August 11, 2008


McCain Is Right to 'Go Negative' -- But Needs Positive (Mort Kondracke, 8/12/08, Real Clear Politics)

It has become standard among Democrats to accuse Republicans of "smearing" or "sliming" their candidates whenever the GOP goes negative.

"Willy Horton," "Swift Boat" and "Karl Rove" are shorthand for Democratic accusations, and the words alone are widely accepted as proof of GOP dirty tricks.

Republicans certainly did exploit 1988 Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis' furlough of convicted murderer Willie Horton, but it is a fact that Horton committed rape and assault after his release, reinforcing doubts about Dukakis' stance on crime.

In 2004, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth did have a legitimate beef against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who, as an anti-war veteran, once charged that atrocities were routinely committed by U.S. troops in Vietnam. [...]

In fact, of all the negative ads run in recent elections, the worst actually was run against Bush in 2000, in which the NAACP charged that the then-Texas governor's veto of a hate crimes bill was tantamount to condoning a racist murder. [...]

The fact is that Obama's fitness to be chief executive and commander in chief is probably the major question in the minds of swing voters -- and McCain has every right to reinforce their doubts.

Obama's youth, inexperience, judgment, values and consistency are all legitimate targets for Republicans, and, obviously, so are his policies.

Democrats, as witness the reactive ad from the Unicorn Rider whining that Maverick is a bigger celebrity, still don't get that it's not the attack that matters but its truth that kills you. Had John Kerry not been anti-Vietnam the Swift Boaters message wouldn't have mattered. But once you alerted voters that he'd opposed our government during war time he had to explain himself, not attack them.

Likewise, when Maverick reveals Senator Obama as an empty suit, a celebrity rather than a man of substantive achievement, the onus is on The One to tell people what he's done. We're waiting....

Why Barack Obama is in Trouble (Steven Warshawsky, 8/11/08, Real Clear Politics)

What has Obama accomplished to date? In truth, not very much -- except to master the art of self-promotion.

Obama has written two best-selling autobiographies: Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006). Yet he has never served in an important leadership position in government, business, or the military. His ability to perform as a chief executive officer is completely untested.

Obama has prestigious degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, but no significant professional achievements to his name. No businesses or organizations he has founded or managed. No law firm partnerships. No important cases he has tried. Not a single work of legal scholarship he has authored, despite having been Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Review and a part-time law professor at the University of Chicago for twelve years. (This is unheard of in the elite ranks of the legal profession, and calls into question the bona fides of Obama's professorship.)

Obama's principal occupation before entering politics was as a "community organizer" in Chicago. By his own admission, these efforts achieved only "some success," and none worthy of highlighting on his campaign website. Obama then served eight unexceptional years in the Illinois Senate, and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, where he is not even considered one of the Democratic Party's legislative leaders.

And this man believes he is "the one we have been waiting for"?

Obama may be considered a "rock star" by his supporters, but the kind of superficial glamour and excitement that this terminology suggests is not what most voters are looking for in a president. Heartland values, not Hollywood values, still define what most voters want in a president. Most voters want a president whom they perceive as loyal, courageous, hardworking, and fair. Someone who commands the respect of others through the strength of his character and the wisdom of his actions. Someone who is prepared to fight to protect his home and country from invaders. In other words, someone who appeals to voters, on a psychological or emotional level, as the kind of person they would want for a father, husband, boss, or comrade-in-arms.

Rock stars may be fun, but they do not fit this image. Neither does Obama. His life story, while unique and interesting, bespeaks little more than an ambitious and opportunistic young man, still wet behind the ears, with an unhealthy fascination with his own ego - and potentially unreliable when the chips are down.

The American people are not going to entrust the security and prosperity of the country to such an immature and unproven man.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2008 10:45 AM

Obama just needs more Hollywood celeberties to vouch for him. That'll nail it down.

Posted by: Andrew X at August 11, 2008 2:41 PM
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