David Kirkpatrick

November 7, 2008

Obama’s economic A-list

Obviously not all choices I’d make, but you have to admit it’s a murderer’s row of a lineup.

From the link:

President-Elect Barack Obama is signaling quick movement on the economy, with his advisers moments ago rolling out a list of economic bigs who will serve on his Transition Economic Advisory Board.

Obama and Joe Biden will meet with the group tomorrow and hold a press conference afterwards, Camp Obama announces.

The group includes a bunch of expected names. There’s Warren Buffett (who endorsed Obama) and Governor Jennifer Granholm, as well as some heavy-hitters from the Clinton universe, like Robert Rubin and Robert Reich.

Also serving: Harvard’s Lawrence Summers and former Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker.

Obama’s press conference — which will take place tomorrow at 2:30 P.M. ET — is likely to be a media zoo, both because it will offer clues to Obama’s first moves on the economy and because it’s his first presser as President-Elect.

November 4, 2008

Palin voted for … ???

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:30 pm

Watching CNN from a hospital room earlier today I caught the interview with Sarah Palin where she refused to say who she voted for citing her “right to privacy.”

Who wants to bet she wrote herself in as president and had to cover after getting called on the move. She’s dumb enough to do it and certainly dumb (and sheltered enough) to not think someone might ask who she voted for. And to be fair, too principled in grade-school ethics to not do the smart thing and just lie.

Update — The dangers of blogging from memory and from a low concentration situation. She was referring to whether she voted for Ted Stevens, or not. I like my version, and the version in the comments, much better. But hey, I’m only adding one little lie to her entire litany of demonstrable falsehoods.

Heh. If she’s the future of the GOP, the GOP is more doomed than even I could have imagined. Palin the anti-intellectual may become Bush 43’s spiritual heir. The “big L” Libertarian party is just too kooky, but a third-way that combines fiscal conservatism with social moderation and a powerful sense of civil liberties could resign the possibly coming GOP of religious nuts and fiscal idiots to the sidelines forever.

Maybe Gimp Outta Power could be new expansion of the acronym.

November 2, 2008

Cheney endorses McCain

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:11 pm

In a move the McCain campaign probably looks at as a, “Thanks, but no thanks,” the most unpopular vice president in US history officially endorsed McCain.

Since Obama’s campaign has worked hard to tie McCain to the Bush 43 administration, this seems to be better news for his last-minute news cycle and can’t do anything but hurt McCain.

From the link:

A few moments ago in Ohio, Barack Obama tweaked his ongoing mockery of Dick Cheney’s McCain endorsement a bit.

“Yesterday, Dick Cheney came out of his undisclosed location,” Obama said. “He said that he is, and I quote, ‘Delighted to support John McCain.’ He’s delighted. You’ve never seen Dick Cheney delighted before. But he is. That’s kind of hard to picture.”

“So I would like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement,” Obama continued, “because he really earned it. He worked hard for it.”

McCain has been such a loyal supporter of the Bush-Cheney agenda that the opportunity to endorse him has made even Cheney smile. Funny.

October 27, 2008

Is Virginia the key ..

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:24 pm

… to an Obama victory next Tuesday?

Possibly.

Here’s a bit from TPM Election Central:

Three new polls have now found Barack Obama with a clear and decisive lead in Virginia, bringing him one crucial step closer to a majority in the Electoral College:

SurveyUSA: Obama 52%, McCain 43%, outside of the ±3.9% margin of error, not significantly different from a 53%-43% Obama lead from three weeks ago. Nine percent of respondents have already voted, giving Obama a 67%-30% majority, and he’s ahead 50%-44% among the remaining 91% of likely voters.

Zogby: Obama 52%, McCain 45%, with a ±4.1% margin of error. There is no other recent Zogby phone poll for comparison.

Washington Post: Obama 52%, McCain 44%, with a ±3.5% margin of error, compared to a 49%-46% Obama lead a month ago.

The early-vote number from SurveyUSA shows just what a hole John McCain is in. If he loses the early vote in a given state, he has to not only win the vote on Election Day, but win it by a large enough majority to overcome his early-vote deficit.

And here’s FiveThirtyEight:

Wish state might the McCain campaign really, really wish that they hadn’t insulted?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s not technically a state, but rather, a commonwealth.

Five separate polls of Virginia have been released within the past 48 hours. Zogby has Obama ahead by 7 points there, the Washington Post by 8, SurveyUSA by 9, Public Policy Polling also by 9, and Virgnia Commonwealth University by 11.

Virginia, with 13 electoral votes, is a bit more electorally potent than Colorado; Obama could afford to lose either New Hampshire or New Mexico if he won there (though not both), which is not true about the Rocky Mountain state. We are currently projecting Obama to win every John Kerry state, except New Hampshire, but plus Iowa, by double digits. If Obama wins all of those states plus Virginia, he’s at 268 electoral votes, meaning that any more electoral votes anywhere in the country would win him the election.

October 24, 2008

That Pitt McCain volunteer mugging victim?

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:16 pm

(Note: headline changed to reflect the correct city for the “event.” Sorry Philly, I’ll have a cheesesteak in penance.)

Not so much.

From the Daily Dish link:

McCain Spokesman Implicated In Mugger Hoax

<!– –>And Palin called Todd:

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, “You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the “B” stood for Barack.

McCain also called the hoax-merchant. Is this the kind of judgment you want in a president?

Here’s another report on the sick, false hate-crime hoax.

And here’s TPM Election Central’s report:

Report: McCain Volunteer Who Claimed “Carved B” Attack Confesses To Making Up Story

Wow. By now you’ve all heard about Ashley Todd, the 20-year-old McCain volunteer who claimed that she was assaulted in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night by an attacker who scratched a “B” in her cheek after learning that she was for McCain.

The story was flacked madly last night by Drudge, even though few if any details had been established or independently confirmed.

Well, take a look at this banner headline, from Pittsburgh’s KDKA:

A Pittsburgh police commander says a volunteer for the McCain campaign who reported being robbed and attacked near a bank ATM in Bloomfield has confessed to making up the story. Police say charges will be filed. More details to follow.

More soon.

Late Update: KDKA’s full story has now been posted. It’s based on anonymous sources. So it’s still unclear what the story is. Stay tuned.

Late Late Update: It’s worth keeping in mind what Fox News executive vice president John Moody had to say about what this would mean if this story proved a hoax:

“If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”

Worth keeping an eye on Fox’s coverage of the latest turn in the story.

Late Late Late Update: Police are set to hold a press conference to discuss the news, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Latest Update: There are now conflicting reports on whether Todd confessed or police simply concluded the mugging story was a hoax.

Later Than Latest Update: Some extraordinary new details about her confession from the AP:

Ashley Todd, 20-year-old college student from College Station, Texas, admitted Friday that the story was false and was being charged with making a false report to police, said Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department’s investigations division. Police doubted her story from the start, Bryant said.Todd, who is white, told police she was attacked by a 6-foot-4 black man Wednesday night.

She now can’t explain why she invented the story, Bryant said. Todd also told police she believes she cut the backward “B” onto her own cheek, but did not provide an explanation of how or why, Bryant said.

Update 10/25 — Here’s the latest from TPM Election Central, including a little brushback against Team McCain’s assertion their spokesman in Pennsylvania is not a race baiter. Pretty thin gruel if you ask me.

From the link:

A spokesperson for McCain’s national campaign is pushing back on our story yesterday reporting that McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director was giving reporters an incendiary version of the attack hoax story before the facts were in.

But Keith Olbermann does a nice job of skewering the push-back. From the Countdown transcript:

Tonight, McCain`s spokesman, Brian Rogers, denied the campaign gave out those quotes, telling COUNTDOWN, they came from the police and were attributed to the McCain camp because of sloppy reporting.An account that doesn’t explain why two television stations both quoted the McCain campaign, or the fact that one of them, KDKA Pittsburgh specifically followed the McCain quotes with the line, quote, “Police, however, have not confirmed that.”

And tonight, COUNTDOWN asked the reporter from the other station, WPXI to check his notes. He says he got those quotes first, 4:08 p.m. yesterday from McCain`s Pennsylvania communications director.

October 10, 2008

McCain’s campaign has moved beyond panic …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:33 pm

… to utter meltdown.

The latest from TPM Election Central:

The McCain campaign is now broadening their attack on Obama’s past association with William Ayers to include Michelle Obama — even though McCain has repeatedly said spouses should be off limits during the campaign.

The attack? Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers’ wife and fellow former Weatherman, went to work in 1984 for the major Chicago-based national law firm of Sidley & Austin, and three years later, Michelle joined the mega-firm as well.

That’s the entire attack. We wish we were joking. But we aren’t.

These “attack” efforts have been completely devoid of principle, and now they are completely devoid of purpose as well. If the nation wasn’t in the midst of a complete, and ongoing, financial crisis some these attacks might not feel so desperate. As things stand McCain has probably completely ruined his political reputation and leadership respect.

September 30, 2008

I wonder if McCain even realizes when he lies

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:03 pm

If the stakes weren’t so serious, McCain’s campaign would be pretty funny right now.

As it is each new gaffe, lie, etc., is just a little sad.

From the TPM Election Central link:

When asked whether he blamed Dems and Obama for the bailout collapse yesterday, McCain said “no.”

But yesterday McCain said: “Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process.”

As for McCain’s claim to ABC today that “history will judge who was to blame,” the McCain campaign released an ad today that … blamed Dems and Obama.

So yesterday McCain blames Obama and Dems while calling for no more fingerpointing. Today he denies having blamed them while releasing an ad blaming them.

The untruths are getting almost too convoluted to track at this point — it’s a bit like being trapped in a falsehood fun-house or something.

September 24, 2008

Did the wheels come off the McCain campaign today?

The Straight Talk Total BS Express has been pretty creaky lately with the Palin pick proving a net loss and sinking fast. And a major financial crisis that has no end in sight, and certainly no end before the election, crashing onto the head of the candidate who’s on record a number of times explaining his complete lack of understanding economic issues.

Couple that with his campaign manager, Rick Davis, being on the take from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a no-show job buying the two lenders access to the McCain inner circle after McCain has gone on record saying Davis has had no compensated role with either institution for several years.

Now he’s suspending his campaign because he’s going to head to DC and help solve an economic problem? Really.

Here’s a reaction from the National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru at the Washington Post:

If Senator McCain believes that he can help to enact a plan that can stabilize the markets and lay the foundation for future growth, then suspending the campaign and going to Washington was the right thing to do.

But it is hard to see what McCain can do to help, and easy to see how his intervention could hurt. He brings, as he himself has admitted in the past, no expertise to the table. And won’t Democrats be less likely to cooperate on a plan if doing so will help make McCain be the hero of the hour?

So McCain’s move may have been a mistake on substance. It may prove to be a political mistake too: If McCain can’t bring both parties together in an economic crisis after staking so much on it, won’t voters draw adverse conclusions about his leadership ability?

What do you think?

Here’s a Drudge flash report on David Letterman mocking McCain canceling his appearance tonight:

EXCLUSIVE: LETTERMAN MOCKS MCCAIN CANCELLATION
Wed Sep 24 2008 17:41:58 ETDavid Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy.

Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, “Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?”

Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, “You don’t suspend your campaign. This doesn’t smell right. This isn’t the way a tested hero behaves.” And he joked: “I think someone’s putting something in his metamucil.”

“He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?”

“What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”

Developing…

 

If you ask me, the wheels are off. There’s time and debates to go, but McCain is no longer a serious candidate for president. The outright lies from his staff and his mouth. The Palin pick, and subsequent quarantine. Now suspending his campaign because he apparently is incapable of legislating (something he’s been pretty derelict in since kicking his campaign for the GOP off in earnest) and participating in a debate with his adversary.

Update — Yup, the wheels are off. Here’s Ambinder’s take:

Last week, Sen. McCain said the fundamentals of the economy were strong.

To Katie Couric, he said that the country faces its worst crisis since World War II.

Talk about bipolar messaging. And it seems some part of postponing the debate may be little more than a ploy to permanently cancel the vice presidential debate. The McCain team seems very, very frightened of allowing Palin to speak at all in an unscripted environment.

This is from TPM Election Central:

The lengths the McCain campaign is going to in order to shield Sarah Palin from questioning are reaching truly comic dimensions.

Check out this nugget from the pool report, via Jonathan Martin, on John McCain and Palin’s meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko:

McCain then looked around the room and gestured as if to welcome questions. The AP reporter shouted a question at Gov. Palin (“Governor, what have you learned from your meetings?”) but McCain aide Brooke Buchanan intervened and shepherded everybody out of the room.Palin looked surprised, leaned over to McCain and asked him a question, to which your pooler thinks he shook his head as if to say “No.”

 

Palin can’t even be allowed to answer a question as basic as this?

What’s really sobering is that the McCain campaign continues to block Palin from answering questions even thoughit’s now resulting in reams and reams of bad press for the McCain-Palin ticket. That suggests McCain advisers know that letting her answer even the most elementary questions in an uncontrolled environment is so dangerous that it’s worth weathering the current media drubbing they’re taking in order to prevent it from happening at all costs.

Has anyone pointed out that McCain has placed Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency?

June 24, 2008

McCain’s top adviser goes there

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:08 am

In an unbelievable gaffe, McCain’s top adviser, Charlie Black, went on record stating a major terrorist attack on US soil would help his candidates chances. I’m pretty sure the American public has had more than its fill of campaigns using scare tactics and fear to try and win elections.

In a year where the Democratic faithful are pumped up and enthusiastic and a portion of the Republican base is still openly talking about “punishing” the party for the Bush 43 years, I think floating the idea of terrorism helping either candidate will do no good and probably a lot of harm. Wonder if Black is out after this. I doubt it, but McCain will have to take some public measure beyond this tepid apology from Black:

“I deeply regret the comments, they were inappropriate,” Black said in a statement after McCain said that if Black had made such a comment, “I strenuously disagree” with it.

“I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration,” said Black, one of McCain’s most trusted political advisers.

Fortune magazine said Black, in discussing how national security was McCain’s strong suit, had said when asked about another terrorist attack on U.S. soil that “certainly it would be a big advantage to him.”

Black’s comment to Fortune was a distraction for McCain as he seeks to catch up to Obama in the polls, where Obama leads by about 6 percentage points.

Obama’s camp quickly came out with this response:

The Obama campaign is going after the McCain camp over top adviser Charlie Black’s claim that a terror attack on U.S. soil would help McCain politically.

Here’s the statement from Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton:

“Barack Obama welcomes a debate about terrorism with John McCain, who has fully supported the Bush policies that have taken our eye off of al Qaeda, failed to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, and made us less safe. The fact that John McCain’s top advisor says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a ‘big advantage’ for their political campaign is a complete disgrace, and is exactly the kind of politics that needs to change. Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al Qaeda.”

Note the line about how Obama “welcomes a debate about terrorism” with McCain. That Obama wantsto have a debate about national security is fast becoming an Obama campaign refrain.