by you.  

    I apologize and agree with your point, which I was attempting to reinforce.


    Obama got away with (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:21:13 AM EST
    "go read my website" in the primaries when voters wanted policy details and/or plans.  I don't think he will be able to get away with that during the general election.

    I expect the candidate to be able to discuss his policy details with the voters.  And as we can surmise from you Emma, Obama isn't really doing a great job of that.

    My first thought during the primaries was that Obama didn't do it because he wasn't capable of it.  More recently, I have felt he didn't want to do it because he didn't want to be held accountable for any specifics he might say.


    he could also pick a fight with Bush (none / 0) (#187)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:40:16 PM EST
    That would be easy to do.  he could wade intot he PLame stuff and take Wilson's side.

    Well put. It's the candidate's task (none / 0) (#83)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:06:07 AM EST
    to make the differences on issues clear in this stage of the campaign, but I'm not seeing it much until this week.  Before that we have had waffling to the point that it seems more efficient to just wait 'til October or so to see what Obama decides are his final positions. :-)  

    And before that, it was about attacking on the basis of differences on anything but issues, much of the time, in the primary.  Obama's campaign excelled at attacking another Dem but does it poorly against a Republican.  Of course, many here said that the basis for the attacks on Clinton wouldn't work with a Republican, and it seems those commenters were correct.  


    Except that this week (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by dk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:08:12 AM EST
    while the rhetoric is one of contrast, the substance really isn't all that much.  To me, residual forces + at least 2 brigades in Afghanistan is not all that much different, substantively, than possibility of permanent bases in Iraq + 3 brigades in Afghanistan.

    Polls and Bush's third term (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:33:57 AM EST
    Ras has Obama up by 3 -- same as yesterday and within the 0-5 pts Obama has been hovering in for most of June and July -- and a high number of folks already think McCain will continue Bush's policies on the economy.

    Gallup's not up yet, but yesterday was Obama up by 3, in the same 0-5 pts range.

    So while the economy favors Dems generally, and often favors Obama, and most people already believe McCain is Bush3, then why aren't Obama's numbers rockin' it out of the ballpark?  Every poll I've seen this whole year has the economy as a very important concern for voters.  And Dems have been pushing the Bush3 theme for months.

    So to me, the Bush3 argument may be successful, but only mildly, and leaves Obama in a fairly precarious position without something else that will stun the public.  It's an argument already out there, it's not new, and yet doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.

    I would argue that (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:38:10 AM EST
    Obama has not consistently run the contrast campaign, the negative branding campaign, the Bush's Third Term campaign, that he needs to.

    Time to completely ditch the Unity Schtick.


    You (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:22:29 AM EST
    have inadvertantly pointed out why it isn't working for obama in a dramatic way yet.

    Under it all people can see that he is a broad continuation of  "centrism" and the Status Quo.

    He's not offered no bright contrast by design. And his willingness to do so is diminshing.


    I agree ... (4.00 / 1) (#124)
    by santarita on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:49:44 AM EST
    McCain seems to be running against his caricature of Obama and Obama is running against McCain as Bush Redux.  There are differences but the differences are all pretty much along traditional Republican/Democratic splits.  And to me that is a danger for Obama.  If he allows McCain to paint him as just the traditional weak on national security, hostile to business, and tax and spend Democrat, Obama will run into trouble.

    Exactly ... (3.50 / 2) (#121)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:47:29 AM EST
    he's running like an American Idol contestant, including the appeals to sympathy and guilt.

    He and his campaign clearly think this will be enough.  Maybe it will.

    But I have my doubts.


    I'd be thrilled if they dumped the Unity schtick (4.50 / 2) (#74)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:58:53 AM EST
    if you mean with Clinton.  Even she can't really help him, the whole Schmoonity thing was only because of how much she could hurt him by not playing.

    I think the Dems and Obama have been pretty darn consistent with Bush3.  The reason that hasn't helped Obama is that there's been no contrast aspect.  What IS Obama's plan for the economy? How will it get us out of this mess?  

    Most folks may want to get away from Bush's policies, but Obama hasn't yet given them anything to go to.  There's nothing for them to contrast to.


    Here's the thing... (none / 0) (#130)
    by cosbo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:06:34 AM EST
    McCain offers a comfort zone of being a nationally known candidate who has a history. A history that voters may not always agree with, but at least they know he's been around and has fought for his country. So they KNOW McCain and are probably pretty comfortable with him. McCain is in the comfort zone of most of the electorate who does not pay attention to politics. The same cannot be said for Obama. His time on the national stage has been too short and the more that people find out about him and his associations is the less they like and trust him.

    In Rummyspeak it goes something like this...

    Obama: Unknown Known Unknowable = the devil you don't know.

    McCain: Known Known Known = the devil you know.

    Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is an immense problem that I do not see Obama overcoming and in all likelihood will worsen as the election wears on and the dirt is piled on even more, but there you have it.

    Add in that McCain is probably going to last one term and people's comfort with him increase even more.


    I disagree on the (none / 0) (#158)
    by Grace on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:55:47 AM EST
    negative branding and the "Bush's Third Term" campaigns.  

    I'm sorry, but I always think that Obama sounds so negative and whiney when he speaks anymore.  He's spending far too much time "refining" his original thoughts and not enough time proposing new and different things.

    Meanwhile McCain comes across as the "scoldy old man" who has to correct Obama after he says anything.

    It's almost like a 1960s TV show:  Gramps and Little Oswald.

    "Why can't I Gramps?"

    "You're not old enough to know better, Oswald."

    "But Graaaaaaaammmps!"

    "Quit your whining, Oswald.  Let's go bomb Iran instead."        


    quick addition (none / 0) (#200)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    Gallup's got Obama up by 3, again, today.

    I think Obama will spend most of his ... (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:37:18 AM EST
    time in mock outrage over something or other.  That is when he's not flip-flopping.

    That seems to be the "winning course" he's charted so far.

    I haven't seen that much mock outrage from... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:53:09 AM EST
    ...Obama. Obama is always even keeled, almost to a fault IMHO. His campaign, and his "ardent" supporters on the blogs and in MSM, on the other hand are in perpetual outrage mode. Are they playing good cop, bad cop? I don't know.

    his camppaign (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:28:58 AM EST
    went into immediate outrage over the New Yorker cover.

    And he was pretty easily lampooned by Jon Stewart last night for it on TDS.

    Basically said that Obama should have said

    "I'm not worried about any cartoons depicting me as a muslim terrorist.  The people who worry about cartoons are Muslim terrorists"


    Good cop, bad cop (4.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Valhalla on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:10:21 AM EST
    will only really work if voters delineate clearly between a candidate and his surrogates.

    I don't think most do.  Only the zealous fanboys and fangirls and hyper-parsers do.  People only mildly paying attention hear Obama's flipping out again about race, only this time it's some mag cover the majority has barely heard of.  They're not chasing down the source of each flipping out remark.

    Maybe they wonder why he spends so much time on sillinesses like this when the economy's in the tank and it costs them a week's groceries to fill up their gas tank.


    It's all about the economy (none / 0) (#120)
    by stxabuela on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:42:50 AM EST
    With my less politically savvy friends.  Heck, my family meals are now nothing but casseroles 5 days out of 7--trading meat for gasoline.  

    The big fear politically for my friends is that it's just going to get worse and they've already cut every corner possible.  They see more of the Bush economics with McCain, but they see Obama as too inexperienced.  They don't hear Obama telling them what he plans to do to fix the economy.  

    People in the working-class world are scared.  I'm one of them.  


    As usual, Electoral College is all that matters (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Jim J on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:38:37 AM EST
    and Obama is doing well where he needs to, generally better than the national spread.

    No one except blogs is paying attention to politics right now. In the meantime Obama is opening field offices right and left and McCain is just going for free media.

    For example, Obama has six field offices in Indiana, McCain zero. As with the primaries, organization will tell this tale.

    I'm an HRC supporter, but we have to be objective here.

    Yep. (none / 0) (#58)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:49:23 AM EST
    To me, a lot of the handwringing over Obama's consistently slim lead recalls the near-panic among his supporters in November and December 2007, when his poll numbers were mediocre and static.  But the organization was out there, and once the voting started it had him flying high until Clinton regrouped.

    One of my buddies (none / 0) (#114)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:35:57 AM EST
    is a Democratic professional political op. He told me that in the last month the Obama campaign's hired tons of new people, and has been pretty disorganized and off message for that reason.

    Growing pains, and all that.

    Also, reading the polls at this point is like trying to predict next month's weather. We all know things are going to go through a gazillion permutations between now and November. And this race, I feel, is going to be all about the Endgame.


    Race will play a role in the numbers (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:46:35 AM EST
    I think there are many americans who subconsciouslly are very uncomfortable voting for a black guy.  I DON'T THINK THIS IS RACISM.  I think it is just imbred American prejudice.  I just don't see this race ever being that wide because of this fact PLUS this country is so evenly divided (among those that vote consistently).  

    The Black Medical students association at my school had someone come and talk to us about dealing with these unconscious negative racial views in terms of our own future practice. There wasn't much one could do, outside of making everyone feel EXTRA comfortable.

    This is not controversial and Obama can't change it during his campaign (though obviously him running and hopefully winning) will help destroy these unconscious perceptions.

    The way it will work (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:53:22 AM EST
    and you can quote me on this:

    Obama will tac rightward on evry issue of subsatnce in order to be the reassuring candidate of the status quo.

    or he loses.

    kiss reform goodbye.  He'll end up vetoing half the bills the dems pass in the Congress just to please his bosses.


    I hope not. (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Radix on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:41:15 AM EST
    Honestly, I think he could have won on a change platform. People are tired of the same ol', same ol'. He should have stuck to his guns. Personaly, I think this rightward shift is going to cost him, just as it did Kerry.

    that is exact.ly what I think (none / 0) (#70)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:56:21 AM EST
    if we are good soldiers and STFU for the first term we might get some crumbs tossed to us in the second.
    that would be the plan.

    Unfortunately history might show you are right (none / 0) (#87)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:08:55 AM EST
    That is what Clinton did (or I think was going to do) before he got cought up in that stupid Republican sex scandal thing.  Hopefully, if he can get a base that is large enough (or at least larger then Clinton's)  he can go off script.  The problem is there are so many people in this country that are afraid (not of anything in particular, but just afraid of everything).  And Republicans do such a good job of using and instilling more fear, that Dems (on the national level), have to often curtail their policies.  I just got to have hope (otherwise I can go practice medicine somewhere else)

    Also (none / 0) (#96)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:12:31 AM EST
    My dad had great theory on why they hated Clinton so much (and thus Obama as well).  Clinton didn't come from the same rich guy world that the Kerry's, Bushes, etc. have come from.  The powers that be hate "uppity" anybody, white or black that isn't supposed to be there.  Because he didn't come from this world, they felt they didn't have to respect him.

    you dad is a smart guy (none / 0) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:15:49 AM EST
    I agree completely

    I doubt we'll even get crumbs (none / 0) (#110)
    by americanincanada on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:33:21 AM EST
    in the first term.

    I fully believe that Obama will continue to tack right even after being elected, if (and that's a BIG if) he wins. I believe he will start running for reelection as soonas he is sworn in. running for office seems to be all he knows how to do. IMHO only.


    and mine (none / 0) (#113)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:35:23 AM EST
    Well. . . (none / 0) (#79)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:03:33 AM EST
    or he loses.

    If that's really the case, then our choice is getting half the bills signed into law or none.  And the fault lies where it generally does, with the voters who won't elect someone who run against the status quo.


    on the other hand (none / 0) (#84)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:06:08 AM EST
    if you believe the stories we will have a veto proof majority in the senate after the Obama magic.
    if true we can blame them.  whoever is in the oval office.

    This is part of a scenario ... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:10:57 AM EST
    ...where our candidate will have to bend over backward to be utterly conventional for the campaign, the first term and the second term.  Complete with constant reassurances and grovelling to the Broder's of the world.

    It seems like such a fundamentally missed moment really. After all the damage the GOP have done to themselves to have stuck ourselves with this limited possibility.


    That is ridiculous (none / 0) (#82)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:05:35 AM EST
    I get tired of the Manchurian Candidate smear, which is what this boils down to.  

    If Obama vetoes a single Democrat passed bill, I will be shocked.


    there is nothing particularly (none / 0) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:07:08 AM EST
    "Manchurian" about blind ambition.

    There is something sinister (none / 0) (#160)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:56:01 AM EST
    when you suggest that a Democratic President would be beholden to Republican "bosses".

    manchurain refers (none / 0) (#95)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:12:12 AM EST
    to a foreign government programming Obama.  I saw the Sinatra version.  Now that would be a revolution!

    its one of the few instances (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:18:29 AM EST
    where I think the new one was actually better.
    Meryl and Leive were great.
    altho the Sinatra one is a classic.

    "democrat"??? (none / 0) (#154)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:47:08 AM EST
    don't you mean "democratic"?

    Ugh (none / 0) (#157)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:54:58 AM EST
    No.  Democratic is an adjective.  Democrat is a noun.  

    ah you give yourself away! (none / 0) (#165)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:00:05 PM EST
    lol,  no true Democrat says Democrat.  It always needs the ic.

    Really? (none / 0) (#172)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:05:09 PM EST
    No true Democrat understands how to use the English language?

    You do understand the difference between a noun and adjective, right?

    Do you call yourself a Democratic, since it always needs an ic?

    This place needs better ankle biters.

    A little help on the use of the English language.

    Democrat Party - Wrong
    Democratic Party - Right
    The Democratics - Wrong
    The Democrats - Right.

    Glad I could be of service.


    hmmm... (none / 0) (#179)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:17:03 PM EST
    gee and I thought in the statement

    Democrat bill, that bill was the noun and democrat the adjective


    That would be true. . (none / 0) (#183)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:26:31 PM EST
    if that were the phrase that the commenter had used.  The phrase was actual "Democrat passed bill" which is perhaps awkward but in which "Democrat" is a noun.

    Thus i'd have said (none / 0) (#189)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:43:02 PM EST
    Democratic bill.   But I was only ribbing the poor fellow.  Poor fellow.

    Flyerhawk is a pedant (none / 0) (#191)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:43:50 PM EST
    and he's getting a dose of it back.

    grow a sense of humour (none / 0) (#188)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:42:19 PM EST
    you are being ribbed.

    No. . . (none / 0) (#162)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:57:58 AM EST
    Democrat-passed bill is correct in this context, I think.

    a damned close shave though (none / 0) (#169)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:03:33 PM EST
    I'd have said Democratic bill.  it's shorter and the capitalized D indicates that it's the party not the concept.

    That was ever so close to a republican formulation.

    Well, Flyerhawk is correct to a limited extent. Any bill passed in the House that is liberal or leftwing like the Single Payer bill from Conyers and Kucinch will simply get killed off by obama's henchmen in the Senate.  Like Kerry said UHC DOA.


    Can't speak for anyone else, but (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:48:43 AM EST
    if I were Obama, I would not be all that excited about some of these numbers.  

    There's still a high undecided - the total of Won't Vote, Depends and Don't Know is 14%.  

    The percentage of those who say it is too early for them to have made up their minds is 28%.  

    53% say Obama has changed his positions - and 41% say that makes them feel worse about him.  

    The percentage of people who think he can bring real change is down from 70% in February to 58%.  

    McCain's numbers aren't that great either, and the kicker for me is that 47% would like choices other than these two nominees.  47%.  That is huge, isn't it?  

    It will be interesting to watch some of these numbers, that's for sure.

    One area that stood out for me was that Hillary Clinton has higher favorable ratings among Blacks than she does among Whites - and overall her numbers are up from where they were in the heat of primary season.

    My husband says wait until people get in the (none / 0) (#131)
    by Angel on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:07:34 AM EST
    voting booth and they'll be scared to vote for obama.  They tell the pollsters one thing but will do another when it comes right down to it.  They'll go with McCain's experience, especially if we have a faux terror thing, rather than hope and change.  His inexperience will be his downfall.

    The latest jibjab is a clue of where (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by cosbo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:43:36 PM EST
    this is going...worth a chuckle or 2.



    It is foolish because (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:11:59 AM EST
    No one cared about Adam Nagourney's article which is pretty vacuous anyway and now it will be a topic of discussion BECAUSE the Obama campaign has decided to highlight it.

    One thing to learn from the Bill Clinton campaign of 1992 - one story a day.

    I would have picked the economic poll data I highlighted.

    But if you like, they could have picked their call on McCain's flip flop on Afghanistan.

    I predict the race issue, thanks in large part to the Obama campaign's reaction, becomes the political process story of the day.

    Given the Obama campaign's public (none / 0) (#139)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:20:06 AM EST
    reaction to (1)Bill Clinton's fairy tale remark, (2)Bob Johnson's intro of Hillary Clinton, and (3) distribution of photo of Sen. Obama in native garb of Kenya (?), don't you think the Obama campaign sees some merit in keeping the "racist" meme alive?

    clearly they do (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:24:28 AM EST
    the 64,000 dollar question is, are they correct.
    IMO they are not.

    I suspect it is part of their strategy (none / 0) (#142)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:28:48 AM EST
    Get the race thing out there early, hit it over and over, so that by the time the crucial endgame stage arrives, it's already been hashed to death and won't be in the news cycle. Or on the voters' minds when they close the curtains in the polling booth.

    two schools of thought. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:43:05 AM EST
    Obama might over  use it. Or it's an inexhaustable strength for him.

    Which is more likely?


    Well Duh (4.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kaleidescope on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:15:10 AM EST
    I was flabbergasted to see that David Sirota was promoting a clip of himself on Faux News sticking it to a McCain-bot on precisely this issue.  It was pretty funny to have the McCain-bot go on about all the tax cuts and deregulation McCain will continue, and then get totally flustered when Sirota pointed out to her that she was saying McCain will continue with Bush's [failed] economic policies.

    McCain has painted himself into a corner on this one and all the Obama campaign will have to do is stand there and whack him with it.  

    People are flipping out about the economy, especially older voters who remember the Great Depression or who had heard their parents talk about how horrible it was.

    Good for Sirota (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:17:57 AM EST
    Too bad (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:30:55 AM EST
    Wrong messenger.

    With Sirota in Obama's corner, I feel like voting for McCain.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 08:58:42 AM EST
    I wouldn't overly rely on the slogan "Bush's Third Term" because it offers McCain the immediate opportunity to distance himself from Bush.  

    But I would continue to tie McCain to Bush at every opportunity.

    An effective way to do this would be for Obama and/or surrogates to occasionally say "Bush" when they mean "McCain".  For instance "Senator Bush's plan for the economy -- excuse me, I meant Senator McCain -- will just be more of the same old failed policies we've already seen".  If Obama were to slip this in several times during a debate I think you might see McCain in one of his famous meltdowns on stage.

    So you are doing political consulting now? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:00:07 AM EST
    Glass houses.

    I am. (none / 0) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:13:01 AM EST
    And my advice always starts with "Don't listen to a thing I say".

    Is your "glass house" comment intended to indicate I ought not be engaging in tactical political debate, or that Obama ought not to use the tactic I describe because he's particularly vulnerable to having his name swapped out for someone else's?  Are you thinking of someone else with a one-character difference in name?


    Naw (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:17:24 AM EST
    Just knocking you off your high horse.

    My horse. . . (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:31:18 AM EST
    never inhaled.

    That's good one. (none / 0) (#76)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:00:42 AM EST
    Obama should goad McCain into a melt down.  Although, McCain is fairly good at needling people too. he got under Huckerbee and Romney's er skin quite afew times in various debates.

    Also we've seen that Obama will not say anything bad directly about Mccain's service.  So McCain will likely tempt Obama out onto that territory (with an assist from the moderator) and ambush him somehow.  Some combination of experience and patriotism as embodied by the broken body of McCain.  One mistake from Obama and the media will pounce on him like they did with General Clark.


    right after finish of primaries (none / 0) (#145)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:34:38 AM EST
    the Obama camp was floating the idea that they would be referring to McCain and as "John W McCain" until they were reminded that they themselves complained mightily when pols used Barack's middle name as a political tactic.  That's when they changed to McBush.  Which I don't really see any difference.  Obama (or the dems) are still doing to McCain what they complained so much about when it happened to Osama, err I mean Obama.

    You see no difference. . . (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:52:15 AM EST
    between comparing McCain to the incumbent of his party whose policies he's seeking to perpetuate and comparing Obama to a stone cold terrorist mass-murderer?



    which on e is the mass murderer? (none / 0) (#192)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:45:09 PM EST
    In pure body count that is.

    comparing someone to another person (none / 0) (#199)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:01:06 PM EST
    is still comparing someone to another person.  Are you saying we need to set up a list of names we can use in comparisons and a list we cannot?

    This sounds dangerously close to the crap from the primaries where if you discussed Obama's "youthful" drug use you were a racist.  But, when we discussed the "youthful" alcohol and drug use of previous white presidential canidates like Clinton in 92 and Bush in 2000 it was perfectly fine.

    There seems to be an entirely different set of rules for talking about Obama than for any other candidate.


    Certainly. (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:06:40 PM EST
    Are you saying we need to set up a list of names we can use in comparisons and a list we cannot?

    Are you suggesting that because it's not okay to compare someone to a lunatic international terrorist that it therefore not okay to compare anyone to anyone else?

    For instance, you can compare me to Steve M, BTD, or Salo in order to compare and contrast our positions but you can't compare me to Adolf Hitler.  Or rather, you can but I imagine you'd get banned, or at least warned.  That's because the first set of comparisons is relevant while the last one is out of bounds.

    I don't see even a glimmer of a point in your position.


    There's a wrinkle in this (none / 0) (#14)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:19:30 AM EST
    Obama is also trying to make sure he's also a seamless transition from Bush as well. One of the subtexts of the 2000 Bush election (which Obama is clearly imitating ) is that bush was the continuation of Clinton minus the sex.

    Obama has repeatedly positioned himself as Bush without the dumb.  There's only so much utility in having Mccain be the safe pair of familiar hands.  


    You do not really believe that (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:21:10 AM EST
    do you?

    I've seen a number of things (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    in Obama's recent shift to the right that remind me of the Bush 2000 campaign.  I'm not sure they are policy shifts yet, but they are the same vague rhetorical reassurances to liberals and centrists. The Compassionate Conservative, Reformer with Results etc placards and some of Bush's waffling on abortion immediatly spring out. You also have the strange media fascination that both candidates enjoy.  That inexplicable undefinable but real media support bugs the crap out of me.

    Also the winner of the election will be balancing out the need for continuity and the desire for revolution. That's a banal point to make. surely you can't disagree with that unlying point about the natural fear and desire for change that exists in most people's politics?


    it was a conscience move by Bush in 2000 (none / 0) (#147)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:37:46 AM EST
    to just not talk about abortion so as to avoid the conflict and to avoid scaring the indies.  He got away with it because he had already assured the far right with a wink and nod that even though he wasn't talking about it openly, he was "one of them".

    Obama is taking the same turn now as recent reports indicate that he is going to NOT emphasize abortion.


    You'd be surprised (none / 0) (#33)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:34:48 AM EST
    what some people actually believe.

    nope (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:41:26 AM EST
    not any more

    It's more an observation (none / 0) (#55)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:46:57 AM EST
    There is no reliance on believing it. Or faith for that matter.

    The point is a simple one. Every voter desires continuity and change all at the same time. Obama will perform a balancing act between those two desires--or he loses.

    A real change would be some form of overhaul of the health system for instance. Obama's behaviour in the primary against Clinton on that issue proves that he's relying on "harry and louise" style fear of changing that system. If she had been for Single Payer he'd have attacked that plan too. FISA offers another example of that desire to offer continuity with cuurent policy.

    there is a real reason why right wing pundits loved him early on (including David Broder.) He was seen as a nonideological centrist. Which amounts to being Status Quo.


    OK, fine -- American politics is incremental. (none / 0) (#69)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:55:51 AM EST
    No argument there.

    And this makes Obama a not-dumb Bush... how?  Your (apparent) argument that we're going to see ideological continuity in the Oval Office, regardless of whom we elect, is just nonsense.  The Naderites said that in 2000, you may recall.


    Yeah you are going to see ideological continuity (none / 0) (#77)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:02:23 AM EST
    he's not even proposing to shift American domestic policy to be in line with European conservatives.  And then you have Status Quo votes like FISA.

    Mm hmm. (none / 0) (#91)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:10:45 AM EST
    Just like President Gore would have been roughly identical to President Bush.  You and the Naderites sure are smart.

    No (none / 0) (#102)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:18:57 AM EST
    Gore won. He'd have been a rough continuation of Clinton. He failed to some extent to bottel Bill's positives and mistimed some of his breaks with Clinton.  9/11 may or may not have been a success, and he'd probably not have invaded Iraq. Although he might have lost in 2004 and the GOP winner would have invaded anyway.

    I'm not a Naderite.  I've never taken him seriiously.  He falls into the same category as Kucinich--Pretent lefties.  They have no muscle or nerve.


    You're cut from the same cloth, it seems. (none / 0) (#108)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:26:11 AM EST
    If you're unable to see the ideological differences (taxes, energy, foreign policy, environment, the whole laundry list) between Obama and Bush/McCain, then your black and white thinking is quite analogous to those who saw Gore and Bush as two sides of the same coin in 2000.  They were talking nonsense, and so are you.

    Not at all (none / 0) (#146)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:37:27 AM EST
    I wouldn't vote for a third party.  Waste of time. You have no argument.  All you have are loyalty tests.

    No, I have your own words (none / 0) (#163)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:59:06 AM EST
    demonstrating that you're unable to grasp the ideological differences between Obama and Bush.  That's not a loyalty test, it's just an observation.  

    Although I'll say that your thinking is similar to the flawed thinking that leads to third-party voting. ("Obama's to my right, therefore he's no different than Bush", etc.)


    My heavens, what a pedant. (none / 0) (#193)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:48:25 PM EST
    In the end you are taking about the generic differences between the party groups.

    Yeah, Obama is a Democratic candidate and McCain is a Republican.   they are both constrained on certain litmus issues and world views of their differing constituencies.

    In the end though, Obama will be increasingly likely to offer a seamless transition from Bush.  You don't seem to be able to observe reality a sit happens.


    Finally! (none / 0) (#198)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:59:27 PM EST
    Yeah, Obama is a Democratic candidate and McCain is a Republican.   they are both constrained on certain litmus issues and world views of their differing constituencies.

    i.e. "yes, I was wrong, there's an ideological difference between Obama and Bush, and they are likely to enact different policies."

    Boy, that was grudging, LOL.  Oh well.  In the end, I could care less how "seamless" it is or isn't (whatever it is you actually mean by that; you don't seem able to state it with any clarity), as long as policy changes and the center is redefined at least somewhat.


    Would those ideological (none / 0) (#168)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:03:27 PM EST
    differences be the ones Obama expressed when he ran against UHC in the primary, voted for Bush's energy bill, voted against capping interest rates at 30%, voted for the FISA bill and telecom immunity, adopted right wing framing of abortion rights, promised to expand faith based initiatives, backtracked on getting out of Iraq, or promised to continue the war on terror.

    LOL. (none / 0) (#180)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:17:34 PM EST
    Are you serious?  You can't be, really.  Here are the differences:

    Taxes: Obama will raise them on the upper bracket, Bush/McCain will cut them even further.

    Health care: Obama's program isn't as good as I'd like, but it's waaay further left than the non-plan McCain is offering (to say nothing of Bush's inaction).

    Energy: Obama's proposing massive federal investment into alternative energy R&D, McCain is proposing drilling for more oil.

    FISA/interest rate caps: Yeah, those were awful votes.  OK.

    Abortion: Obama has a 100% pro-choice record, the support of women's advocacy groups across the country, and will appoint judges who respect the precedence of Roe.  Saying there's no difference between him and Bush/McCain there is just nonsense.

    Faith-based initiatives: These existed starting with Bill Clinton.  Obama wants to return the way they're administered to the Clinton standard.

    Iraq: Obama hasn't backtracked (that's simply a falsehood) on his plan to withdraw 2 brigades a month over 16 months.  Bush and McCain want to stay indefinitely.

    War on terror: Not pursuing al Qaeda is not a credible position.  No major candidate was advocating disengagement on that front.


    Hey (none / 0) (#184)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:32:53 PM EST
    I'm not saying there are no differences.  I'm saying Obama's words and actions make me doubt his commitment to those differences and that those differences are as sharply defined as people are describing to me.

    For example, yes, he SAYS he's pro-choice, he's voted pro-choice in the past, BUT his current tactic re: abortion is adopting right wing framing that is part of the strategy of rolling back abortion rights.  That worries me.  It doesn't worry you.  Okay.  But YOU telling me I shouldn't be worried about it doesn't make me not worried about it.  A clear, consistent message and tactic from Obama would do that.  I haven't gotten one.

    Same on energy, he SAYS he's for alternative energy funding, but he also voted for Bush's energy bill which sent a lot of money to the oil companies and he's for expanding nuclear energy.  So, I'm not reassured.  And I don't see getting around drilling for more oil no matter who the president is.  Does Obama?

    Rescinding the tax cuts.  I'm all for that.  But I still don't see a distinction between McCain and Obama on an overall economic plan and knowledge about the economy.

    Health care?  Obama says he's for health care reform but he ran against necessary reform (mandates) to create a (false) political talking point against Clinton.  So, the real difference between his plan and McCain's plan is meaningless to me b/c I don't see a real commitment on this from Obama b/c of what he did in the primary.

    War on terror.  You concede there is no real difference.  Just in where that war will take place.  Correct?


    If you don't believe he's sincere, (none / 0) (#186)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:39:56 PM EST
    that's one thing.  It's another thing altogether to deny that the differences exist on paper.  I'm only concerned with the latter, so I'll just say that it's less than rational to think that a pol would run on a platform of pure lies.

    Upper income taxation... (none / 0) (#194)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:53:20 PM EST
    ...mainly on Social Security or even income tax (although most people that earn above $250,000 fiddle it with share payment and other forms of expenses and payment) isn't really much of an ideological difference.  It's a percentages game.

    You wouldn't catch Obama talk about the redistribution of Wealth anyway.  Most of the tax increases will end up paying off Treasury dividends and military campaigns.  It will not reach into the pockets of the poor and struggling.
    You are selling a ficsal policy that is percentages as some sort of revolution.  It's just paying the bloody bills.


    More nonsense from you. (none / 0) (#201)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:05:47 PM EST
    When did I say anything about a revolution?  Progressive vs. regressive taxation is not a debate that will lead to great upheavals, but it does reflect clearly opposing ideologies about how a political society should pay for itself, and how much it should be able to pay for in the first place.

    Just because the differences aren't big enough for Salo's taste doesn't mean they don't exist or matter.


    Pure lies? (none / 0) (#195)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:53:57 PM EST
    I don't think Obama's running on pure lies.

    For example, I think Obama is telling the truth about what he thinks when he adopts right wing frames about abortion.  I think he's telling the truth when he says he believes Roberts is a moderate and that he wanted to vote for him.  And, if Obama fails to vigorously protect choice or appoints a Roberts-style-moderate to the SCt he'll be able to say "hey, you just weren't listening to me."

    For another example, one can be for expanding funding for alternative energy and all about the oil.  As Obama's vote on the Bush energy bill proved.  I mean, isn't that why he voted for it, b/c it gave money to alternative energy?

    And, as long as his health care plan -- whatever it turns out to be -- doesn't have mandates, well he was telling the truth all along.  He's against mandates.


    I think you're on to something (none / 0) (#119)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:42:41 AM EST
    And it explains some anecdotal evidence I've been puzzling over. I was shocked to find out the other day that my kid sister and her husband, both solid suburban Bush supporters, are now firmly in the Obama camp. They aren't particularly issues-oriented or political people...they love status quo. They think Obama's smarter than McCain, because he gives better speeches. And they haven't heard Obama say anything that rocks their very middle of the road worldview.

    I think there is something to this. (none / 0) (#137)
    by dk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:17:03 AM EST
    There has been a lot of talk about Obama's campaign being Clinton '92 redux.  But think a case could be made that there is also something of Bush '00 redux in Obama's campaign as well.

    Bush campaigned on rejection of the supposed moral decline of the country (Lewinsky) + Compassionate Conservatism.  Obama is campaigning on rejection of the moral decline of the country + Compassionate Conservatism (Faith based charities, more abortion restrictions, etc.).

    Yes, many of Obama's website positions are to the left of what Bush was offering in 2000, but for the suburban Bush supporters MsExPat is referring to, and they do exist, that's not what is appealing to them about Obama.


    My political consulting (none / 0) (#104)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:22:14 AM EST
    It's not just Bush that failed, it's all the Republican policies that we have been stuck with.   Obama with all the change and bipartisanship is not creating enough of a contrast.  Change to what?  Change from the Republicans, not something "new and untested".  Voters don't want the Republicans.  

    A given (none / 0) (#4)
    by Lora on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:08:36 AM EST
    That he is running for George W. Bush's third term.

    This is a given.  It's what the neocons want.  They don't care what the public wants.  They'll do anything to win.

    Including infecting the dems with Neoconservative (none / 0) (#15)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:20:23 AM EST
    theories about noble lies.

    I don't even think the neocons want.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:54:48 AM EST
    ...a 3rd Bush term at this point.

    Hasn't Obama been doing just (none / 0) (#6)
    by zfran on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:12:42 AM EST
    what you propose? Hasn't he been doing it all along? I think that some of Obama's rhetoric is more like GWB, and some of McCain's are as well.
    They are both not particularly running away from some of GWB's 8 (ugh) years.

    Not all the time (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:15:56 AM EST
    Indeed, the two weeks prior, the "move to the middle phase, they did not do it at all.

    And today, instead of focusing on the findings I highlight, the Obama campaign issued a long release on the race issues.

    Indeed, I think they are having a bad day so far when they should be having a big day.


    It is a little surprising. (4.00 / 1) (#80)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:03:36 AM EST
    Obama has been polling pretty well, but the campaign hardly ever seems to talk about that.  I wonder why?

    There's some indications that Obama (none / 0) (#17)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:22:41 AM EST
    is attempting to offer a seamless transition from Bush to himself.  Also Obama is attempting to appear familiar and be a safe bet himself.

    Obama is to some extent seeling himself as Bush without the dumbness.


    I do not believe that (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:25:58 AM EST
    If Obama is all about "revolution" (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:39:18 AM EST
    in either the colloquial or technical meaning of the word--he's not going to win.

    His platform of bipartisan unity indicates that he's planning to spend Sept Oct and Nov reassuring voters he's not much of a revolution after all. See the debacle about the New Yorker. Anything at all that makes him look like an outsider is decried immediately now.  They are even dampening down Shep Ferry's images because they look a bit too much like 1920s agit prop for general election voters.


    He's just a pol (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:43:35 AM EST
    Nothing revolutionary or transformative, other than the very important breakthrough regarding his race.

    That is the revolution. Nothing else about Obama is even mildly unconventional.


    personally I think his (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:49:45 AM EST
    ID prevents him from ever offering a real set of reforms.

    It's sad that the left got suckered in.  We were on the brink of getting something like a European style social democrat.  Yet of course the very voters who consider themselves to be scoail democrats voted for a man who stands somewhere to the right of David Cameron on social policy.


    The sad fact is ... (none / 0) (#106)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:22:54 AM EST
    many American "leftists," especially in the blogosphere, couldn't care less about progressive social policy.

    The revolution of his race (4.66 / 3) (#127)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:53:31 AM EST
    is the very thing that ties his hands. He can't be a real progressive because in order to win the election he needs to be constantly reassuring the electorate that he's "one of them", and not some stealth Black Panther.

    Sure, having a racially mixed person as president is a milestone in U.S. history. But it is mainly a symbolic one, and it's exacting a huge price, which is a candidate who is guaranteed to avoid bold moves, brave and principled stands, and anything (including advocacy for Black issues) that upsets the conventional applecart.

    At this moment in time, we can't afford the luxury of symbolism.  


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:40:20 AM EST
    that his race is determinative of his choice not to be as progressive as he could be.  I don't think there's some reason that he "can't" be more gung-ho and comprehensive with universal health-care.  I don't think there's some reason that he just couldn't vote against FISA.

    It may affect his tactics but it's not much of an excuse on policy.


    Not saying it's an excuse (none / 0) (#171)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:04:59 PM EST
    Indeed, I think it is inexcusable.

    But it is part of who Obama is, as a politician. As the Ryan Lizza New Yorker article chronicles, Obama's strategy from the beginning of his career has been about making himself into the black candidate that white people need not fear.

    His race doesn't determine his policy--he's made the choice to package himself that way.


    Ahhh, you know what the (none / 0) (#63)
    by zfran on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:52:43 AM EST
    "revolution" is, I know, but the average joe voter doesn't and that's the way Obama wants it. He wants people to think he's the "messiah" and all wishes will be fulfilled and transformed. Follow me, I am him!@ Personally, I agree more with your philosophies (of the ones I know from here) BTD than Obama's. Perhaps that's blasphemy, but it is truth to me.

    I disagree. . . (none / 0) (#75)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:59:39 AM EST
    it goes beyond his race.  He's also the first-generation child of a foreigner (not even an immigrant), he has a non-British name, he is of non-Christian descent, and he has an unusual profile (one-term Senator) for an actual party nominee.  All these are pushing the envelope.

    Policy-wise he's pretty centrist but even there, given the whacked out climate we live in, some of his positions (like engaging in diplomacy with Iran, etc) are pushing the boundary of acceptable political speech.


    Eisenhower (none / 0) (#81)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:05:14 AM EST
    was not a Brit name.  But I get your point.

    I just don't see that as being a significant thing though. It's ultimately very meaningless in my life and finances or that of my wider family and friends.

    Also he's backed off the Iran pledge after he didn't need to pnader to liberals in a primary.


    He reiterated his position re: Iran (none / 0) (#86)
    by Pegasus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:08:03 AM EST
    just yesterday -- he'd talk with Iran's leader without preconditions.  Been paying attention?

    paying attention??? (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:42:50 AM EST
    as often as these things change....I'd have to be following him around and listening to him 24/7 to keep up with the current position on anything.

    not for a few days (none / 0) (#98)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:14:45 AM EST
    I thought ghe'd backed off of that stuff and simply renamed preconditions as benchmarks.

    Wonder what he'd say if Israel bomb them before November?


    July and August (none / 0) (#107)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:26:07 AM EST
    don't launch new products.

    He Hedged a Little on Iran... (none / 0) (#135)
    by santarita on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:15:55 AM EST
    yesterday.  He said that he would meet with the appropriate leader in Iran after the usual diplomatic protocols were followed.  He also continued the saber-rattling against Iran in terms of its nuclear weapons development and in terms of Iran's bellicosity towards Israel.  I think his notion of meeting with Iran's leader initially was  really a way of signalling a break from Bush's position that we don't talk to enemies.  Unfortunately, Obama has got caught defending the minutiae and not the overall conceptual break.  The opposite of Bush's ideology is not necessarily meeting with the Iran's leader for the sake of meeting.

    Nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:40:49 AM EST
    The opposite of Bush's ideology is not necessarily meeting with the Iran's leader for the sake of meeting.

    For the sake of meeting? How casual and quaint a repackaging job you have done on Obama's 180 degree shift from BushCo position.

    We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business.

    "Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, in unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel 'a stinking corpse,' and arms terrorists who kill Americans, will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. It is reckless. It is reckless to suggest that unconditional neetings will advance our interests."

    Obama said McCain had a "naive and irresponsible belief that tough talk from Washington will somehow cause Iran to give up its nuclear program and support for terrorism."


    Meeting with reporters, he argued that tough-minded diplomacy and engagement with rivals have long coexisted, citing the foreign policies of former Presidents Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan.

    "That has been the history of U.S. diplomacy until very recently," Obama said. "I find it puzzling that we view this as in any way controversial. This whole notion of not talking to people, it didn't hold in the '60s, it didn't hold in the '70s ... When Kennedy met with (Soviet leader Nikita) Khrushchev, we were on the brink of nuclear war."

    McCain said there was a "huge difference" between his own statements and Obama's willingness to negotiate with "sponsors of terrorist organizations."



    it probably would accomplish nothing (none / 0) (#196)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:55:35 PM EST
    The Iranians would have demands we wouldn't even want to meet.

    The American delegation would huff and puff and walk off immediately.


    Now Bush is meeting with Iran (none / 0) (#144)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:34:33 AM EST
    What about this:  Policy Shift Seen in U.S. Decision on Iran Talks.  Looks like Bush is going back to the table with Iran, without precondition that it ends uranium enrichment.

    The decision by the Bush administration to send a senior American official to participate in international talks with Iran this weekend reflects a double policy shift in the struggle to resolve the impasse over the country's nuclear program.

    First, the Bush administration has decided to abandon its longstanding position that it will only meet face-to-face with Iran after it first suspends uranium enrichment as demanded by the United Nations Security Council.

    Second, it infuses the negotiating track between Iran on the one side and the six global powers -- France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the United States -- on the other with new importance, even though their official stance is that no substantive talks can begin until the uranium enrichment stops.

    Compare and contrast, please.


    Obama Is Defining The Center (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:04:19 PM EST
    And making McSame/McBush move to the left. BushCo are starting to look like a bunch of marionettes.

    All well and good (none / 0) (#175)
    by Emma on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:09:02 PM EST
    I'm happy any time anybody moves left and I've always thought we should be talking to Iran.

    But does it impede the Obama/McCain contrast strategy and allow McCain to avoid flip-flopping on Iran while emphasizing Obama's "no preconditions" gaffe and inexperience?


    No (none / 0) (#176)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:11:25 PM EST
    It is a political plum for Obama.

    That depeds on the (none / 0) (#197)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:58:52 PM EST
    demands and preconditions that iran and the US are willing to meet.   Indeed if the Iranians conceed a few things here and there before any sunmmit Bush will point to the invasion of Iraq being instrumental in leveraging concessions from Iran on nuclear testing.

    No one has actuallty said they refuse to talk to Iran.  And if Bush signs some accord with them, that's his accord.

    And if Israel bomb Iran there's virtually no chance that obama will keep to his "no preconditions" story.


    That 63% could very easily be (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:29:28 AM EST
    the 30 percent on the left and the 30 percent on the right.

    The 40 percent in the middle may still decide the election.

    Um (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:34:29 AM EST
    You do not really believe that I know.

    I think it is quite possible (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:36:02 AM EST
    That there is a large group of people in this country who want a Bush third term.

    Isn't there a 30 percent who thinks he's doing a good job?

    So the question is back to you, do you assume all of the 63% is a vote against McCain?


    Of course not all (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:39:12 AM EST
    But your thesis is that only those already committed to Obama or McCain believe it.

    I know you do not believe that.


    my thesis is (none / 0) (#72)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:58:09 AM EST
    how much?

    I find that exceedingly unlikely (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:38:17 AM EST
    but the NYT should release crosstabs for that question.

    you pretty much (none / 0) (#78)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:02:53 AM EST
    have to figure out how much of that 63% is made up of people who literally want a bush third term.

    I would say if the poll was a good cross section of America, then I would say 25% of the people who responded think a bush third term would be a good thing.


    While I completely agree (none / 0) (#28)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:31:47 AM EST
    that this is a home run issue for Obama, I do believe that he has to be careful over-using it this early.

    If I were running his campaign I would want to keep the connection between McCain and Bush simmering but not make it a campaign point until after the convention.   Then again if I were running his campaign he would be a city clerk.

    Now is the time to find which memes have resonance with the public.  Take the ones that do and hammer McCain in the fall on them.

    Why? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:33:40 AM EST
    I'm curious why you would want to wait. You just assert what you would do. I am curious WHY you would do that.

    Because I believe (none / 0) (#49)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:45:12 AM EST
    that voters become desensitized to labels if overused.  This is especially true right now when politics isn't in the forefront of people's minds.

    Politics is advertising.  


    Desensitized? (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:46:23 AM EST
    I do not believe that. I think by repetition, they come to accept it.

    Message Repetition is critical (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by Salo on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:51:16 AM EST
    Bush taught me that lesson in 2000.  

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#62)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:51:29 AM EST
    different philosophies on the subject.

    As I have said for the past couple of weeks, I think this is a very dead time for politics.  Other than junkies like us, no one is paying attention.  They are busy enjoying the summer.


    you are absolutely correct (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:54:39 AM EST
    which is why you have seen no 527 ads or any of the other stuff you will see after labor day.
    starting about then it is going to come down so hard Obama is going to need a hat.

    That is probably true. (none / 0) (#94)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    But that doesn't mean they will have any impact.

    Attack ads weren't invented by 527s.  They have been around since the beginning of the Republic.

    In 1828 JQ Adam's supporters attacked Andrew Jackson and his wife so harshly that many believe it contributed to Rachel Jackson's poor ill and demise shortly after the election.  

    The question is whether people will care more about Jeremiah Wright or their pocketbooks.  I'll put my money on the latter.


    I actually doubt (none / 0) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:29:38 AM EST
    you will see any ads about Wright.
    Obama has much bigger problems to exploit.

    But, Sen. Obama told Larry King (none / 0) (#116)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:40:46 AM EST
    non of this stuff bother him, he's just offended on behalf of Muslim-Americans.  

    In fact (none / 0) (#68)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:54:51 AM EST
    The Bush campaign rolled out the "flip-flopper" theme as early as March-April 2004.

    that was because they (none / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:57:18 AM EST
    were not worried that the party might pick another more viable candidate later in the summer.

    Ahem (none / 0) (#88)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:10:09 AM EST
    We are discussing whether Obama should roll out the Bush's Third Term theme now or later.  Try to follow along ;)

    I would say later (none / 0) (#93)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:11:50 AM EST
    but he seems to disagree

    the continued flapping and (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:42:39 AM EST
    squawking over every imagined race slight is a huge mistake for the Obama campaign IMO.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:45:27 AM EST
    not EVERY slight is imagined. Indeed, most are real.

    But it is surprising that the Obama campaign would decide to make race the issue of the Times poll.

    I write what I would have focused on.


    real or imagined (none / 0) (#57)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:48:34 AM EST
    they are building a narrative

    And, "Oh, by the way... (none / 0) (#151)
    by oldpro on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:42:06 AM EST
    ...he's black."

    I can't imagine focusing on race in a general election will bode as well for the Obama campaign as it did in a Democratic primary.


    Other than capitulating to Republicans ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:47:16 AM EST
    it's all they know how to do.

    Spot on. It's more lecturing (none / 0) (#97)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 10:13:53 AM EST
    of the voters, and that's not what they vote for.  Not for a nanny.  

    24 point lead in Califonia (none / 0) (#54)
    by Katherine Graham Cracker on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:46:43 AM EST
    The campaign is over in California

    I do not understand McCain's loyality to Shrub - the worst president ever.  It is in the interests of the Republican party to rid themselves of Shrub yet they cling to him.

    it pretty simple (none / 0) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 09:49:59 AM EST
    without Bushs whack job cracker supporters he has no chance of winning.

    yes it is. (none / 0) (#159)
    by cpinva on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:55:57 AM EST
    It's all about the economy

    one might add, "stupid!"

    i'll stick with an issue i know more about than anyone on this blog: taxes.

    sen. obama says he will eliminate the bush era tax cuts, except on the wealthy. the "wealthy" being defined as anyone making $270k or over per year. he'll repeal the 15% cap. gains max tax, buffing it back up to its previous 28% rate.

    that's all fine, i have no issue with that. however, when challenged, he's unable to show that:

    a. reducing taxes doesn't, in the long run, increase revenues. this is just a mathematical fact, not conjecture. it will in the short run, as the rich dump their high-gain equities, before the change goes into effect. afterwards, not so much.

    b. this will have no impact on recipients of either 401(k) or IRA retirement income. these are both deferred tax accounts, withdrawals are all taxed at ordinary rates. again, fact, not conjecture.

    i could go on with his inanities (along with mccain's) about social security, but you get the idea.

    anyone with the power to affect the entire tax paying public, better damn well know the minimum regarding the issue. sen. obama (and mccain) have consistently demonstrated an appaling ignorance on this.

    again, sen. obama needs to do much, much better educating himself, or find someone who has a clue to advise him.

    *full disclosure: i'm a cpa, who has specialized in fed. tax law for 30 years.

    I'm confused by your double negative (none / 0) (#164)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 11:59:06 AM EST
    What are you saying about the relationship between tax cuts and revenues?

    Essentially, when you lower the cap (none / 0) (#174)
    by Radix on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:07:31 PM EST
    gains tax you get a bump in people who decide to sell shares. So you then get a bump in taxes payed. Once this initial sell off occurs, things settle down. Once things settle down you tax receipts are in fact lower on the cap gains side. It works much like the stimulus payments, it's a one time bump.

    Well (none / 0) (#182)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:26:16 PM EST
    How exactly are taxpayers going to modify their behavior such that a 28% rate will produce less revenue than a 15% rate?

    So I'm very curious (none / 0) (#178)
    by MsExPat on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:15:26 PM EST
    as a CPA with federal tax code specialty, could you share with us your take on the tax policies of Obama vs. McCain? (And, was Hillary any better/different/worse?)

    Please repost (none / 0) (#173)
    by waldenpond on Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 12:07:01 PM EST
    Your links are blowing the margins and will need to be deleted... use tinyurl or...

    how to link

    1.    Type a word 'link' (or any word/s)

    2.    Copy the url address that is at the very top of the screen.  (I have the article I am going to link to open on my tabbed browsing.)   

    3.    Highlight the word 'link'

    4.    Click chain link button above the comment box.

    a.     (Note: mine is blocked so I must press my shield, select unblock and press the link button a second time)

    5.    Paste in the url. (the letters http are already in the box so make sure you override them)

    6.    Press preview to make sure you see your word/s in blue

    7.    Press post