the why candidate

Jon Huntsman.

Why is he running for President?  The groups of voters he would appeal to already have several candidates who would satisfy their requirements. Are there enough of those Republican voters who would choose him over the other moderates in the field?  I don’t see how he manages to get the attention of primary voters, much less win the nomination.  The timing is all wrong for the moderates / RINOs to run for the Republican nomination for president.   When we consider the damage inflicted on the economy by the actions of the Obama administration, and the failure to seriously address our debt crisis and rising gasoline prices, the last thing we need as a country is candidates who are willing to compromise on these critical issues.  Moderates like Huntsman would make those compromises.

That’s not to say that Republicans should seek conservative purity at all costs.  We still want to win.  ( Don’t we?)  This means conservatives must make our voices heard in this primary season, so that the nominee we select will represent our values even if his / her record hasn’t been spotless in the past.   Our nominee should be someone who can defeat President Obama.   That person might not be our ideal but reversing the Obama agenda should take priority over sending a message to a political party.   Send messages during the process.    In 2012, the message should be to win.

We don’t need another John McCain. One was too many.


The time has already come for assessing blame and naming those at fault for the McCain loss.  It didn’t take long for anonymous McCain staffers to trash Sarah Palin (without having the guts to put their names on the allegations).  That takes real courage, doesn’t it?  The debate isn’t over Sarah Palin’s qualifications or knowledge of foreign affairs.  That one’s been lost, because even though most of us like her, we know her limitations as a VP candidate.  This is about these anonymous McCain people blaming her for their failures.

I want to know who these people are and how much influence they had in whatever vetting process took place before Palin’s selection.  If they were involved in her selection, believing that she wasn’t ready for the job, and yet telling McCain to pick her anyway, that’s political malpractice.  It could just be that McCain ignored those people to pick Sarah, and they don’t want to be blamed for what many people see as a bad choice by McCain.   Whatever scenario you want to believe, it doesn’t reflect the McCain campaign in a positive light.

One mistake that was made in the Palin selection was that the McCain campaign had to spend valuable campaign time defending Sarah’s record and qualifications  — time that could have been spent defining McCain’s own message. The goal was to make the case for himself and explain why Barack Obama would be a risky choice for America.  Even with the pick of Governor Palin, and the diversion it may have caused in the campaign, there were clear opportunities for John McCain to make that case, and he wasn’t able to do it.  That’s not Sarah Palin’s fault.

It was going to be an uphill battle against Barack Obama, even if Republicans had a candidate a majority of us could support.  The results shouldn’t surprise anybody, taking into account the current President’s unpopularity and the damaged Republican brand over the past 8 years.  But it would have been a worse loss without Governor Palin on the ticket.  She energized the base and got McCain more Republican votes than he would have gotten with any other pick.  She deserves credit for that, and most of the blame for a mismanaged McCain effort should go to his campaign team, not to her.


Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama.  It’s truly a historic achievement, and I’m proud of my country for finally breaking this barrier that has been in place for a very long time.  He ran a great campaign, and he was able to blunt all the Republican arguments against him without much effort.  There will be more said about the missed opportunities by the McCain campaign, and many second-guessers will analyze the failures of that campaign for years to come.

Barack…we have given you an opportunity to lead this nation.  Don’t change it too much.

The United States of America is still a great country.  That greatness stems from the hard work and dedication of our citizens.  Our strength has always been in our people and in our awesome military.  We can take comfort in the fact that America’s success or failure is not determined by our politicians.  Each and every one of us can and will make adjustments to our lives based on political realities, but it’s even more important that we keep fighting.   I intend to hold our next President accountable, and for the sake of this country, I want him to make the right decisions in domestic and foreign policy.  That’s what country first should mean — putting our country before any political party advantage.  Many tough decisions will have to be made in the next 4 years, and it is in America’s best interest that President-elect Obama makes the right decisions.

Today we give Barack credit for making history.  Tomorrow we get to work fighting him on policy issues.

for entertainment purposes only

Oh no… Obama is so much like Bush!!! This link to similarities between President Bush and Barack Obama’s rhetoric / record is posted merely for the expected leftist meltdown it would cause.  Of course, the writer also notes when Obama has changed his position to mirror that of the Bush administration.  Good stuff.  For the record, I do not expect a third Bush term from Barack Obama.   That’s much less likely than getting some policy mind melds from fierce opponents President Bush and Senator McCain.

Happy Election Eve, everyone.  Go vote for McCain tomorrow.

the quotable mark steyn

From the Corner:

This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama’s burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn’t really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration. And tonight Chris Matthews’ doctors announced that his leg tingle has metastasized leaving his entire body like a vibrating cellphone whose ringtone is locked on “I’m In Love, I’m In Love, I’m In Love, I’m In Love, I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy.” And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.

It is strange.  With all of Obama’s advantages, this should be a landslide victory for him.  And yet McCain is still hanging in this race.  That should make the left very nervous.  Could Obama still get a convincing victory over McCain?  Of course.  It would be foolish to overestimate McCain’s ability to close the gap between himself and Obama.   But making the country take another look at Obama before the election next Tuesday can only improve McCain’s chances of pulling off the upset victory.

some thoughts on the infomercial

Since I didn’t watch it, I will leave it to others to analyze the content.  I would just like to point out that no one does political infomercials like Ross Perot.  The accent, the big ears, and the pie charts were very entertaining, and that’s where the American people got the real Straight Talk before McCain came along — from a Texas billionaire with nothing to lose.  That’s the only way any of us will ever get complete honesty from a politician running for president.  What was the effect of Perot’s effort?  Did it switch the race in his favor?  Hardly.  But at least he has a lifetime guest spot on Larry King Live, so the presidential bid wasn’t a total loss.

Barack Obama is a great salesman, at least to his sheep followers and the media (but I repeat myself there). To this point, he has convinced the American people that he will only raise taxes on the rich (now defined down to $200,000 a year) and big oil.  His ads lie about how McCain’s health care plan works, and he gets away with it because McCain doesn’t have the ad budget to dispute his ad-a-minute promotional blitz.  When all the ads you see are Obama ads talking about how great his health care plan is and how much he cares about the middle class, it’s hard for the average person to resist this narrative unless they have an compelling alternative argument.  Surrender is the word I would use to describe the reaction to Obama’s ad blitz.  McCain should have done more to present that alternative vision before now, but even with all the mistakes he has made, this is still a close race.

parker, palin, and our flawed republican nominee

If you’re wondering why more conservative Republican women aren’t volunteering to run for higher office, or even for state races, witness the attempted destruction of Sarah Palin.  How many other women could handle such abuse with the grace and class that Sarah has shown throughout this process?  There are fair criticisms of her resume, just as there are legitimate concerns about some of the items on Barack Obama’s resume — like the time spent as a community organizer — but no public figure deserves the treatment she has received, even by some columnists most would consider conservative-friendly.

That leads me to National Review columnist Kathleen Parker.  She had previously written a rather unflattering piece on National Review Online about Palin questioning McCain’s judgment in picking her, and she received a lot of negative feedback for writing that column, including a few death threats.  I don’t believe in censoring opinions I disagree with, and I certainly condemn those loons who actually threatened Parker’s life.  There’s no excuse for such a violent reaction.  In addition to that, I think Parker raises a valid concern about Palin’s readiness for the national stage in that first article (written before the VP debate).  I’m sympathetic to that original argument.

What I don’t understand is the motivation behind her current article suggesting that McCain picked Sarah Palin because he had some kind of crush on her.  What would possess her to write something like that?  I have no idea.  I guess being a member of the conservative pundit class allows you to get stupid stuff like this published in National Review.    If McCain loses, all Republicans will be looking for someone to blame for it, and I get the frustration many of us feel because McCain and his campaign staff have missed many great opportunities to make the case for him and against Obama.  It would be easy and convenient for us to blame the Palin choice as the reason for a McCain loss.  It’s not the reason, and we should find another scapegoat…someone who looks an awful lot like John McCain.

Conservatives warned that John McCain was a very flawed candidate, but the party leadership, in keeping with current tradition, was more interested in the opinions of those indies and moderates than it was with our opinions.  We have what we have.  As for me, I will join fellow conservatives and other Republicans on November 4th and vote for John McCain.  Abandoning him now ensures the election of Barack Obama, and I refuse to have that on my conscience.  There are also local and state Republicans who have races to win on November 4th. Sitting this election out is not an option. It’s crunch time.  We can still fight on until Election Day and see what happens.  We are assured of a loss if we give up.  I’m not giving up until we count the votes.  Who’s with me?

vote for fred

If only Fred Thompson had decided to make a serious effort to run for President at the beginning, we might not be stuck with McCain now.  So thanks Fred.

Now that Fred has zero chance of being President himself, he tries his best to inspire the people for McCain and to make the argument McCain has thus far failed to make against Barack Obama.

Here’s a part of it:

Obama and the Democrats believe that Americans in a time of crisis will be willing to sacrifice their freedoms, abandon their founding principles and common sense and ease into the mediocrity of the warm embrace of the Washington papa bear who will take care of all of our problems for us.

These are not the ideals of the America that drew brave men and women from all over the world to our shores.  In most cases, they were fleeing nations with the heavy hand of government, intolerance and class warfare.  They risked everything to experience our Founding Fathers’ notion of a limited government with powers that were delineated, checked and balanced, in a land where they could live and prosper in a free, dynamic, upwardly mobile society – the kind that existed no where else in the world. But Obama and his liberal friends don’t see things that way.

The liberal agenda is based upon the belief that there are elites among us who know more and know better than the rest of us.  And that with the application of their intellect and power … and our money … they can impose regulations and establish programs, bureaus and agencies that will solve all the problems of the masses’.

Senator Obama and his supporters essentially see society not as dynamic and changing or full of opportunity.  They see one that is divided by economic classes into which every one of us is permanently assigned.  In their worldview, those in a lesser economic class are presumably resentful and envious.  So it’s the government’s job to level things out … or as Senator Obama would say “spread the wealth around.”  It’s about dividing the pie among static classes, not trying to make the pie bigger for everyone or creating opportunity in an upwardly mobile society.

This is the reason why they do not understand Joe the Plumber.  Because he doesn’t have a higher income today they assume that he never will and that he believes he never will. They expect him to resent anyone whose doing better than he is, instead of planning to do better himself. They don’t understand the Joes of the world.  Never have.  Never will.

Read more here.

For all his flaws, Fred Thompson is something John McCain will never be to conservatives — a true believer.  He’s able to make the conservative case and the argument against Barack Obama because at his core he buys into the philosophy.  Of course there were a few areas where Fred agreed with McCain (campaign finance reform is one example), but on most of the important stuff, Fred was solidly conservative.  The same is true of Sarah Palin.  I hope that this temporary alliance with McCain won’t make her more moderate. The Republican party doesn’t have a deep bench full of conservative women who, with a little more experience and knowledge of national and foreign affairs, could be great leaders for the Republican party.  Our party needs her, but as a true maverick, not the McCain version of the term.

average joe

McCain has a new ad continuing with the Joe the Plumber theme. Here it is.

Personally, I think the original was much more effective.

Something I’ve been wondering lately though — isn’t it possible that an alarming number of people have already bought into the myth that everybody benefits when Barack Obama spreads our wealth around?   I don’t think Republicans have been able to make the argument that higher taxes on the rich harm the economy, or that big government is undesirable.  Thanks in large part to President Bush, the distinction between Republicans and Democrats has been blurred.  Now both parties (or at least much of the Republican “leadership”) support big, activist government.  Even our standard-bearer John McCain has been ok with higher taxes for the wealthy in the past, and he’s also promoting more government involvement in the economy with his $300 billion.  That’s why he can’t convincingly sell himself as an alternative to Barack’s wealth spreading and tax-raising agenda.  McCain is not an ideologue.  He’s not a conservative, although he’s closer to being right on taxes and spending than Barack Obama is.

This election is winnable for John McCain, but his strategy has been terribly flawed.  Senator McCain should have started questioning Senator Obama’s judgment with all these radical friends and associates a long time ago.  Now is the time to poke holes in Obama’s tax plan and set the record straight about his own health care plan.  Obama has been running all these misleading ads about McCain, and there has been no answer from McCain.  That’s no way to win an election.

debate thoughts

This was Senator McCain’s strongest debate yet.  He came out swinging, and it was great to see that.   He was able to take advantage of Obama’s conversation with Joe the Plumber and to make the case that Obama’s tax plan is the wrong solution to the country’s financial struggles.   The whole discussion on taxes should have been a clear advantage to Senator McCain, because increased government spending and increased business taxes will hurt the economy.   John McCain is hardly a perfect representative of responsible government spending when he wants to spend an additional $300 billion (that he proposed in the last debate).  That said,  it’s an unwise suggestion for someone who says that he wants to increase productivity, job creation, and to strengthen our economy to propose higher business taxes.  That’s what Barack Obama wants to do.   Proposals to increase government programs and spending are just as irresponsible — considering that the average American doesn’t have the luxury of spending more than they can afford once their credit cards are maxed out.  The government’s credit cards must be shredded. NOW.  This is a message that resonated with me, if not the “undecided” people in Frank Luntz’s focus group.

Were there missed opportunities for McCain? Of course.  He wasn’t able to close the deal on his economic argument or explain why Obama’s radical friends should concern the average person.  McCain has the right philosophy on the economy and taxes, which is that lower taxes promote growth, both for businesses and for individuals.  Obama seems to concede some of that argument.  Why else would he brag about his various tax credits and claim that 95% of workers get a tax cut?  Interesting wording there.  It doesn’t specify that they have to be tax-paying workers.  But that’s a argument for another day.

Finally we hear about William Ayers and ACORN.   McCain didn’t make the right connection here.  No, we weren’t asking him to call Barry a socialist or a terrorist just because he had some friends who could be described that way.  (At least I wasn’t.) The question should have been about Barack Obama’s character and judgment.  What drew these assorted malcontents to Barack Obama?  Did he know the full extent of Ayers’ crimes and political philosophy?  Why couldn’t Barack Obama recognize that it was unwise to be friendly with people like Ayers, Rezko, Wright, and those famous community organizers who enable voter fraud?  If he truly was unaware about all the questionable activities these people engaged in,  isn’t it possible that he would be just as clueless about the foreign leaders he might meet as President?  Those are only a few of the questions I had.   Surely McCain’s campaign staff can figure out a way to stick this subject in one of their “ready to lead” ads.

Some random observations:

Loved McCain questioning Biden’s judgment on foreign policy.  About time someone did.

Barack Obama is like a robot.   He never strays from his script, and even when McCain made some very serious charges against him, he was always able to bat it down with very little effort.  He may lie and disassemble, but he’s very smooth, and nobody can ever pin him down on it in a way the audience at home could notice.  That’s such an annoying characteristic.   He is even more of a Teflon Man than Bill Clinton ever was.

I would strongly advise the McCain team to get some ads together on three themes.  The first is the economy.  Explain in 30 seconds or less how your tax plan is being misrepresented by the Obama campaign.  In a separate ad, talk about the effects of implementing Obama’s tax plan on people like Joe the Plumber.  If you could get the original for an ad, that would be outstanding.  The second is health care.  Make the case for your $5000 tax credit and explain the additional benefits on it — portability, etc.  The reason Obama is winning on these issues is because the only ads we see on these issues are Barack’s.  The third is an ad about all Barack’s radical friends that would improve on the previous ads.   One sentence each on Ayers, ACORN, Wright, and Rezko explaining the relationship each had to Barack Obama.  Then say, Barack Obama didn’t see anything wrong with these relationships until they harmed his political career.  Bad associations.  Bad judgment.   He trusted these people.  Do you trust Barack Obama with the White House?

(or something like that)

That’s all I have…glad the debates are finally over.