Tag Archives: republican

Politics

Powell backs Obama

Colin Powell gave a resounding endorsement to Barack Obama recently, and this is a pretty huge development.

He is one of the mot eloquent statesmen to come out of the Republican party in the last few years, and one of the few from the Bush administration that is still looked on with serious amounts of respect.  There was some controversy over  his speeches to the UN about going to war in Iraq.  He essentially fed everyone misinformation about Iraqi WMDs, but in his defence he himself was likely misled.

There is quite a lot of thought that having such a major military figure and a former Secretary of State (and a Republican, no less) wil dramatically help Obama’s numbers in the next little while.  Watch the endorsement:

Now there is a bit of an uproar.  There are plenty of right wing commentators who are claiming it’s all about race, that Powell’s only endorsing Obama because they’re both black.  Frankly, I think that’s absurd and offensive.  You can attack Powell for being an opportunist, or being a bandwagon jumper, but I think it’s quite wrong to denigrate the decision of a respected politician in this manner.

Let us know what you thinkk.

[Source: BBC]

Politics

Updates on the female candidates – Elizabeth May and Sarah Palin

I post this using the plural because I want to cover developments in both the Canadian and American elections.

Canada

In Canadian Politics, quite a lot has changed in the last few days.  Elizabeth May, the only female leader of a national political party will now be allowed to enter the TV debates, despite earlier reports.  Originally, the leaders of both the NDP and the Conservative Party had opposed the inclusion of May in the televised debates.  Stephan Dion, the Liberal Party leader, comes off looking very well after being the only major leader to openly support her inclusion.

The general public seemed quite upset, especially with NDP leader Jack Layton.  Intense pressure from supporters resulted in Layton backing down.  Once that happened, Harper immediately changed his tune and removed his opposition to May’s inclusion as well.  This will mark the first time the Green Party is included in the televised debate, and is a major shift in the Canadian Political landscape.  The big “fear” from the Conservatives and the NDP is simply that her and Dion will team up and represent some of the same platform points.  It’s a bit unfounded, because the NDP also shares many of the same platform points as both the Liberals and the Greens, and yet no one is worried about t heir inclusion.

America

In other news, Sarah Palin continues both to impress and anger at the same time.  She is also a pretty strong public speaker, but her speeches so far have been laced with more than a few examples of inflamatory rhetoric, and also more than one lie.

The big one?  Her purported opposition to the “Bridge to Nowhere”.  She claims she said “thanks but no thanks” to Congress when they offered her $200 million dollars for this bridge.  However, local politicians from both major parties have come out against this.  The truth of the matter is that she was a major supporter and lobbier on behalf of this earmark, and once the money was received and the political winds changed, she changed her mind and said “no”.  But then she kept the money. That’s right.  This Yahoo! News article has much more information on some of the fiscal scandals plaguing her.  The other big issue is her opposition to a Federal oil profits Windfall tax (which Obama supports), while in her state she has done just this.  Alaska has had a major oil tax, but Palin rejigged the whole thing to make the state receive more of the income.

There is also a growing fear of Palin’s theocratic tendencies.  While faith in politics has been a major factor in American politics for the last two elections, here it becomes even more curious.  Over and above the accusations of Obama being a secret muslim, there are more serious accusations about Palin.  Juan Cole of Salon.com has written a scathing article.  Here’s a short piece: “But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

Cole goes on to compare Palin’s positions on abortion with a variety of Islamic countries, and notices that herr position lines up nearly identically with that of Iran.  Cole even notes that Tunisia allows abortion in the first trimester, while Palin vehemently argues it is always an “atrocity”. She’s also let it be known she doesn’t believe that climate change is man-made, which is diametrically opposed to the views espoused by both the Obama campaign and her own running mate, John McCain.

Despite these…questionable attitudes on certain subjects, Palin has been a huge source of strength to the McCain campagin.  As a staunch conservative, she has re-energized an unimpressed Republican base and has been a great source of funding for McCain.  Obama’s campaign has actually begun to fall behind in terms of fundraising in the weeks since she has been announced.

For a more detailed (and sligtly more balanced view) of Palin and some of her policies, check out this Newsweek article.

Conclusion

Overall, two strong women are participating in national politics in North America.  This is less of a “big deal” in Canada, which has already had a (albeitly short-lived) female Prime Minister.  However, this is still something to be proud of.  In both countries, this is likely to be one of the most interesting and engaging political races in modern history.

Politics

Is Obamamania fizzling out?

Until recently, Barack Obama’s lead in the polls appeared insurmountable.  The presumptive Democratic nominee’s message of change seemed to be resonating with the American public, while his Republican counterpart’s efforts to endear himself to evangelical voters was proving largely fruitless.  In July, for example, polling website electoral-vote.com had Obama leading his opponent by over 100 electoral college votes.  Similarly, the results of a national poll released in mid-June showed Obama holding a healthy 15 point lead over McCain. 

Over the last few weeks, however, Obama’s lead has shrunk dramatically.  Pollster.com shows him leading by less than 70 electoral college votes, with states like Indiana and Missouri – until recently considered winnable by Obama – trending Republican.

Electoral-vote.com paints an even worse picture for Obama fans.  According to its calculations, McCain is leading in the vitally-important swing states of Ohio and Florida and, to a lesser extent, Colorado.  Under this scenario, Obama’s margin over McCain is a measly 3 electoral votes; a virtual dead-heat.  Should the election unfold along these lines, Virginia, the only remaining state in the ‘undecided’ column, would decide the presidency.  Both candidates have a realistic shot of taking Virgina – but it’s hardly the situation Obama expected to be in as the summer draws to a close.

So what happened?  Are people fed up with his incessant, ambiguous demands for ‘change?’  Perhaps.  More likely, though, is that McCain’s negative attack ads are finally having an impact.  Joan Walsh, writing in Salon, notes: “John McCain’s decision to slime Barack Obama … seems to be paying off in the short term, judged by his recent climb in many polls.”  And a host of news outlets and editorial boards have offered similar analyses.

McCain appears to be taking a page out of Bush and Rove’s playbook.  A cursory glance at 2004 polling data reveals a striking similarity between the two election cycles: during the summer of ’04, Kerry led Bush by several dozen electoral college votes and looked poised to take back the Oval Office for Democrats.  However, shortly after the launch of the now-infamous Swift Boad ads, Kerry’s lead began to evaporate.  Of course, we all know how that story ends.

Is a similar fate in store for Obama?  Hopefully not.  Already, he’s started to fight back.  According to an article in today’s Independent, Obama is “now running an uplifting national advertising campaign while delivering fierce attacks on his opponent at the local level in key swing states [Emphasis added].”

While some would say that Obama’s new strategy is hypocritical given his pledge to “transcend the bickering of national politics,” I think it’s about damn time he started to fight back.  Negative campaigns win, whether we like it or not.  And, to be perfectly honest, I’d rather see Obama take the White House with a vitriolic campaign than lose it with an “uplifting one.”

Regardless, if he doesn’t manage to reverse his sliding poll numbers soon, negative campaign ads could be the least of Obama’s worries.

Politics

The Republican Super-Ticket: McCain/Rice

 

I wrote recently that Democrats should have no problem retaking the White House come November, despite the protracted, occasionally nasty battle currently raging between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Perhaps I spoke too soon: a recent poll conducted by Marist College and WNBC reveals that a Republican ticket of John McCain and Condoleezza Rice would win New York, even against a Democratic ticket consisting of Clinton and Obama. This is shocking, since Kerry won New York by 20 points in 2004 and Gore won it by an even greater margin (25 points) in 2000.

If the poll is true, Democrats should be seriously concerned. Although the poll only canvassed New York voters, the fact that McCain and Rice would be so competitive in a dyed in the wool Blue State is incredible. CNN’s take on the poll suggests that Rice, being both black and a woman, would trump whatever historic candidacy the Democrats will present to the American public in the Fall. Apparently, a black female Vice President is better than either a black or a female President.

Politics

The Worst Ever?

George W Bush

Has the Bush presidency been the worst ever? The Toronto Star tackles the issue.

Politics

John McCain’s Double Talk Express

Obviously take it with a grain of salt since all political videos are created with a certain set of biases.

This is clearly no exception and 4080Records does not endorse it by any means. It could be inaccurate, it could be outright wrong or conveniently edited. Still, it’s a pretty interesting look at a man who claims to speak “Straight Talk”.

This video compares John McCain’s various statements over time. To be fair, I can’t honestly fault him for the Iraq thing. It’s clearly a misstatement for him to claim that he always knew it wouldn’t be easy. But it is more important for politicians to come to terms with the way a situation like Iraq is now then for them to be right about the way they viewed it before. I’d way rather have him change his mind on this issue than have him stick to the line that everything is peachy in that area of the world.

Either way, take a look.