Politics postsTuesday October 28, 2008
Good Talking Points Memo feature here on the number of conservatives who have dismissed McCain and/or endorsed Obama, and the number of newspapers who have done the same, specifically because of McCain's VP pick. You have a favorite? Mine's still Colin Powell, although I give Chris Hitchens props.
The Six Narratives of John McCain
Interesting piece by Robert Draper in yesterday's NY Times Magazine on the various narratives of the McCain campaign. The subhed says it all: “When a campaign can't settle on a central narrative, does it imperil its protagonist?”
In this way it's easy to blame McCain's chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, who encouraged John McCain to get away from “straight talk” in favor of “talking points,” and who encouraged him to use (or exploit) his P.O.W. status, and who favored picking Sarah Palin for VEEP and who pushed for suspending the campaign on Wednesday, Sept. 24 in the wake of the financial crisis, and who was, after all, the author of all of these various narratives, in which they tried to remake Obama as a “celebrity” or a “non-partisan pretender” or “a Washington insider” and then suffered the misfortune of not having Obama play along. So, yes, it's easy to blame Schmidt. But of course the bigger fault lies with John McCain. In the parlance of this low, dishonest decade, he's the decider, and he decided to take this path, or these paths, and so he is where he is. I believe conservatives used to call this kind of thing “accountability.”
Reading, in fact, my main thought was this: Who wants a president of the United States who can be pushed around by the likes of Steve Schmidt?
McCain Endorses Obama?
More Obama stuff. Nicholas Kristof writes what everyone who thinks two feet beyond their face has known from the start (but it’s still nice to read) and The New York Times endorses Obama for president. They’ve also included this nifty little gadget on every Times presidential endorsement since Lincoln. From Lincoln to Obama. Talk about framing the issue.
The Times’ endorsement is hardly a surprise — they haven’t endorsed a Republican since Ike in ’56, and this hardly seems the year to break tradition. Tradition's breaking the other way: Not just Colin Powell but former Republican governors Arne Carlson and William Weld and former Bush press spokesperson Scott McClellan. Not to mention National Review scion Christopher Buckley and 40 newspapers that backed Bush and all of these people. Not sure how Rush Limbaugh bloviates against these.
Despite the polls, I’m assuming nothing. I know the Republicans will be throwing everything they can at Obama and hope something sticks. In recent weeks, the two biggest charges against him are that he’s a) a terrorist, and b) a socialist. We know why these words are chosen — both are pejorative in the minds of Americans — but they are, in the sense that the McCain camp uses them, mutually exclusive. In general, I suppose, one can be a terrorist-socialist (tearing down to build up?), but the McCain camp is implying that Obama will both destroy our government from within (leaving it in ashes) and build it up from within (leaving it stronger than ever). Jesus, dudes, pick one. You can’t have both.
Oh. My. God.
I don't know why I'm voting for this man. He keeps making me cry.
I’d also recommend this Ron Howard video. I grew up on “Andy Griffith” and “Happy Days” so appreciate what he went through to go back there. I await the sequel, in which he re-sings "Gary, Indiana" and gets us all to eat his dust.