Posts Tagged ‘Presidential Candidates’

A Ten Year Old’s Perspective

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

My oldest son is ten years old. Early last week, he told me he really wanted to do something to make sure that John McCain was elected our next President. Apparently, they have been talking a lot about politics in one of his classes, and he has, unsurprisingly, been taking the Republican side of the discussion.

I asked him why he was supporting John McCain? His initial answer basically boiled down to two points. First, he doesn’t think we should abandon the war in Iraq. As to the first point, Pulitzer winner Dexter Filkin has some interesting observations in a recent article for the New York Times:

Two years ago, when I last stayed in Baghdad, Karada Mariam was like the whole of the city: shuttered, shattered, broken and dead.

Abu Nawas Park — I didn’t recognize that, either. By the time I had left the country in August 2006, the two-mile stretch of riverside park was a grim, spooky, deserted place, a symbol for the dying city that Baghdad had become.

These days, the same park is filled with people: families with children, women in jeans, women walking alone. Even the nighttime, when Iraqis used to cower inside their homes, no longer scares them. I can hear their laughter wafting from the park. At sundown the other day, I had to weave my way through perhaps 2,000 people. It was an astonishing, beautiful scene — impossible, incomprehensible, only months ago.

Second, he thinks that if Senator Obama is elected, we’ll have “free health care,” but our taxes will go up. He doesn’t think paying more in taxes is a good idea. On that second point, I should point out that in second grade he did have Junior Achievement that’s when he learned that we all pay taxes to support government services, and how that’s not a bad thing. I should also note that his younger brother, also seems to agree on that latter point. Last night at dinner, he announced that if Obama wins we’ll pay more in taxes and gas prices will rise. According to him this is a bad thing because there will be less money for toys.

Now, before you think I’m brainwashing my kids, I should point out that they don’t read this blog, and we really don’t sit around the dinner table every night talking politics. However, they’ve been known to watch Discovery channel in the morning before school, and they are apparently being exposed to a lot of campaign commercials. To that end, I should also point out that they seem confused as to why the candidates are approving messages that spend the entire time talking about the other guy. But, I digress.

Well, I reached out to the John McCain camp and asked if there was any way that my ten year old could help out. They said, he’d be welcome to get on the phone and make survey calls, and that’s exactly what he did. In fact, he went through a 125 telephone numbers before I told him, we really needed to get going.

Now, let me take a moment and be non-partisan. He was calling Albuquerque area Democrats and Independents to I.D. voters. I didn’t make any calls, I just sat there and monitored — prepared to jump in if it got nasty. It didn’t, and for that I’d like the to thank anyone in Albuquerque who took the time this weekend to allow a 10 year old to get involved in the political process by answering a couple of simple survey questions. You made his day, and made his father very proud, not only of his son, but of the the people who make up this community.

I’ve got to run, but I want to share a final thought on the comments that have been reportedly made by Bernalillo County GOP Chairman Fernando C’deBaca. I should preface it by saying that I am hesitant to write anything about it because I challenged Mr. C’deBaca last year for the Chairmanship and lost. So, this is all I have to say.

I read (without attributing them) Mr. C’deBaca’s comments to my son on the way to the McCain offices, and asked him for his opinion. His immediate response was “Dad, that’s silly.” After a moment more of reflection, he added, “And, by silly I mean ridiculous, not funny.” It was the first of two times that I was to be proud of him that day.

A Heartbeat Away from the Presidency

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Since Senator McCain picked Governor Palin to be his running mate, we’ve heard an awful lot of attacks coming from the Democrats and the mainstream media (Mr. Charles Gibson) about Sarah Palin being “only one heartbeat away from the presidency.” Of course, this isn’t the first time this strategy has been used by Democrats.

http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/flash/player.swf?id=4124

As I recall, that candidate ended up with only 10 of the 50 states in the Electoral College. You’d think they’d learn. If you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, you might want to go watch some more presidential commercials at the Museum of the Moving Image.

How Many Emails Accounts Do You Have?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I have about half a dozen email addresses. Some are business related. Some are personal. I try to keep them separate. I would venture to guess that a growing number, if not the vast majority of working Americans, have at least two email accounts. A work email account, and a personal email account – just like Governor Sarah Palin.

Unfortunately, someone has taken it upon themselves to hack into the Governor’s personal email account, an account with personal family photos and private communications, and to post them online. The McCain camp has released the following statement:

“This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.”

Personally, I think this stunt is going to backfire on the perpetrators. The problem the Democrats are having with Sarah Palin from a political strategy standpoint is that she is someone with whom the vast majority of Americans can relate.

This is only going to further cement the bond that Sarah Palin is developing with the American people. I would venture to guess that the vast majority of Americans cherish their privacy and would be appalled if someone hacked their personal email and put the contents out there for all to see. This invasion of privacy on the heels of the attack against Sarah Palin because her 17 year old daughter is pregnant is without a doubt a new low. And, I’m willing to bet that it will hurt Democrats in the polls come November.

Joe Biden’s First Choice

Monday, September 15th, 2008

It looks like Senator Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, had a first choice as a running mate, and it wasn’t his colleague Senator Barack Obama (if you’re crunched for time skip ahead to 2:36 into the clip):

That’s right, given half a chance, Senator Joe Biden would have run on the presidential ticket with none other than the Republican candidate for President, Senator John McCain. Heck, he went so far as to urge McCain to run on a John Kerry ticket in 2004. Kind of makes you wonder how all of the Democrats can claim that electing John McCain as President is the same as a Bush third term.

Palin Confirms Her Status as the Perfect Pick

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

I was on the road last night, so I didn’t get to watch Sarah Palin’s speech at GOP Convention. However, I just watched it this morning, and all I can say is that there is no more perfect candidate for Vice President of the United States.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKgNrb3baNM]

There were several times during her speech where Governor Palin seemed to be speaking straight to New Mexicans:

A writer observed: “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity.” I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.

I grew up with those people.

They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America … who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.

They love their country, in good times and bad, and they’re always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.

Before Governor Palin was selected, I had a conversation with a producer from a PBS show, and I told him that one of Senator Obama’s biggest challenges in winning New Mexico would be the urban versus rural divide. As an urbanite, who time and time again shows he is out of touch with rural values, Senator Obama has some serious challenges in appealing to the two thirds of the state population that lives in rural New Mexican towns. It was this population that turned out and delivered New Mexico for President Bush in 2004.

Every time the Obama camp and the mainstream media question Governor Palin’s readiness because she comes from a small town in a sparsely populated state, they strengthen the resolve of proud rural New Mexicans to once again have their voices heard in the White House.

Ethics reform is another hot topic in New Mexico. Over the last several years we have been plagued by scandal after scandal with no end in sight. Politicians like Governor Richardson talk a good game publicly, while privately continuing their lucrative practice of pay-to-play politics. Governor Richardson, a beltway insider and key player in the Obama campaign, came to office and immediately purchased a jet to complement his lavish lifestyle. When his driver races his back to the Governor’s mansion, he has a staff of personal chefs waiting to pamper his every need.

Compare Governor Richardson’s approach to leadership to that of Governor Palin:

I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.

While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

I also drive myself to work.

And I thought we could muddle through without the governor’s personal chef – although I’ve got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending – by request if possible and by veto if necessary.

The Governor with five kids at home doesn’t need jets, drivers and personal chefs, but the Governor in a two-person household does? Where’s the logic in that? Supposedly, the Democrats are the party of the masses, but you tell me which Governor lives more like you and me?

Of course, I realize that Governor Richardson is not running for President. So, let’s bring it back to a Presidential ticket comparison. McCain/Palin versus Obama/Biden. When it comes to proven leadership at the top of the ticket, McCain/Palin win hands down. When it comes to a track record of change and bucking the political establishment, McCain/Palin win hands down. When it comes to dealing with energy or experience in world affairs, McCain/Palin win hands down.

On every measurement and in every category McCain/Palin is the more impressive ticket. And every time, someone tries to make the case that Governor Palin is not ready to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, we’ll think of this:

When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.

Governor Palin’s proven track record of meeting family and community responsiblities combined with Senator McCain’s proud history of fighting for this country means much more than Senator Obama’s and Senator Biden’s “experience” of winning elections.

THRILLED About Sarah Palin

Friday, August 29th, 2008

I can’t tell you how excited I am about Senator McCain choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his Vice-President. In August of last year, I had linked to a post that made a great case for selecting Sarah Palin to run as Vice-President:

However, the very best female candidate we have — and this won’t suprise anyone — is Sarah Heath Palin, the governor of Alaska. With an approval rating in the 90s, she’s the most popular state official in the nation. She’s a mother of four attractive children, a wife who’s a model of commitment to her spouse, and a pillar of honesty in a state with more than its share of political corruption.

She’s extremely knowledgable about several critical issues, including energy, the environment, and education. There’s no doubt she’ll be as passionate about observing the U.S. constitution as she is about following Alaska’s state document. She advocates the form of Christianity that emphasizes doing rather than talking. She’s a lifetime supporter of Second Amendment rights.

As her electability and approval ratings show, she knows how to communicate with voters. She has just enough of a populist streak that she’s not afraid to take on the big corporations (Exxon-Mobil, BP, and Conoco-Phillips) that, in the past, have generally had their way in Alaska.

Later that same week, I was on Eye on New Mexico, and because of the additional research I had done, I brought up what a great V.P. choice Sarah Palin would make. I’ve got video on my TIVO of that episode. Maybe this weekend, I’ll pull it off and post it here.

Obama’s Silence is Deafening

Friday, August 1st, 2008

A leader takes a stand. When he sees a problem, he calls it as he sees it. It may not win him more friends. It may not be the smartest political move, but it is the measure of a good leader. And, in the end, the leader who is willing to take a stand based on principle earns respect.

John McCain has shown leadership time and time again throughout his career and he has shown it on the campaign trail:

This was evident in the conversation that was revisited and then revisited again and again regarding Senator McCain’s request to the North Carolina GOP to not run an Obama attack ad based on Obama’s longstanding relationship with controversial minister Jeremiah Wright.

Compare McCain’s willingness to speak up to Barack Obama’s silence in the face of the anti-Semitic attacks being launched against another member of Congress:

Yet, for all [of Barack Obama’s] moralizing on the subject [of race], why is it that Obama is staying silent as members of his own party — not to mention his own race — in Tennessee use racial slurs to attack another member of his own party? And why is it that the national media has ignored this story? Perhaps its because the candidate being attacked, Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen, is not black but is Jewish? And perhaps its because his attackers are members of Tennessee’s black religious community? And perhaps it is because the Congressional Black Caucus is funding Cohen’s Democratic opponent, Nikki Tinker? And perhaps it is because Tinker is benefiting from this anti-Semitic attack against Cohen?

Obama may be a great orator. His campaign may have brilliantly marketed him as the catalyst for change. However, when given the opportunity to lead and speak up against politics of hate, Obama has already failed miserably. Change can only occur by electing a strong leader. Barack Obama is clearly demonstrting that he is not that leader.

UPDATE: It took a little while, but Senator Obama finally responded to the outrage.

The Oil Policy Difference

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Just a couple of months ago, it was widely predicted that prices at the pump would hit five dollars by Labor Day. Now, it seems that we might actually see a drop in prices at the pump between now and the election in November.

However, don’t be fooled. If we see temporary relief, it will be just that – temporary. Relief designed to give the impression that we don’t need to increase domestic oil exploration. If the Democrats expand their control of the legislative branch and take control of the executive branch, we will see gas prices north of five dollars a gallon for a very simple reason (subscription):

Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, supports lifting a drilling ban along the Outer Continental Shelf and encouraging more offshore drilling and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Sen. Barack Obama, the all-but-certain Democratic nominee, has opposed lifting the current offshore drilling bans.

“There is no way for at least a generation that we can get by without more and more oil,” Domenici said. “If we could just use our own, we could save American dollars from flowing out of America.”

Meanwhile, President Bush on Wednesday renewed his request that Congress lift its moratorium on coastal oil and gas drilling.

“The American people are rightly frustrated by the failure of the Democratic leaders in Congress to enact commonsense solutions,” Bush said. “All the Democratic leaders have to do is to allow a vote. They should not leave Washington without doing so.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, relented on the offshore drilling issue earlier this week, offering Republicans a chance to offer four amendments to the speculation bill, including one that would bring the drilling proposal to a Senate vote.

Look again at the bolded sections from Michael Coleman’s article. Even a goof like “Give ’em Hell Harry” recognizes the fact that domestic drilling deserves to be on the table. Yet, the Democrats presumptive nominee for President, Senator Barack Obama, remains stubbornly opposed to any common sense solution to ultimately returning market control of gas prices to Americans.

Instead, Senator Obama is perfectly happy to leave us hostage to the dictates of a cartel:

OPEC has rejected US pleas for raising production and the president of the cartel says he expects oil to stay at current price levels through the end of this year. That stands against a market where oil demand has gone up 1.5 million barrels a day for the last ten years.

Now who gets hurt the most when Democrats in the U.S. government insist on blocking domestic oil production? The working poor and middle class families is who:

If gasoline prices move from their current average price of $3.20 to $5, the cost of fuel for a family that spends $50 a week for gas would move up over $1,000 a year. That would wipe out any tax rebate payments from the Federal government and drive the economy deeper into its currently slowdown. It would also further fracture already delicate P&Ls; and balance sheet at large auto makers and airlines. Retailers would get less traffic. Very few industries would be spared some effect.

“… wipe out any tax rebate payments from the Federal government and drive the economy deeper into its currently slowdown.” That’s also an important fact to keep in mind for Governor Richardson’s upcoming taxpayers funded Special Session.

We’re an oil producing state, yet the Governor is doing everything in his power to discourage oil production. He did it when he passed unnecessary pit rules, and he’ll do it again in the upcoming regular session by trying to bring the cap and trade scam to New Mexico.

Of course, in characteristic Richardson fashion, he is hoping to dupe New Mexicans into believing that by giving us a rebate, he is alleviating our pain. However, the plain and simple truth is that, like all other Richardson fiscal decisions to date, he is making it more expensive for most New Mexicans to live.

The Child Walks Among Us

Monday, July 28th, 2008

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThFvlybQYso]

What can I say? I thought this was pretty funny.

Obama Can’t Afford Military Mistakes

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Throughout the Democratic Primary Senator Hillary Clinton has questioned Senator Barack Obama’s readiness to assume the role of Commander in Chief. Now, two recent occurrences indicate just how unschooled Senator Obama is in the military arena.

First, there was this Clintonesque type “oops” during his Memorial Day visit to Las Cruces:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is taking fire from Republicans after erroneously saying during his town-hall meeting with veterans in Las Cruces that his uncle was among the American soldiers who liberated Auschwitz during World War II.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Russians, not the Americans.

Then just a few days later, Obama’s spokesman, Bill Burton had this to say:

“John McCain’s proposal [to visit Iraq] is nothing more than a political stunt, and we don’t need any more ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners or walks through Baghdad markets to know that Iraq’s leaders have not made the political progress that was the stated purpose of the surge. The American people don’t want any more false promises of progress, they deserve a real debate about a war that has overstretched our military, and cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer.”

Say what????

Senator Obama is promising to pull the troops out of Iraq. Don’t you think as a potential future Commander in Chief, he ought to be willing to spend some post-surge time on the ground with our generals in Iraq? Or maybe Senator Obama is afraid he might learn something while visiting. Something like:

According to the Military Times poll, more than 60% of active-duty servicemen believe the US is either “somewhat” or “very” likely to succeed in Iraq. But less than 20% of them think “the Iraqi military will be ready to replace large numbers of American troops” in 2 years or less. That suggests that a sizable number of the troops on the ground think that a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq would amount to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Imagine if a soldier, marine, or guardsman were to express that opinion to Obama’s face, in public, on the ground in Iraq.

Yeah, we couldn’t have that happen, could we?