Thursday, February 21, 2008

Short Attention Span Musing

...In the most telling indicator of where the Republicans' heads are at, during yesterday's hubbub surrounding the NY Times' revelations that John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist and gave preferential treatment to her clients, Republican pundits seem to be most concerned with the "marital infidelity" allegation, not the "blatant corruption" allegation.

From Bay Buchanan, campaign advisor to presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R-WD) and sister of Pat Buchanan, speaking on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 -
But going to the point that David [Gergen, a CNN political analyst] raised, I will tell you there is a problem. This is not the Democratic Party. This is the party of values. And we assume that our candidates have been loyal to their families. We assume that. We don't ask them that question.

But, when the issue is raised, when somebody suggests you haven't been loyal to your wife and your family, then we expect them to be outraged, to be out there saying, for one thing, "I want you to know, without question, I have always been loyal to my wife and my children. And that I want to be understood clearly."

And, so far, I think John McCain has not made that strong enough. He is going to have to make that point very, very public, if he wishes to galvanize Republicans.

Umm, folks, let's be clear - any issues relating to marital fidelity are issues to be resolved between John and Cindy McCain, and no one else.

However, if the allegations of preferential treatment for lobbyists are true, the story could (and should!) really play havoc with the political ambitions of someone who has positioned himself as an icon of ethical propriety in D.C...

On another note, the McCain campaign has derided the Times' story as a "smear campaign" but the timing of the story actually benefits McCain - it has come out too late in the election cycle to influence the primaries and early enough that the story will fade and have no influence on the general election.

McCain and his supports may not like the story, but the timing is almost a personal favor to him.

The full NY Times' story here.

...A few short weeks ago, the inevitability of Hillary Clinton's nomination seemed unquestionable; today, Barack Obama seems to be the 'inevitable' one, with his jump into the fundraising lead and winning 10 states' primaries/caucuses in a row.

It's not about who receives the most donations or who wins the most states; it's about who wins the majority of delegates.

The Democrats' practice of awarding delegates on a proportional basis make it unlikely that, short of a serious blowout in Texas or Ohio, either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will pull away.

Having said all that, Clinton needs big wins in Texas and Ohio, and needs them far more than Obama. She's starting to hemorrhage superdelegates; another big win for Obama would only inspire more defections.

Expect both campaigns to continue operating at full throttle through March 4 and on to the convention...

...In a move that is sure to surprise no one, the New Times has made the preliminary moves to a lawsuit against Maricopa County and the various actors (Joe Arpaio, Andrew Thomas, Dennis Wilenchik) in October's arrests of two New Times' founders for publishing stories critical of Arpaio and Thomas.

A lawsuit is necessary and deserved, but since the taxpayers of Maricopa County are the ones who will pick up the tab for any settlement/jury award, they'll keep doing what they want to do to stifle dissent.

The best way to teach Arpaio and Thomas that their desperate tinpot despot tactics are wrong is to vote for Dan Saban for Sheriff and Gerald Richard (or possibly Tim Nelson) for County Attorney.


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