some advice for the mccain campaign

Stop treating Sarah as a victim. Stop being so politically correct. Let this “pig” remark die a natural death. Guess it’s too late for that now.

Take every opportunity to compare Governor Palin’s fiscal record with that of Senator Biden. She has the advantage there. There may be some doubt as far as when she started to oppose the bridge to nowhere, but she did oppose it. Both Barack and Joe supported it from the beginning.

More later….

worthy of note

I was going to give my in depth analysis of Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech Wednesday night, but wouldn’t you all rather read what Michael Barone had to say about it?  She had a very strong debut, but she does have more work to do.  The McCain campaign is doing a smart thing by keeping her away from the Sunday shows for now, but eventually she’s going to have to do some interviews and finish off Joe Biden to show that she can handle herself without a script.  I feel more confident about this than I did before her speech on Wednesday, and I am cautiously optimistic that she can survive whatever the media decides to throw at her. The McCain campaign should be wary of casting Palin as a victim, because it’s quite clear that she can take the punches.

About McCain’s acceptance speech — he got through it ok, no thanks to the Code Pink morons who interrupted him at the beginning.  Obama will always have the edge in speechmaking ability, but John McCain’s life story is compelling, and McCain told that story as well as he could.  The McCain campaign does need to be more judicious with the use of McCain’s military service and former POW status in speeches and rallies, because he runs the risk of trivializing that service.  Take John Kerry for example — the running gag is that, by the way, did you know he served in Vietnam?  McCain’s military service is a wonderful example of service to our country above and beyond the call of duty.  I respect it, but he can’t win an election without talking about kitchen table issues in addition to his bio.

rnc: random thoughts from red meat day

Before I get to Governor Palin’s wonderful speech,  there are several other things that struck me as the RNC proceeds forward to the acceptance speech by McCain tonight.  The first is that there aren’t many conservative women in the GOP pipeline contesting Senate races or any higher state offices.  What does it say about this party that the “qualified” women suggested for McCain’s VP pick aren’t conservatives?  Olympia Snowe, Elizabeth Dole, and Kay Hutchison, while they may be conservative enough for some people, don’t bring much to the table for McCain, and it wouldn’t bring in those independent and moderates, or even the Hillary voters.  They would have done even less for the social conservative base than any other candidate on McCain’s shortlist.

There is more work that needs to be done on the grassroots level to recruit more women and minorities.   While it’s a myth that the Republican party doesn’t have anything to offer those two groups and working people,  we have continued to allow the media to push this narrative — and we don’t have much ammo to use even if we fought back against it.  This needs to change.  We do have ideas that work for these groups — at least conservatives do — but the failures of current Congressional Republicans have damaged the Republican brand, and it’s hard for the American people to trust us to deal with everyday problems.

This is why Mitt Romney’s message fell flat last night.  Republicans are part of the problem in Washington.  Many of them have surrendered to Democratic rule, and they have allowed too many earmarks to go through.  They compromised on pieces of bad legislation with the Democrats.  It fires up Republican crowds to talk about all those bad “liberals”, but what resonance would it have with the rest of the American voters?  Mitt isn’t comfortable in the role of the attack dog.  The speech he gave last night was fiery, and full of stuff conservatives like to hear, but I thought that his delivery was slightly over-the-top.  Just a minor style point in an otherwise effective speech.

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rnc: the end and the beginning

There were three major storylines at the RNC today that had nothing to do with Sarah Palin.  The first was the ceremonial end of the Bush era.  The second was Fred’s red meat speech and his stirring account of McCain’s military service.  The third — Joe Lieberman incinerating those bridges between himself and the Democrats once and for all with his direct attacks on Barack Obama.

The Republicans need to do more to emphasize the differences between Bush and McCain, but they need to do this without completely abandoning Dubya.  There are those in the party who still love the guy, and we need all the votes we can get to defeat Barack Obama.  That’s why the President had to speak at the RNC, no matter how brief the speech would have to be.  I’m not sure that the President did much to advance McCain’s candidacy, but it was nice to give him one last hurrah in front of an appreciative crowd. We also saw a video tribute to Bush Sr. It was fitting that they gave all the Bushes their due at the last convention they will have with a Bush in the White House.  (Unless Jeb surprises us all someday…)

Fred Thompson’s speeches will never approach the eloquence of Senator Obama’s, but he was on fire tonight.

Here’s some of what he said about McCain:

Now, being a POW certainly doesn’t qualify anyone to be President. But it does reveal character. This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders. Strength. Courage. Humility. Wisdom. Duty. Honor. It’s pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, ‘Who is this man?’ and ‘Can we trust this man with the Presidency?’ He has been to Iraq eight times since 2003. He went seeking truth, not publicity. When he travels abroad, he prefers quietly speaking to the troops amidst the heat and hardship of their daily lives. And the same character that marked John McCain’s military career has also marked his political career. This man, John McCain is not intimidated by what the polls say or by what is politically safe or popular. At a point when the war in Iraq was going badly and the public lost confidence, John stood up and called for more troops. And now we are winning. Ronald Reagan was John McCain’s hero. And President Reagan admired John tremendously. But when the President proposed putting U.S. troops in Beirut, John McCain, a freshman Congressman, stood up and cast a vote against his hero because he thought the deployment was a mistake. My friends … that is character you can believe in.

Zing.  Character matters, at least it does for Republicans.  That’s the main question we have been asking about Barack Obama from the beginning — who is this guy and can we trust him with the Presidency?  Love or hate John McCain — you know where he stands.

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cut it out

So says Barack to the rumor mongers:

At a press avail in Monroe, Mich., Barack Obama on Palin: “Back off these kinds of stories.

“I have said before, and I will repeat again: People’s families are off-limits,” Obama said. “And people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn’t be a topic of our politics.”

On charges that his campaign has stoked the story via liberal blogs:

“I am offended by that statement. There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us,” he said. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I thought there was somebody in my campaign who was involved in something like that, they would be fired.”

partisan hackery

The new politics of the Obama fans — sheep, I call them — sure looks a lot like the old politics.  Is it too much to ask that attacks on Governor Palin are based on facts and not idle speculation by the Daily Kos and Andrew Sullivan???  I’m not going to give either site the benefit of a link because they should be ashamed of themselves for printing the rumors about Governor Palin’s son Trig actually being her daughter’s child.  No proof here…but why should that surprise us?  If Daily Kos or Andrew Sullivan had any credibility with me before, this stunt would have changed that in a hurry.  Like I said, old politics.  Time for Obama to throw some more acquaintances under his bus.  There should be no place for this in this campaign season.

Now before I am accused of a double standard, let me just say,  I had nothing to do with any rumors that may have been spread about Senator Obama being a Muslim, or terrorist, or any of that.  I don’t believe any of those rumors, and neither do the American people. That’s the point.  As despicable as this is, these rumors won’t stick without proof.  Same with Governor Palin.  The burden of proof doesn’t lie with the McCain campaign, it lies with Sullivan and Daily Kos, because these sites are the ones making these serious allegations.

We can all be partisan without being ugly and resorting to this garbage.

And for the record,  Amanda Carpenter at Townhall reports that:

DailyKos is is wrong on when the photo was taken. It was taken, and published, by the Anchorage Daily News in 2006. Baby Trig, a Down’s Syndrome child, was born on April 18, 2008. That’s a long time for a teen girl to be carrying a “bump” which looks nothing more than the curve of a tight sweater.

Indeed.  I know what to expect from those two sites I mentioned, but I never expected this guy would be part of advancing this fraudulent story.

mccain makes his vp pick

What a pleasant surprise this is — John McCain shocks us all by choosing the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.  The McCain campaign did an outstanding job keeping us in suspense until the last 2-3 hours before her official introduction. This is one heck of a risk, as we are presently seeing with the current Democrat attacks on her, but the payoff could be huge. If Friday was the country’s first introduction to Governor Palin,  it was an impressive debut for her.  She came across as very personable and as someone who can sell the conservative message in a way that McCain cannot.  Her appeal is more than just gender-based.   She has working class credibility.  She’s a mom as well as a lifetime member of the NRA.  She’s not only pro-life, but she has practiced what she preaches by deciding to have a baby that she knew would have Down’s Syndrome.  Then there’s her record of fighting corruption in Alaska even against fellow Republicans.  What’s not to like?

Conservatives dodged a bullet with this pick, because apparently McCain was very close to picking Joe Lieberman.  He was still considering it as late as this past Monday.  When I first heard about McCain’s choice, my initial reaction was that the base may have sabotaged McCain by suggesting Governor Palin.  I love her story, and I think she’s a great representative for women and for Republicans, but I’m not sure she’s ready to be Vice President.  It’s entirely possible that she’s more ready to be VP than Barack Obama is to be President, but this isn’t the best argument for her.  The following weeks before the election will give us an indication of how ready she is to handle the demands of the national spotlight, and I will be watching her and cheering her on, because conservatism needs representatives like Governor Palin in Washington, D.C.

demint to obama: you’ve got mail

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Senator DeMint?

Senator Jim DeMint writes to Obama requesting hearings on Afghanistan(pdf here — h/t Sister Toldjah):

Dear Senator Obama,

In the coming days, I understand you will travel to Afghanistan for the first time and visit with a few of our European partners.  Like my travels to these regions, I trust this trip will afford you a unique opportunity to see the facts on the ground firsthand and witness the work of our brave men and women who sacrifice so much to secure our freedom.

In February, I had the privilege of visiting and talking with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  These brave Americans serve their country with incredible passion, pride and courage.  As you know, NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) plays an integral part in the current operations and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

There are concerns about the imbalance between some European nations, their level of commitment to the fight in Afghanistan, and caveats these nations place on their forces in theater.  I trust you will become well acquainted with these issues.  The Bush Administration has worked hard to maintain and increase the level of forces our European allies have committed to the fight.

However, despite these successes, I am concerned our Subcommittee has not held any hearings on these issues over the last two years.  With oversight of NATO relations and its role in Afghanistan, I believe it is time for us to focus closely on these issues. As Ranking Member of your Subcommittee on European Affairs, I would welcome a chance to hold a hearing on NATO’s mission in Afghanistan upon your return.

The success of Afghanistan is critical to the future of NATO and vital to our efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  As the situation in Afghanistan grows more tense, it is time for us to hold a hearing on the mission there. I look forward to working with you to schedule this hearing.

While it’s nice to see that Senator Obama recognizes the importance of sending more troops in to stabilize Afghanistan, it’s also fair to point out that he hasn’t exactly made Afghanistan a top priority until now. Senator DeMint draws attention to this without being nasty about it, and the indirect reply to DeMint’s letter is that his letter was “politically motivated“.   If DeMint is on McCain’s VP shortlist, that’s news to all of us.  (I wish that this was true, but it’s probably not.)  He raises a legitimate question and Obama should give a straight answer to it.  I can buy the argument that Obama’s subcommittee might not be the most appropriate venue for Afghanistan hearings, but why not just say that, instead of taking a shot at DeMint?

Senator Joe Biden attempts to rescue Obama by pointing that out, and he is unsuccessful. As Sister Toldjah points out in her post,  Senator Biden’s defense of Obama falls flat because Biden himself had previously criticized Obama for not holding hearings on Afghanistan. Oops.

Biden does deserve some credit here — he has been consistent in requesting a “surge” of troops for Afghanistan.  That’s one thing that the press release quoted by Politico brings into sharp focus.  I’m surprised that Joe Biden hasn’t brought this up very often.  Why are Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats so convinced that adding additional military personnel in Afghanistan would achieve the desired objective?  After all, they aren’t even sure that that the Bush-Petraeus-McCain strategy of sending additional troops worked in Iraq.  Afghanistan is far less stable than Iraq.  Might they want to focus more on the all-important political objectives before sending in the brute force?  It’s a puzzler.

tony snow

Tony Snow

Tony Snow has died today due to complications from his colon cancer, Fox News is reporting.  This is a sad day for conservatives — who are losing one of the most passionate defenders for conservatism that we could ever have.  He was never a politician, even though he worked for Bush 41 and 43.  He was a good guy, and someone I wish I had known. He loved this country, and always saw the positive side of life, and we can always be grateful that this man was there to remind us that it’s never as dark as we think it is.  This death is tragic for all of us, and especially his family and close friends, but at least we know that his struggle is over now.  Tony Snow has gone to be with his God, and that’s the most deserving reward for a life well-lived.

Rest in Peace, Snowman.  We’ll miss you.

More links and tributes coming as they become available.

congratulations mr. chairman

Get to know the guy in this picture.  He’s gonna be a star.

The smiling face you are looking at is the chairman of the York County GOP in South Carolina, Glenn McCall. (My apologies for the quality of the picture.)  He was elected on Saturday at the state convention to represent South Carolina Republicans as a member of the Republican National Committee.  Lord knows the RNC needs some more solid conservatives, and Glenn McCall is definitely one of those.  Hopefully he can knock some sense into those Washington-ites who have “gone native”.  I feel much better about the state of the RNC now that he’s going to be part of it.

Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate Chairman McCall on a much-deserved win, and to wish him the best of luck in smacking some sense into the national GOP.