Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Random Observations

1. The NATIONAL REVIEW seems to be saying that the Republican convention should be prepared to reject McCain’s VP choice should it be too strange or un-Republican. It might be the case that McCain manfully resisting the Republican establishment once again on national TV might help him in November. So it might be good to set up such a "pro wrestling" showndown to make the convention worth watching.

2. To Julie: Two-touchdown underdogs sometimes win, and Obama’s hyper-liberalism, inexperience, and naive views on foreign policy might do him in. Mac has a chance. But realistically speaking, the best case scenario is McCain squeaking by while the Democrats make significant gains in both the House and the Senate. The worst case scenario is a Democratic landslide everyhere, and that won’t happen because American has re-embraced ideological liberalism. People think the Republicans are screw-ups, and (to coin a phrase) it’s time for change. The Democratic Congress hasn’t been in power long enough for it really to be blamed for our discntents.

3. The national media has sort of flipped back to Obama by highlighting the alleged latent (and in the case of Ferraro overt) racism in Hillary’s and her supporters’ condescending and maternalistic comments about Barack. And his rejoinders have been very good and very featured.

4. Hillary’s claim that she’d be the better national security president has weight objectively but not in Democratic primaries or among superdelegates.

5. Her other claim that she’s more electable is incredible. (It’s going to be long six weeks [or much longer] for her and America.)

Discussions - 6 Comments

Given that the political winds seem to be at the dem party's back this season, it might be wise for McCain to make a bold choice for VP. Here's a suggestion I admittedly haven't thought through:Colin Powell. Besides potentially drawing some of the black vote away from Obama, his biography is an interesting point of contrast: he grew up very modestly, went to city school in nyc versus an ivy league institution, went to war versus Harvard, etc. Like McCain, he can frame himself as a kind of centrist and advertise his military credentials while distancing himself from Bush, given all the criticism he's forwarded in that direction since his departure from the administration. Right now the conventional line seems to be that McCain needs a veep who reassures the hardcore base but it might be the case that they're beyond decisive reassurance, that that might not be the most helpful strategy overall for the general election, and that the GOP needs someone with greater brand recognition that a Sanford or a Pawlenty (acknowledging all their many virtues).

Was Ferraro's statement "overtly" racist? Was it racist at all? Or was it a likely true observation? She at least had the decency to admit that here nomination as Mondale's running mate was due to the fact that she was a woman. Was that observation sexist? Was it back in 1984?



Have we gotten to the point that we can't talk about race at all except totally benignly?



If a very charismatic first term (2 yrs) white Senator was running, would he be where Obama is now? Would he have gotten the Oprah treatment? Very concretely would he have been able to win all the Deep South states on the strength of the black vote? On the other hand, would he be where he is now, getting upper class white votes, if he was in the mold of Jackson or Sharpton? He is benefiting from both his blackness and his largely white upbringing, Ivy League education, etc.



That said, it was a politically stupid thing for her to say. But I would hope observers of the scene can still say it.

Peter L: I agree with general thrust of your point #2 . . . Though I reserve the right to be slightly less pessimistic as a matter of disposition. Put another way, I see a way to avoid your prophecy about the Congress . . . though I am dubious about the possibility that it will be taken.

To Ivan K: Though not a particular fan of Colin Powell, per se, I like the idea of a general on the ticket with McCain. I think McCain should go contrary to the conventional wisdom that suggests he should de-emphasize his "warrior" traits. I think he should play this bold card and thereby highlight his greatest strength.

It might be the case that McCain manfully resisting the Republican establishment once again on national TV might help him in November.

Sure. And it might help him to pick the loser of the Democratic race, whether Clinton or Obama, as VP.

But it's hard to see how what helps McCain has anything at all to do with what is best for conservatism and the country. NR is supposed to be advancing the conservative interest, not the the John McCain one.

For the record: Ms. Ferraro did not make a racist statement. Nor did she make a "patently absurd" statement, as Obama claimed. She spoke honestly (definition of a gaffe), and with no racism whatsoever. She then refused to back down. To paraphrase Harry Truman, she didn't give 'em hell. She told the truth, and they thought it was hell.
The Obama and Clinton campaigns, and much or most of the commentariat, then disgraced themselves by making a mountain out of a molehill, which, when one is dealing with what amounts to a free-speech issue, is dangerous to all of us.

Good point David

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