Obama’s EuroTrip Recieves Backlash

It seems the more Europeans love and embrace Barack Obama, the less Americans are willing to do the same. During his recent trip across Europe and the Middle East, Obama made huge strides in showing that he can mingle with world leaders. To his credit, that places significant faith and trust on the international stage. But, US electioneering has made those successes into gaffe. Apparently, the audacity of acting presidential is too much for Americans to handle and it shows:

A surprising poll released Monday confirms Sen. Barack Obama’s worst nightmare: he actually lost ground to Sen. John McCain after a global trip meant to buck up his sagging credentials in foreign and military policy.

The USA Today/Gallup poll has McCain leading Obama by four points, 49 percent to Obama’s 45 percent, among likely voters.

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The Parody of Politics

I think politics is excellent fodder for parody making, and so I laud Jib Jab for their sardonic brilliance. It just shows that the only way to take politics seriously is to recognize how ridiculous it can be. Humans are natural political animals, so the only way to stop us from acting on our preternatural instinct to kill, is by humbling ourselves with sarcasm and humiliation. Thank God this political campaign season has peaked America’s interest, it was about time we woke up in our feces to dig ourselves out. So power to the people, down with the establishment–a throwback to late 1960’s zeal.

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So It’s Time For Some Campaign’n!

JibJabs 2008 Campaignn

JibJab's 2008 Campaign'n

Anyone who remembers JibJab‘s hilarious rendition of the 2004 presidential election between Bush and Kerry will greatly appreciate the political subtleties exploited in this year’s campaign parody. We’re always told to be informed and politically active, maybe we can finally live up to those expectations, only I’m sure this isn’t what they had in mind.

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Obama family interview: Ice cream, squirt guns on the campaign trail

Obama Family InterviewAs of late, Barack Obama has taken flak for his seeming flip-flop on the issues. “I think there’s been definitely shift in position, and one of them is Iraq,” McCain told the Fox News Channel on Tuesday. But Obama hopes he can counter “this whole notion that I am shifting to the center or that I’m flip-flopping or this or that,” he said.

On the whole, however, it appears that Obama has aligned himself with the center, telling reporters last week he might “refine” his views based on what happens on the ground in Iraq–a totem issue that only a month ago stood as the single defining stance between him and Senator Hillary Clinton.

Appealing to moderates may just be another one of his smart campaign strategies to help win the election in November. His daughters agree: White House life would be very “cool,” adding, “dad talks too much,” they said in their first allowed interview. For them its ice cream and squirt guns on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, Obama and the family’s charm are irresistible fodder for the press.

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Fuzzy Math

Everywhere you go, polls show the presidential race is too close to call anything but a statistical tie. The latest poll of voters, for example, shows Barack Obama with a five-point lead over his rival, John McCain (50 to 45 percent), which grows even tighter when the two most prominent third party candidates are weighed into the equation.

The race for the White House, however, will not come down to votes taken by third party candidates such as Bob Barr (3 percent) and Ralph Nader (6 percent). Nor will it rest on sloganeering, promises fraught with pander, or change everyone can believe in, yet no one can understand.

What will decide the future of the country is a vision that galvanizes Americans—desperate for change—into thinking about what they can do about the deepening credit crisis; the slump in home sales and home prices; skyrocketing energy costs; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; people’s poverty; immigration reform; Medicare and Social Security; discrimination; white collar corruption and blue collar rights; salmonella outbreaks; and everything that matters to America.

The latest CNN Opinion Research offers telling statistics about the race, but if you don’t believe the polls, go by your gut instinct—saying to vote for the candidate that’s not left, not right, just right.

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Veepstakes’08!

We know the presidential nominees, but the veepstakes couldn’t be higher. Here’s a wrap on what the Vice Presidential battle field looks like in the race of ’08.

Politico’s longshots in the veepstakes have speculated that the Democrats are on the hunt for someone who’s older with solidly mainstream views, to reassure voters concerned about Obama’s relative inexperience, particularly in foreign policy.

The Republicans, on the other hand, aim to fill the vice presidential slot with someone who brings business experience to tap into voter concern about the struggling economy, and youth, for the obvious reasons.

GreatDebater’s veepstakes:

For the Democrats, the obvious contenders are John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and maybe even Bill Richardson. Edwards carries the South, Clinton unifies the party, and Richardson brings experience. The only hitch is that these picks are too well known. Edwards is seen as a pushover, Clinton contradicts Obama’s call for change, and Richardson is Hispanic, making him an illegal immigration sympathizer.

Go for the long-shot candidate: Wesley Clark. As a retired General of the United States Army, Clark gives Obama everything he doesn’t have. Valedictorian of his class at West Point, and Rhodes Scholar to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics, to later earn a master’s degree in military science from the Command and General Staff College, Clark spent 34 years in the Army and Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations and honors.

Clark joined the 2004 race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, but withdrew from the race to campaign for the eventual Democratic nominee, John Kerry. In September 2007, he endorsed Hillary Clinton, but after she pulled out of the race, Clark endorsed Obama. The prospects are endearing.

For the Republicans, the MSNBC veepstakes have chosen Colin Powell. These days, though, the republican with a distinguished military career has hinted he may jump to Obama.

Go for the long-shot candidate: Bill Gates. That’s right, the recently retired Microsoft founder is a trusted voice on the economy and his multi-billion dollar commitment to charitable giving could soften up the campaign’s image. The challenge may be winning his support. For now, Bill. Cheers, and best of luck making the world a better place.

Check out msnbc‘s veepstakes game and submit your pick.

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When presidential campaigns were an honest business. Yeah. What a joke.

The other night while eating dinner and watching the news, I listened as pundits went on about how sleazy the campaign had become, how with all the political chatter about the candidates they had stooped to new lows of cheap shots and dirty tricks. Look at Barack Obama with his unpatriotic wife and radical Islamic upbringing, or what about allegations made against John McCain the old McWar monger? Still, I couldn’t help but think how bad the 2004 election was with John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth disaster, or the 2000 election and the Florida recount debacle.

Then I got on to thinking about the very beginning—before primaries, spin control, PAC’s, sound bites, hanging chads, and talking heads—when electing a president was a clean, sober, and dignified business. As it happened, there was no such thing. Van Buren was said to have worn women’s clothing, Dewey hated you and your children, Lincoln smelled, and Carter was a hick.

If all of this sounds depressing, cheer up. “Without smears, innuendo, and thievery tainting our electoral system, what would we have to connect us to our quickly vanishing past? Believe me: You could take any Whig or Federalist of yore, plunk him down in a modern presidential campaign, and (once accustomed to television and the internet) he’d be up and shrieking with the best of us.”

“We’re Americans, after all. A nice, dirty election runs in our blood.”–(Anything For A Vote)


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