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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

McCain's new running mate?

It looks like my February 11 blog entry was way off in predicting Senator Joseph Lieberman (CfL-CT) as John McCain's running mate.


Anonymous Katherine said...

I can see what you're getting at, and whilst the video is amusing, and I understand that you're an Obama fan, surely any democrat in the White House is better than a Republican???

As I'm from England, it amuses me greatly, that those that you consider to the left of your political spectrum, are considered to be more conservative than the conservative right of ours. Not that there's any difference between our political parties over here anymore though anyway!!

Why Obama though???

1:23 PM, March 15, 2008

Anonymous 42 said...

Clinton is far better suited to be President than Obama.(Either would be fine.) Obama is a wonderful speaker, who when has prepared statements is dazzling. However, when asked pointed questions about his Ill. voting record; how he intends to pay for his programs, other than saving money money by ending the war; or any other issue he has not memorized his oratory goes from James Earl Jones to Eddie Murphy.

Clinton addresses the issues, even if it is not what you want to hear.She has set forth economic & social reform agendae and her numbers add up. She can obviously handle pressure. Her recent comeback has been astonishing.

I hope this generates responses from your many loyal readers.

4:49 PM, March 15, 2008

Blogger Jeff Hussein Strabone said...

Why Obama? Perhaps I should write a blog series on the reasons to support Barack Obama. I will get into some specifics further below, but the main reason is that, Al Gore aside, Obama is the smartest person to run for president in my lifetime.

Democrats lose elections because they fundamentally don't understand rhetoric and the necessity of framing the question. In the States, the Republicans dominate debate because they know how to frame the question. Examples:
Do you want to take away the government's terrorist-fighting tools?
Translation: Should the government lawlessly invade our privacy without a warrant?

Tony Blair, his unforgivable faults aside, was the master of dominating debate by framing the question. The Conservatives never knew what to say. My favourite example of Blair's rhetoric speaks for itself:
'Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.'

Even when Democrats win elections, they lose policy battles because they don't understand rhetoric. The classic case has to be Hillary Clinton's failed health care initiative. When the insurance lobby and its Republican allies duped millions of Americans into opposing universal insurance, Clinton couldn't even sell health to sick people. She can ridicule Obama's eloquence all she wants, but that man can sell water to a well. And that is a big part of what Democrats need right now: a salesman.

Eloquence aside, I was certain Obama was my candidate when I learned that Samantha Power was his foreign policy advisor. With the single, remarkable exception of the 1999 war for Kosovo, Bill Clinton's foreign policy was a catalogue of disastrous inaction:
-Inaction to stop genocide in Bosnia.
-Inaction to stop genocide in Rwanda.
-Inaction to stop Pakistan from installing its clients, the Taliban, in Afghanistan.
-Inaction when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed.
And on and on.

Bill Clinton could not even say the word 'genocide'. Samantha Power wrote the book on genocide. Literally. And she won a Pulitzer for it, too.

Obama will restore diplomacy to its rightful place in the panoply of foreign policy options. I look forward to having a president with an international background sitting down with the presidents of Iran and Syria. What will come of it? I don't know, but I do know what will come of continuing to refuse to talk, as Presidents Clinton and Bush have done: more of the same.

More later.

11:47 PM, March 15, 2008

Anonymous Katherine said...

Okay, so the eloquence point is well taken - selling policies isn't so much about the policies themselves, as how you package them and make them look pretty.

But are you supporting Obama because of his policies or because you believe that he's the most likely to succeed in the actual election?? And, allegiances to particular candidates aside, would it not be better to have any democrat in the White House rather than none at all??

And although I do most heartily agree with your comments about rhetoric, surely someone cringed when Obama makes speeches that include phrases such as "Change America, Change the world"??? That really does come straight out of a film like Independence Day!!!

7:06 PM, March 16, 2008

Blogger sw said...

I am quite a fan of Obama, in part because I think that his background as a constitutional scholar might be helpful in restoring the Constitution (but this belies my trust in scholarship); and that is in addition to the qualities Jeff has enumerated. Obama is a skilled politician and appears to be a tough one; wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone as smart as Bill Clinton and as impassioned as McGovern and as commited to "liberal" causes as Paul Welstone? Obama's the man. Imagine voting for a Democrat not because he (or she) is a Democrat, but because you think the person is a brilliant fucking politician who won't cave in to whining, finger-pointing, bravado Republican tactics!

And that all having been said, I'm really not going to "cringe" when Obama makes claims about changing America to change the world; changing American positions on foreign policy interventions and the environment will change the world. Period. Full stop. It's not a matter of "football's coming home"; it's a matter of the Constitution, clean air, and moral integrity coming home.

No cringing necessary.

10:13 PM, March 16, 2008

Blogger Jeff Hussein Strabone said...

I support Obama primarily because I hear a brilliant mind at work in his words. Words tell us a lot about the strength of a person's analytical skills. First and foremost, I want a president of exceptional intelligence.

Policy-wise, I disagree with Obama on a number of points. He supports coal-to-liquid energy, a choice with disastrous consequences, as described by Elizabeth Kolbert in the November 12, 2007 issue of the New Yorker. He's even a sponsor of S. 154 in the Senate: the Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Energy Act of 2007. On the one main point of difference in health plans between Obama and Clinton, i.e. the question of requirement, I agree with Clinton.

But when it comes to foreign policy, only Obama makes sense, as I discussed above.

The Clintons are also bad for Democrats: they lost us both houses of Congress in 1994, not to mention the seats lost in 1992 and 1996. Now they are running a Kerry-states strategy rather than the fifty-states strategy of Howard Dean and Barack Obama. The Clintons only know campaign politics; Obama is waging movement politics.

12:47 AM, March 19, 2008


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