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Campaign 08

Campaign 08

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  • Obama Counters McCain With Fox Appearance

    September 3, 2008

    ST. PAUL -- Talk about counter-programming.

    On the night that John McCain will accept the Republican presidential nomination in this city, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will enter the "no-spin zone" on Fox.

    Obama has agreed to appear Thursday on Bill O'Reilly's evening program, "The O'Reilly Factor," for an exclusive question and answer session with the host.

    (0) Comments
  • Setting Expectations for Sarah

    September 3, 2008

    I predict that Sarah Palin will give one hell of a speech tonight. The McCain campaign is betting on it and the Obama campaign is prepared for it.

    The media will swoon and Republicans will rejoice, hoping that Americans will forget everything we've learned about Palin in the past week; her family drama, multiplying scandals and scant foreign policy experience.

    I also predict that virtually all of the media coverage following the speech will miss the point. One good speech shouldn't cloud the central question: should McCain have picked Palin and is she up for the job?

    (16) Comments
  • Palin's Secessionist Friends

    September 3, 2008

    Can you imagine the reaction if Barack Obama courted or belonged to a political party that advocated secession from the United States?

    Conservatives and political commentators would go apoplectic. So why isn't Sarah Palin's affiliation with the far right Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) a bigger deal?

    Todd Palin was a member of the party from 1995 to 2002. Sarah attended the group's convention in 1994 and 2000 and sent a videotaped greeting for the AIP in 2008.

    (96) Comments
  • Roll Over, Rockefeller

    September 3, 2008

    On Tuesday night, as the GOP rabble -- also known as the delegates -- awaited their overdue serving of red-meat rhetoric at the low-lying Xcel Energy Center, the elegantly bedraggled remnants of Rockefeller Republicanism gathered high atop St. Paul's nearby hill of privilege, in a massive historic mansion named Dove Hill, to clink glasses and commiserate. Officially, they had come to raise big bucks for the Republican Majority for Choice, a PAC supporting some 75 state and local candidates including New Jersey Senate hopeful Dick Zimmer, a "fiscal conservative" who believes "it's entirely consistent to be pro-choice and to believe that government should have a limited role otherwise as well." Unofficially, they were here to remind each other that wealthy, broad-minded Republicans are not -- contrary to widespread belief -- an entirely extinct breed.

    "We are the majority not just of the Republican Party, but, frankly, of the American people," declared a defiantly hopeful Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and EPA administrator. "The American people are not hard-nosed, narrow-minded, litmus-test people. They are in the center. And that's where we are."

    Where they were mostly not, of course, was on the floor of the convention hall with the party's overwhelmingly conservative foot soldiers -- a fact that, alone among the speakers who found creative ways to praise John McCain, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania seemed fully to grasp. After being introduced as a "leader" of moderate Republicans, Specter immediately shooed away the compliment. "I can't claim to be a leader," he said. "A leader has to have followers. And when you're in the telephone booth of the United States Senate with the other moderates, there's nobody to follow you. You can hardly be a leader."

    (21) Comments
  • Bush Compares Critics to Torturers

    September 2, 2008

    ST. PAUL Did George Bush, in his valedictory address to the last Republican National Convention of his presidency, actually compare liberal critics of his administration and his party to North Vietnamese guards who were accused of torturing prisoners of war?

    Yes, he did.

    Speaking via a live video feed from the White House, Bush enthusiastically endorsed the man his campaign smeared in the 2000 Republican presidential primary campaign.

    (63) Comments
  • Defeating Evil and Defending Palin

    September 2, 2008

    Governor Jon Huntsman of Utah said Sarah Palin was "going through a little challenge right now."

    That's an understatement! The scandals keep piling up for Palin, with Republicans reaching for the panic button in the week when they were supposed to be turning things around.

    There's even a rumor that Palin has a "Jewish problem," so Huffington Post's Sam Stein and I headed over to a "Salute to GOP Governors" sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition this afternoon at the swanky Walker Art Center.

    (44) Comments
  • Goodman Released, But Press Freedom Issue Lingers

    September 2, 2008

    The arrests of Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and members of her crew, as well as an Associated Press photographer, highlighted the broad sweep that police agencies are using in rounding up not just demonstrators (almost 300 arrested so far) but those who would report on demonstrations outside the Republican National Convention.

    Goodman and her colleagues, as well as AP photographer Matt Rourke, were released by Tuesday morning.

    But the issues raised by these arrests, and related incidents in which mainstream and independent journalists have been sprayed with tear gas, pushed around and threatened by authorities, remain.

    (26) Comments
  • Juno From Juneau

    September 2, 2008

    The Republican National Committee's 2008 convention draft platform pledges to continue waging the right's war on sex education. The platform reads: "We support abstinence education and oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception." These words seem ironic in light of revelations that the 17-year-old daughter of Vice Presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, Bristol, was impregnated by her boyfriend, a self-described "f___ing' redneck" who will "kick ass" if anyone messes with him.

    "Juno From Juneau," a video report from the floor of the Republican National Convention

    Republican abstinence-only policies have been disastrous for teens across the country. A 2007 study by the Government Accountability Office found no evidence that the Bush administration's abstinence education programs, including those that have falsely claimed that AIDS can be transmitted through sweat and tears, have demonstrated any effectiveness. Could Bristol Palin have benefited from the sex education and contraceptives the GOP seeks to deny to public school students?

    (41) Comments
  • What Republican Delegates Believe

    September 2, 2008

    It's often asked who are the 25 percent of voters who still approve of the job President Bush is doing as President. Answer: they're delegates at the Republican Convention!

    The New York Times ran a fascinating poll yesterday examining what Republican delegates believe, as compared to other Republicans, the public at large and their Democratic counterparts. The findings confirm that President Bush is no more out of touch than John McCain's delegates.

    A quick sample of the beliefs of GOP delegates:

    (8) Comments
  • ABC News on Palin Pregnancy & Racial Bias

    September 2, 2008

    ABC News' Jake Tapper asks the uncomfortable question about the Palin pregnancy story. His entire post:

    Just Askin'

    What would the response be if Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and his wife Michelle had a pregnant unmarried teenage daughter?

    (29) Comments
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Obama Counters McCain With Fox Appearance | A Murdoch-brokered "truce" puts the Democrat on "The O'Reilly Factor" Thursday Night.
John Nichols

» Capitolism

Notes on Cant | The semantic black hole at the center of the RNC
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» Editor's Cut

An Open Letter on Behalf of Amy Goodman | Drop charges against Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar of Democracy Now!
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» The Beat

This Is Sarah Palin's Convention | John McCain is just a spectator for the theater that will make or break his campaign.
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» The Dreyfuss Report

Sarah Palin, Foreign Policy Expert | The worst vice presidential nominee in history is a whiz kid, a top neocon says.
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» ActNow!

Power Vote | New effort to build a green youth voter bloc of one million is growing.
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» The Notion

Old Cold War or New Energy Conflict? | After Georgia, Vladimir Putin is the reigning grandmaster of geostrategic chess, the Bush team rank amateurs.
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» And Another Thing

Sarah Palin, Wrong Woman for the Job | Seriously, people! Life is not a Lifetime movie.
Katha Pollitt