David Kirkpatrick

August 13, 2008

There’s a bit of a lull …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:30 pm

… in the presidential race right now. Obama’s in Hawaii on vacation and GOP insiders are charting his every move hoping for a misstep.

From the Jonathan Martin link:

The RNC, hoping against hope that Obama will get in some windsurfing on his vacation, is keeping close tabs on the Democrat as he enjoys some time off in Hawaii.

They just sent over this bulletin: “The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports Barack Obama ate popcorn and watched the 3:40 showing of the Dark Knight in theater 9 yesterday.”

And McCain can’t jump high enough to get the media’s attenttion.

From the Daily Dish link:

After Britney-Paris week, McCain’s media exposure drops again. Al Kamen notesthat both DNC and RNC websites are virtually ignoring McCain:

The two Web sites at first glance seem almost interchangeable. In fact, it was hard to find a mention of John McCain on either of them. Obama dominates both sites pretty much equally, though the GOP site also has some prominent blasts at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Al Kamen quote at the end of Sullivan’s post is something I’ve read in multiple places on both the left and the right. The entire GOP machine and McCain seem much more focused on Obama rather than their own message. Maybe that comes from completely losing the path over the last seven and half years under Bush 43.

Personally I’d like to see the GOP be forced to take a long walk in the electoral desert to determine exactly what the party wants to be. Is it a Christianist organization that is pro-business? Or is it closer to Goldwater, and even Reagan to a great extent, and a party where the government stays as far in the background as possible, fiscal sanity rules the day and civil liberties mean something? I think the three-legged stool is broken, maybe permanently.

Of course during this walk in the desert I hope the party is well provisioned with an aged single malt, a few Titleist sleeves and a niblick (9 iron for those who don’t know your clubs.) In that case I might join in the walk every once in a while.

July 30, 2008

McCain and the tax question

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:47 pm

The title of this Jonathan Martin post at Politico is, “Why is McCain not slamming the door on taxes?” That is a great question. Here’s a blog post of mine with a great link to head to when comparing the two candidate’s tax plans.

I feel like I’ve been blogging a lot more about Obama than McCain, but frankly McCain is doing very little that is interesting or inspiring and I don’t really have any interest in piling on the negative posts like more partisan blogs are currently enjoying. I did post on an anonymous GOP strategist describing his campaign tactics as “insane.” And I considered dedicating a post to his well-documented problems with the personal computer, and now his campaign’s fumbling with the Web 2.0 crowd with ill-conceived projects like BarackBook.

See how easy it is. I spend a short graf explaining why my McCain blogging might seem light and I found it impossible to ignore two negatives. And that’s without mentioning Huckabee likening McCain’s efforts to Bob Dole in 1996.

Back to the original link, Martin asks a great question. Why isn’t McCain taking the tax issue by the horns and speaking to the fiscal conservative leg of the GOP stool? This past Sunday on “This Week” he was asked if he’d consider raising payroll taxes to address Social Security. McCain said, “There is nothing that’s off the table.”

I don’t expect a “read my lips” moment of disingenuity out of McCain, but taxes is one place he can really set himself apart from Obama. All this may just come down to his very inartful dancing around issues where he differs from the base, doesn’t want to/can’t lie (I pick the latter), and has to come up with a sentence construction that remains true to his beliefs while placating the hardline GOPers listening.

I really don’t see him riding Iraq into the White House.

Beyond the convoluted statements, my corollary guess is McCain just isn’t comfortable talking about economic issues. He’s admitted to not truly understanding that policy area and it’s an area he’s not going to be actively involved in if he were to win the presidency.

From the very first link back up in sentence number one:

By his positions, he meant that he opposes raising taxes.   He reitereated this stance yesterday at a town hall meeting in Nevada with a one-word answer: “no.”   He’s been similiar unequivocal when asked the same question in the past.

But McCain’s refusal to slam the door Sunday on Social Security has worried some Republicans who not only are concerned for philosophical reasons, but because it could have the effect of diluting McCain’s claim that Obama is the tax-increaser.

“If Mr. McCain can’t convince voters that he’s better on taxes than is a Democrat who says matter-of-factly that he wants to raise taxes, the Republican is going to lose in a rout,” said the Wall Street Journal editorial page today in a scathing editorial.