The 2008 Presidential Campaign: What Happened and Why?

Discussions of and about the historic 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
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yovargas
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Post by yovargas »

Ellienor wrote:More nastiness aimed at Palin.
What are you referring to? Did I miss something?
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Lidless
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Post by Lidless »

Sarah Palin once asked what was the job of the VP. In fact the people who explained the answer had it wrong too. It is not to step into POTUS's shoes if they pop their clogs, it is to be the running mate that picks up votes that the candidate himself cannot get during the election process.

Obama was criticised for lack of experience, so he picked a seasoned Democrat with foreign affairs knowledge. Whilst that diminished the air of fresh energy and thinking that Obama projected, it helped to pick up votes and sway some on the fence. Good call.

The Republicans, given the unpopularity of Bush, almost had McCain forced on them. He was a key Republican figure, yet more at odds against Bush than almost anyone else. Had they picked anyone closer, it would have been an automatic loss. As it was, McCain was still tarnished by the association which he forced so hard against. Bush, quite rightly, was the only outgoing President in history to not actively campaign for his replacement. Twelve minutes they spent together and not one stump.

When I heard that McCain had chosen Palin as a running mate I thought it was a political masterstroke. No one had really heard of her, including me (therefore no real association in the mind with Bush) which was a plus. She was a woman (which would pick up some women votes left over from the Clinton campaign - woeful that people vote on that basis but there you go). She was a mainstream Republican (recovering votes from Republicans who did not like McCain). Brilliant.

However...

Quite often people vote against a ticket rather than for one, and I think this was a factor again, albeit more significant than normal.

Yes, there were other significant factors at work in the grand scheme of things - race (both ways), age, and an anti-republican reaction being some of them of course, but there was another - let me call it the Intellectual Factor.

Bush's poll ratings are mud for many reasons, one of them being that it have become even more apparent that there are not too many neurons firing upstairs. Americans had become embarrassed by this guy representing them and needed, desperately needed, a President they could admire and in turn could inspire them.

It had become painfully obvious during the campaign that Palin simply didn't come close to the level America wanted or needed if indeed she had to step into POTUS's shoes (a real possibility given McCain's age) and was duly derided for it. Quayle also had this problem, but Bush Snr was much younger and the 'intellectual lightweight', to coin the phrase used at the time against him only really became apparent after the election, despite much Democrat advertising being the negative, "Quayle - just a heartbeat away". Interesting to see that the Democrats didn't use that approach this time. Kudos.

Palin had taken the intellectual lightweightedness (if that's a word) to a new low early on and Americans had become insulted. Although McCain's campaign was 'Country First' it had become blindingly obvious that the choice of Palin did not fit into this category and she was merely there for the real job of the VP - the complementary running mate

She didn't lose the campaign, Bush had pretty much done that, but ultimately she didn't tick all the boxes required of a running mate. Any positives she had were at least matched by the negatives.

Plato once wrote that those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber, and America had had enough.
Last edited by Lidless on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Túrin Turambar
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Post by Túrin Turambar »

The first law of any VP pick - do no harm.
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Post by sauronsfinger »

When you read an article like this from yesterdays Washington Post, instead of acting emotionally to the information or becoming outraged that this is dirty attack politics, it would be good to ask yourself this question:

where do stories like this come from?

This is just an excerpt
On top of the $150,000 first outlined in Federal Election Commission filings, Palin spent "tens of thousands of dollars" on additional clothing, makeup and jewelry for herself and her family, including $40,000 in luxury goods for her husband, Todd, our colleague Michael Shear reports. The campaign was charged for silk boxer shorts, spray tanners and 13 suitcases to carry all the designer clothes, according to two GOP insiders.

"The shopping continued after the convention in Minneapolis, it continued all around the country," one source said. "She was still receiving shipments of custom-designed underpinnings up to her 'Saturday Night Live' performance" in October. Sources said expenses were put on the personal credit cards of low-level Palin staffers and discovered when they asked party officials for reimbursement.

Newsweek reports that top McCain aides were stunned by the huge tab, especially after adviser Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three outfits for the convention and three for the campaign trail, with a budget of $25,000; instead, the nominee racked up six-figure bills at high-end department stores. "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," a McCain aide sniffed to the magazine.
Such a story could only have come from insiders in the Republican campaign who have the information and have a motive to use it now that the campaign is over. This is not an attempt by Democrats to defeat the Republicans in the election by smearing Palin. The election is over and the Dems won.

This is part of the process within the various wings of the Republican Party to attempt to gain control and reform the Party to their advantage.

Notice the use of certain loaded words that are specifically designed to stir strong reaction against Palin. They begin with the previously reported figure of $150,000.00 which was spent in the intial shopping sprees, but then add to it "tens of thousands of dollars". It allows the mind to see figures that may be even higher than the one that could be revealed.

Notice that specific goods are mentioned like silk boxer shorts for her husband, spray tanners and other luxury goods. The implicit message is that these are goods over and beyond what any regular person needs to look good on the campaign trail. These are goods that average folks do not buy.

Notice the mention of "13 suitcases to carry all the designer clothes". Again, the intent is portray Palin as a person who is feeding a the trough and coming back again and again for additional helpings. There is a method to this meanness.

The final line is the knock out blow. "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," a McCain aide sniffed to the magazine
That is wrong on several levels.

If people only focus on the merits of the spending or the invasion of Palins 'privacy' or the suspected sexism of these charges, they are badly missing the point.

These stories come from Republicans. They come from McCain insiders deep in the campaign. They come from people who will be still involved in Republican politics long after John McCain settles back into his normal life and schedule and tries to put all this behind him.

The Republican Party is going to have their own version of the Civil War. It will involve the Wall Street wing, the evangelical/Main Street/Wal Mart wing, the neocons, the libertarian wing, and the just plain career Republicans who want to get a good job out of it and are simply looking for the fastest horse in the race to bet upon.

The attacks on Palin and the revelation of this information are just the first shots of that War.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I have heard that Palin has criticised her critics within the Republican campaign calling them mean spirited. I find this surprising. If she is going to stand for a public position in her party and knows that it uses such techniques against its opponents, why should she start to question those techniques now when used for internal battles? If they are wrong now they were wrong then.
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Post by Inanna »

Pot. Kettle. Black.
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Post by Lidless »

As Sir Humphrey Appleby said, "You have to get behind someone first before you can stab them in the back."
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

I am no Palin fan, but I do think some of the things that have been circulated about her are mean-spirited and quite possibly false or at least exaggerated. I also think two wrongs don't make a right.

What I've noticed is that some of her less, um, sophisticated statements have become legend as things she did not say: people joke or even seriously say she said she could see Russia from her house, when all she said was that it was possible to see Russia from Alaska, which is true. Also, I've started hearing the statement that she couldn't name the countries in NAFTA (pretty bad, if true) morphed into "she can't name the countries in North America."

This last one is actually a little funny; I would be astonished if one person in a thousand could actually name all the countries officially included as part of North America. Hint: There are forty-one of them; Greenland is one. And there were at least three that I had never heard of in my life.

Link (found via Atrios at Eschaton—note, a liberal blog defending Palin on this point)
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Post by Holbytla »

Do you count countries that are "owned" by other countries?
I guess. Sort of. Many of those islands are protectorates and aren't sovereign but I suppose they can still be considered countries.
North America is often divided into subregions but no universally accepted divisions exist. Central America comprises the southern region of the continent, but its northern terminus varies between sources. Geophysically, the region starts at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico (namely the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán[12]). The United Nations geoscheme includes Mexico in Central America; conversely, the European Union excludes both Mexico and Belize from the area. Geopolitically, Mexico is frequently not considered a part of Central America.
edit:
These are soveriegn;

Antigua and Barbuda · Bahamas · Barbados · Belize · Canada · Costa Rica · Cuba · Dominica · Dominican Republic · El Salvador · Grenada · Guatemala · Haiti · Honduras · Jamaica · Mexico · Nicaragua · Panama · St. Kitts and Nevis · St. Lucia · St. Vincent and the Grenadines · Trinidad and Tobago · United States
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vison
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Post by vison »

You might be able to see Russia from Alaska, but jeez, you can TOUCH Canada while standing in Alaska and she never even mentioned that. We Canuckians are, likke, jeez, offended and all.

Canada is the invisible man at this party and we are tired of it. We are gonna do something, like, pretty extreme. We're gonna, you know, kick your butts at something. Just have to figure it out.

I know!!! The Leafs are gonna win the Stanley Cup!!!!!


:rofl:
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Post by Holbytla »

Aw c'mon. You gys rule at beer guzzlin' and snowshoeing eh.

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vison
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Post by vison »

Bob and Doug are, like National Heroes!!!

Lord luv us all. Those guys were GOOD.

Ever see Trailer Park Boys?

Makes "My Name is Earl" look like Sunday school.

I sorta like Trailer Park Boys, but my husband has put the kibosh on them in our living room.
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MithLuin
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Post by MithLuin »

I saw a quote that the wife of the Canadian ambassador to the US once said something like, "When you mention 'Canada,' people's eyes glaze over. We should invade North Dakota. That might get their attention."

And no, I cannot verify that quote in any way ;).
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vison
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Post by vison »

We did talk about it. But then we decided, who the hell wants North Dakota?
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Post by The Watcher »

vison wrote:We did talk about it. But then we decided, who the hell wants North Dakota?
:rofl: :rofl:

Please, come on down and take a better state, like the UP of Michigan or sumptin.
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Post by Lurker »

I thought Florida was the 11th province? :scratch:

Bob and Doug, my role models! :bow:

I love Trailer Park boys!!! :love:
Yup, Princess also told me not to watch the show especially when I named the dog Bubbles. She thought it was one of those Powder Puff girls whatever, I told her, No, it's Bubbles from Trailer Park. :rofl:

I love that episode where they were going to rescue Bubbles in Mass. and they threw out all their weed before crossing the border and when they finally reached it. Border patrol just waved them through. :rofl:

Everybody thinks Canada is like Dog River, Sask. anyways or Little Mosque in the Prairie. Love those shows! It's sad that Corner Gas is in it's final season. :cry:

Yes, Vison, the Maple Laffs err Leafs are gonna win Mr. Stanley. Cujo is back! Now, I can wear my Cujo jersey again. :blackeye:
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Post by tinwë »

Sometimes I wish South Carolina was on the Canadian border. We could just give it to you. Although I can’t think of a reason why you should take it. It would be like offering you the flu or something.

I’ll never forget Bob and Doug’s version of The Twelve Days of Christmas:

“On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
........................ A beer!”
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vison
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Post by vison »

Did their true love not give them beers every day of the twelve?

Sadly, the song isn't long enough for them to get a two four. :(
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Post by TheEllipticalDisillusion »

I've always wanted to give the Bronx to someone else.

Did you all know that Sarah Palin thought there were 22 letters in the alphabet?










Thank Wyath Cenac.
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Ellienor
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Post by Ellienor »

Picking up on Lidless' noticing that the Dems didn't run any overtly negative ads against Palin (as opposed to what they did with Quayle), I have to say that I am very pleased with the tenor of the Obama campaign--and how it matches his book (which I just re-read this weekend). He decries over and over the partisan division of Dems and Repubs, discusses as how older members of the Senate had genuine friendships across the aisle and worked together on issues, as opposed to how it became. Obama traces it to before Bush, pretty much late 80s/early 90s where this started happening, but it reached its zenith with Karl Rove and Bush.

And Obama's campaign really refrained from mudslinging. I know there are Repubs who disagree with me. My Repub coworkers talk over and over what a nasty campaign it was, in particular, how poor Sarah Palin was raked over the coals. I said to them, "how much of that came from Obama?" Their response was, well, he kept his nose clean but obviously the attacks came from him. Oh well. :) I choose to believe that he wanted a more civil tone and really held back on attacks.

Principle laid out in his book=campaign run accordingly. I find that refreshing and hopeful for his time in office. :)
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