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November 12, 2002

Posted by Teresa at 10:39 AM *

I will take this as the opening act of the 2004 presidential campaigns.

Comments on Marker:
#1 ::: Anne KG Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 11:26 AM:

Ah, just the kind of passive reporting that really annoys me. Adams questions McCain's suggestion that an implied offer of future campaign contributions from big tobacco influenced a cigarette tax vote after McConnell mentioned it to fellow GOP senators right before the vote in 1998, and the reporter fails to give the reader enough information to evaluate the strength of Adams' point.

The reporter tells us, "when McCain was asked that day by Abrams if he had ever checked to see if, in fact, the tobacco companies did anything later for the senators' campaigns, McCain said he 'didn't even try.' "

We the readers are left wondering whether or not the tobacco companies did in fact do anything later for the senators' campaigns. Can't find that out in this article, even though I'm pretty sure the major campaign contributors and amounts are public knowledge somewhere.

#2 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 11:59 AM:

Speaking of presidents and campaigning, am I the only person who finds it inconsistent that a party which pillories a Vice President for doing partisan political business on the White House telephones would be more than happy to have a President doing partisan political business on Air Force One?

#3 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 01:02 PM:

Bob, the response would go something like: "Yeah, but Bush didn't have oral sex in the Oval Office."

Put another way: The strident ideologues who worked themselves into pleasurable self-righteous frenzies over Lincoln bedroom visits, expensive haircuts, use of Air Force One for campaign travel, & etc. & ad nauseum, are people profoundly capable of the doublethink necessary to ignore the same behavior in their special little guy.

Put another way: They have no shame. Dissing Bush for doing what Clinton did is a non-starter.

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 01:17 PM:

I don't know why everyone is so enamoured of McCain. On the plus side, he isn't Bush, and he's colorful. Balance that against his negatives: he's a crook, a jerk, and not terribly bright.

#5 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 01:38 PM:

A few years ago a friend explained to me why McCain is so popular with the press: everything he says is on the record. I don' t know whether this is actually true, but it would explain a lot.

#6 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 04:52 PM:

McCain is seen as forthright and heroic while still being a conservative. The press know that Bush is a constant liar, even if they choose not to report on it, and they want to boost conservative candidates for whatever reason, so McCain's aura of honesty makes him look like the man to back.

There's a love-letter to McCain from Russell Baker which very strongly plays the honesty theme, here in the New York Review of Books.

#7 ::: ruprecht ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 05:43 PM:

McCain was on television on Sept 11. He was angry, nearly out of control. I realized that I was glad he wasn't President.

#8 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2002, 10:05 PM:

I agree with Ruprecht. And I don't mean to make excuses for the way the Bush campaign went after him. But there's something very temperamental about McCain that also makes me glad he ain't in charge.

As for his swell relationship with the press, well, it has been very persuasively pointed out by many visitors to this site how ruthless and dishonest they have been in going after Al Gore. I sure don't take it as a positive sign that the same crowd fawns over McCain.

#9 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2002, 03:56 AM:

Stefan, I suppose that the question I'm asking is why those strident demagogues are successful, to a degree, while this would not be worth trying.

Please note that my question wasn't about convincing any demagogues. It's about convincing the electorate that having a "war leader" president (who's a joiner, not a divider) blow off his duties and tons of taxpayer-owned jet fuel to get his shitheel buddies elected is a bad thing, not a good thing. It's about getting Democrats to respond to that kind of thing by turning out at the polls and turning out those selfsame shitheels because the Republican president is taxing and spending solely to benefit the Republican party.

Actually, I find it impressive how well the Democratic party did in this recent election, considering how baffled they were by the Iraq trap and the degree to which W. blew off work to support his political views. It's important to keep in mind that Republicans can't hurt Democrats, but that they don't have to if they can make them hurt themselves.

#10 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 13, 2002, 03:13 PM:


Ahhh . . . I think I misunderstood your aim. Not:

Highlight Bush's faults to lower his popularity.


Highlight Bush's faults to galvanize the left.

I'm still not sure if that would work. My gut feeling: Outraged Republicans vote. Outraged Democrats get disgusted with the process and stay home.

#11 ::: Myke ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2002, 03:38 PM:

As an "outraged Republican" myself, I can concur with Stefan.

I was curious to what you all think of Liddy Dole as a serious presidential candidate in '08? Do you think that's even remotely realistic?

#12 ::: ruprecht ::: (view all by) ::: November 18, 2002, 01:13 PM:

Condi Rice would be a better candidate in 08, in my humble opinion. She holds herself very well in interivews and has that Chance Gardiner aspect of not having too much history to hold against her (many people still hold the 55 MPH laws against Liddy Dole).

Since nobody wants Cheney and his bad heart as President Bush Jr. would be wise to shuffle the deck and put Condi in the position, giving her the front-runner status going into the primaries of 08.

#13 ::: Anne Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2002, 10:41 AM:

On the one hand, I wouldn't like to see Condi Rice headed for the presidency because I don't like her. I think she was pivotal in undermining Colin Powell and has entirely too much influence right now considering her lack of real experience and insight.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing her as the republican candidate in '08 because I don't think she could possibly win.

#14 ::: Kip ::: (view all by) ::: November 19, 2002, 01:19 PM:

Any chance some portion of the electorate might find it a little smelly that the just-passed "homeland security" bill includes tidy giveaways to the pill-rollers like Lilly and other big GOP donors? Or remember it more than two days from now?

Naw, not a chance. It's only the Democrats who'll suffer for "voting against homeland security."

My hopes were high for a few seconds, because the headline on my browser said "Democrats Defeated Homeland Vote." When I clicked the link, it turned out to say "Democrats Defeated On Homeland Vote."

The future's here. Just for the record, I love Big Brother.

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