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Posts Tagged ‘Presidential Election 2008

Republican Convention Redux – Night 2

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Despite a large crowd that waved placards and broke out in random chants of “U-S-A” and “Country First” over the course of two hours, there was not a great deal of enthusiasm during the first full night of the Republican National Convention. In addition, having watched most of the DNC convention last week, the organization and overall execution were certainly not matched by the Republican party this election year. 

The lack of enthusiasm was reflected most obviously in President Bush’s brief and carefully constructed speech. I’m not sure what the political pundits are saying right now, but it seemed to me that the speech was extremely forced. The President also did not really go after the Democrats, aside from a few small jabs like referring to the “angry left.” The concise nature of the President’s speech has not gone unnoticed by the media, who have indicated that the McCain campaign has taken pains to distance themselves from the sitting President, who is largely unpopular amongst most Americans. 

The surprise speaker of the night was Fred Thompson, not because he wasn’t scheduled, but because he was more energetic than everyone who preceded him. Thompson had some interesting lines in trying to make the case that John McCain was made up of “rebellion and honor.” Perhaps the most out of place line was when Fred Thompson explained that McCain drove a “Corvette and dated a girl who worked in a bar as an exotic dancer under the name of Marie, the Flame of Florida.” Thompson also focused a great deal of time in detailing out John McCain’s extremely painful and heroic ordeal as a POW during the Vietnam War. During these moments, the audience seemed somber, especially the many Veterans that sat in the audience.  

He made several jabs towards Obama, likening him to someone who “talked a good deal on the Sunday talk shows and frequented the Washington cocktail circuit.” However, nothing was much of a surprise, it was really the typical “Obama is a talker, not a reformer” rhetoric. He also warned of the protectionism, higher taxes and expansive bureaucracy if Obama were elected and made fun of the lack of Progress made by the sitting democratically controlled congress. In some ways, it was disappointing, because I expected the Republicans to have some fresh new ideas, but this was not the case. In the same vein, while Thompson did do McCain justice by describing his character, he failed to impart why McCain’s service, would translate to being the best choice for President. 

Then, it was on to the keynote speaker,  Joseph Lieberman, a former Democrat turned Independent.  From the get go, Lieberman failed to engage the audience, and only received applause when he uttered a positive statement about John McCain’s service.  Lieberman, like Thompson, touched on McCain’s history of being a reformer and standing up to political lobbies and even in some cases taking on the Republican establishment. However, as he continued to speak, it almost seemed that McCain, the maverick, reformer etc. didn’t belong to to the Republican party, but rather that he was an Independent, running under the guise of ‘Republican’. By this point in the night, the convention hall in St. Paul seemed like a diffused balloon, as the camera panned across delegates, looking off into space or half-heartedly waving signs emblazoned with “COUNTRY FIRST” on one side. Unfortunately for Lieberman, he did not make a strong case for McCain’s run for the presidency. The only issue he touched on forcefully was the surge in Iraq, which was successful, but at a recognized cost. (See Iraq War Posts on this blog).

Overall, unlike last week, when the Democrats were able to deliver consistent and cohesive messages, the Republican party seemed to flounder. On the second night of the convention, there were no energizing speakers who appealed to the base, but rather a group of scattered speakers who failed to deliver for John McCain. 

Update: In a commentary by Carl Bernstein regarding the theme of last night’s Republican convention, it seemed that he felt strongly that the subtle references to the “angry left” and continual reference to patriotism should be concerning to the Democrats because these are the same tactics that were used to elect Bush 43, in 2000 and 2004.

I agree with Bernsteins’s article because from the haunting video about American’s and service to the detailed account of John McCain’s time in a torture camp, it seems as if they were trying to put forth the notion that he was in fact more in line with “America.” However, as I noted above, the almost feverish appeal of “USA” and “COUNTRY FIRST” chants that took over the room, was eerie, since the population of the room was not representative of a modern-day America.

Here’s the article: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/03/bernstein.rnc/index.html 

Written by Veena

September 3, 2008 at 5:18 am

Questioning John McCain

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Well, it seems that the national media has finally caught on to some inconsistencies in McCain’s profile. While many people (including myself) had a very favorable opinion of him as a Senator, upon closer investigation, aside from talking a lot about campaign finance and energy reform, it doesn’t look like McCain has done all that much. Just because he is a decorated war hero, does not mean he is going to be a great leader.

These are three articles that point to a lot of information that has been overlooked about McCain.

 Frank Rich’s op-ed from Sunday: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/opinion/17rich.html?em

Marketwatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/story.aspx?guid=%7B4914192B%2D12AF%2D4623%2DAB18%2D5EFE91204B04%7D&siteid=rss  …

Even Jack Cafferty: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/18/cafferty.mccain/index.html

Be an informed voter … think critically about your candidates.

Written by Veena

August 19, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Liberals & Conservatives

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As this presidential election wears on, many of us are attuned to the excess of back and forth jabs between people who identify themselves as liberals or conservatives. I just came across an example of this a few minutes ago, when I clicked on a link from CNN, which led me to an article about John McCain’s bush crashing. While the video was nothing special, the comments below were really disturbing. I’m not sure about the age or diversity of the crowd that has left feedback on this story, but nearly every comment that has been posted has a narrow-minded view of liberal vs. conservative; Obama vs. McCain etc..

While Obama supporters have gotten a great deal of flack for their unquestioning devotion to “the one” as he is reffered to satiricaly, it is not just his constituents who hold strong to their beliefs about a candidate. This is completely reminiscent of those young kids, wearing Flip-flop costumes during the Kerry campaign of 2004 – screaming “flip flopper” as they swayed from side to side, in a seemingly delirious rage.

However, its this same blind regurgitation of so-called “facts” by mainstream media that is most disturbing. Two weeks ago, I was watching a Fox News segment on both Presidential candidates’ stance on drilling and their overall energy plans. One of the contributors kept relating topics like energy conservation and climate change to “leftist liberals who were trying to protect the spotted owl.” This uninformed contributor clearly has not read or seen any of the research that is being presented all over the world, not just by “conservationists” but by conservatives, including John McCain. In fact, environmental conservation, climate change etc. are not lofty liberal ideas, they are real issues that do need attention because they have significant humanitarian, economic, political and social consequences. That big earred dope on Fox should at least check his facts with one of several thousand news sources available in the Information Age. 

Its fine to have political pundits, on the left and right, Bill O’Reilly comes to mind, who scoff and spin and make a nice dime on telling people some of the truth. However, it is just shameful to be someone who is a news anchor, a contributor, producer, etc. and not report the facts, regardless of the side you are on. The luxury we have in the United States, is that we can have opposing viewpoints. However, each time that small-minded contributor on Fox News etc. gets on television and links environmental issues to the advancement of liberal goals, he is doing everyone a disservice. The media should have integrity. Put down your liberal/conservative gloves and look at the facts, if you have to spin to the point that you sound like a loony right/left buffoon, then you’ve spun too far. Instead, why not try to debate your real take on the issue, instead of making dramatic gestures and remarks that dilute the actual content and character of the news you are reporting?

Written by Veena

August 7, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Hello media?!

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I didn’t write this, but it is epitomizes the misgivings I have about TV media. At what point in the chain of command between the field reporters, AP feeds, and actual coverage does so much of the real story get lost? Who is calling the shots? How much influence do owners of media corporations have at the daily news level?

In any case, this article puts forth an interesting perspective on what the media chooses to report, especially tv journalists and what they ignore. I didn’t watch television this week, but from the small clips I caught on CNN.com and MSNBC.com, I could tell that a lot of folks were focused on Jesse Jackson’s unfortunate (but ultimately not that impactful) comments.

Check out this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-bergmann/the-week-that-should-have_b_111983.html

Written by Veena

July 13, 2008 at 2:02 am