Tag Archives: joe biden

Is She a Game-Changer?

Sarah Palin was no one’s expected choice for John McCain’s vice presidential running mate. And that in itself is remarkable. John McCain did exactly what a self-styled “maverick” leader should do: he picked the person no one expected he would.

My first reaction: this is a brilliant move.  Just as Obama picked a cynical old white man Washington career politician (Joe Biden) for his running mate, McCain counters by picking a young, idealistic, tough-as-nails woman from Alaska! That’s about as far from Joe Biden as you can get…

She’s a great pick for other reasons:

-She’s huge on family values and pro-life issues. This is what McCain needed to reassure social conservatives and Catholics.

-She’ll be a boon for the Western vote. The typically red-state West is in play this election, and she should give McCain’s campaign a big boost among western republicans and independents. She’s all about gun rights, small government, and traditional values. And she’s not Mitt Romney.

-She’s a woman! This is amazing and historic: the first woman to ever appear on a Republican presidential ticket. And in a year when Hillary was supposed to be there! I imagine a number of Hillary’s 18 million fans will wonder: why didn’t Obama pick Hillary for VP??? How embarrassing for the democrats that in a year when they had the best female candidate, they chose two male senators and let the republicans “break the glass ceiling.”

-She’s an amazing amalgam of likeable traits. She’s a “hockey mom,” played tons of sports in high school and college, was a beauty queen, is a hunter, a former union member, is married to a champion snowmobiler/fisherman, and has a son in Iraq.

-She’s a Washington outsider, unlike the other three people in the election. She has a small-town, down-to-earth feel (mother of five… and one baby just recently born) and will really appeal to the “Obama is elitist and out-of-touch” people out there…

-She’s a good speaker. I just watched her speech from Dayton, OH. She has the right mix of force/authority and deference. You can tell from her speaking tone that she can spar with anyone and hold her own, while also demonstrating a mother’s compassion.

-She’ll clean house. As governor of Alaska, she’s cleaned up some of the corruption in that state’s republican party. Republicans need someone like her, coupled with Maverick McCain, to clean house and rid Washington of cronyism and “good ole boy” clubs…

-She looks like Tina Fey!

Advertisements

No More Mr. Nice Guy

What happened to Barack “I’m a new sort of politician” Obama? This is the guy who endeared himself to many, many people (even me) when he proclaimed that he would run a new, higher-brow campaign that eschewed attack ads and favored productive dialogue over the traditional mudslinging tactics. I was so excited to see a politician committed to being so nonpolitical. Alas, it appears that Obama has given up on that dream.

The nail in the coffin of that idealistic spirit came with the VP announcement of Joe “venom-spewing” Biden, an old-school Washington politician who runs his mouth off in negative ways better than just about anyone. If Obama had wanted to prioritize his “new politics” positivity, he would have picked a Washington outsider like governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas. Instead, and clearly out of fears that the election is looking closer than he originally intended, Obama picked a blue-blood politico with the gall to fight back against McCain. It’s probably a shrewd move, but it’s one that really disappoints me. Obama is clearly resigned to waging a war, forsaking his (admittedly naïve) ideals of waging a “new sort of campaign.”

I suspect that these last few months of increased attack ads and pushback by Obama have disheartened more than a few Obama supporters. In surveying the message boards and blogs on MyBarackObama.com today, I found several indications that young voters especially (those, like me, who most responded to Obama’s anti-political persona) have indeed become a little disillusioned.

Take this confessional blog post (copied from MyBarackObama.com) from Alex Leo entitled “Why I am suspending my campaigning efforts”:

When I first became attracted to Obama as a leader, and as a candidate for president, it was March of 2007. The more I had learned about the political process and the more I understood about the framer’s intentions behind the Constitution, the more disillusioned I became with politics, the people in power, and the state our nation had come to. Disillusionment turned to Cynicism, and Cynicism to a total lack of Hope.

It comes as little surprise to Obama supporters why Obama’s message attracted me. Obama spoke to the corruption that was in Washington, spoke to the areas where the system had been crippled, and promised a campaign devoid of “that kind of politics.”

I believe that Barack Obama has reverted into the same level of politics that he so promised he would stand above. There were signs of it in the race against Clinton; the clever campaign slogans, the trite phrases designed for soundbytes. At the same time, he still held largely to his convictions and ran one of the cleanest campaigns anyone could have.

Not so, now. From political shifts to the center that underscore the campaigns expediency, to “response-to-attack” adds that utilize the same negative add tactics that McCain is using, Obama seems to have gone astray from the “different kind of politics” that he promised. For the time being, Obama stands as any other Democratic politician.

So, because much of my initial reasoning for supporting Obama has been undermined, I am suspending my efforts to actively campaign for him. I am still going to vote for him; I agree with many of his policies, and have no respect for McCain at this point. If the campaign cleans up, I may choose to resume my active campaigning, but for the time being, I’m going to hold Obama to the standard that he once demanded of Washington.

I agree completely with Alex. It would have been interesting to see if Obama could have won or lost the election had he stayed the revolutionary course of a “different kind of politics”; but now that he’s just another politician doing the tiresome mudslinging thing, we’ll never know. Thanks for trying to set a new example, Barack. A future leader will have to carry on where you left off.