ST. PAUL– In September 2006, the Republican National Committee reached its final decision on its 2008 convention city. One of the reasons finalist Tampa-St. Petersburg was passed over was the riskiness of holding the event on the Gulf Coast during hurricane season. I’ll pause to let the irony wash over you.
My pet theory these days is that, as swiftly as the news cycle now moves, it’s hard to fathom the real impact of an event until days, weeks or months later. The instant analysis of a speech, debate or convention so often looks wrong, even silly, a short while later.
There has been a lot of talk during this campaign about percentages. In his acceptance speech the other night, Barack Obama got big applause when he said that John McCain had voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time, and that he didn’t want to gamble on a 10 percent chance for change.
So far, what I know best about Sarah Palin from all the coverage this weekend is that she’s an avid hunter who has killed many Alaskan caribou. That’s all we need: another vice president who likes to hunt.
It’s a big day for John McCain. It’s a big day for Sarah Palin. And it’s a big day for CNBC and Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s Kudlow & Company. The vast majority of mainstream media hovered like flies around Tim Romnlenty (or is it Mitt Pawmney?). This is about the biggest case of received-wisdom-wrong-again in my memory. A small number of big-time media outlets were talking about Palin, and probably none of them was further out ahead on this one than Kudlow. Guys, take a victory lap. I may take one myself.
Whenever we’re in Washington, my wife and I try to visit the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. Everyone else goes to the Lincoln or the Jefferson or the Washington, and they are all wonderful. But the TR is different. There are almost never any crowds. That’s because it is hidden in the middle of the woods at the heart of the island. In fact, Susan and I discovered it quite by accident a few years ago as we were hiking through the woods.
There are two kinds of Americans: people with principles and liberals. Nothing illuminates the difference between them better than John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
Gail Collins is offended. Just when Hillary Clinton succeeded in convincing the nation that she is merely incidentally a woman candidate, she writes, Sarah Palin comes and undermine all her good work. She ends her column, Baked Alaska, thus:
I know as much about these others as I know about Sarah Palin, which is to say next to nothing. But if John McCain was looking for a woman governor to run with, there are two others who seem superior to Palin. Jodi Rell of Connecticut has been governor for four years and was lieutenant governor before that. She is even married to a former navy pilot. She’s popular and has been re-elected. Problem is: she’s considered a liberal Republican.
True, Sarah Palin was not on my list. Kay Bailey Hutchison was. The trouble is that her appearance on Larry King left too much to be desired. The other two women had never run or served in office. Palin simply has not occurred to me. Having seen her eloquent acceptance speech, I could not be happier with the choice.
Not because it is an indicator of the willingness to sacrifice for one’s country. Not because it provides a background of solemnity and comradeship in the event of a decision to put the lives of servicemen and severicewomen on the line. What McCain gained from his military service - upon which, according to Jimmy Carter, he shamelessly capitalizes - is not moral standing but the ability to think strategically.
McCain just exhibited great generalship in the last few days - not only in whom he picked as VP, but how tightly controlled the whole process was. It took daring, imagination, and the ability to think five or six moves ahead. These are qualities that the men on the Democratic ticket often impute to themselves and have seldom shown in action.
To be fair, given the limitations of their native abilities, had Obama or Biden ever been professional soldiers, they would not have learned these things on the job. But at least they would have learned that even mediocrities must be prepared to be confronted by brilliance. Watch the left this weekend and enjoy their gnashing of teeth.
There is a meme being developed by the leftist media regarding Barack Obama that can be boiled down to one phrase: anyone who doesn’t vote for him is a de facto racist. Surprising? About as surprising as the sun rising in the east.
After watching the Super Bowl tonight—I mean, Barack Obama’s acceptance speech—I have come to the following conclusion. It’s impossible for John McCain to try to compete with Obama in terms of oratory and pyrotechnics. So there’s only one thing for McCain to do. Something that is thoroughly consistent with who he is, his life’s path, and the campaign for the presidency he is running.
Amid the cascade of words pouring out of Denver this week, none may have more long-term punch than the bubbly Mile High musings of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” Tom Brokaw had asked about Barack Obama saying that deciding when life begins was “above my pay grade.” Pelosi showcased the Peter Principle in action. It says that people rise to the level of their incompetence. Her answer showed that the principle has nothing to do with Saint Peter.
It’s fantastic that Obama can get 80,000 folks to a political rally. It’s obvious that he has a huge lead in enthusiasm. And maybe McCain can’t get 10,000 or ven 5,000 to his events. But here’s the thing: an unenthusiastic, even apathetic vote counts just as much as a heartfelt one. Maybe it shouldn’t. But it does.
The effort to hide the good news about the US economy continues regardless of the obvious difficulties presented by the need to revise growth numbers upwards. Consider today’s FT article entitled: Weak Dollar leads to US import gloom
What a busy, news-filled (well, really just speculation-filled) day! The big question is McCain’s running mate. If I had to bet, I’d say he’ll go with Romney. I hope I’m wrong. I keep hearing how Romney will inspire conservatives–well, the fact is that conservatives don’t have any other place to go. I keep hearing that Romney adds a conservative bent to the ticket–well, a year ago, the debate about Romney was whether he could be trusted by conservatives given his assortment of formerly middle-of-the-road and even liberal positions until only recently. Lots of self-delusion going on here.
Unhappy that Chicago’s WGN radio would ask writer Stanley Kurtz what he has found in documents linking Obama with one-time fugitive radical Bill Ayers, Obama’s henchmen organized a campaign to flood the station with angry calls.