Seen today in Austin:
So, um, how’d that work out for you?
Seen today in Austin:
So, um, how’d that work out for you?
You may have seen the commercial where Montel Williams hawks some goofy collectible coins with President Obama’s face IN FULL COLOR OMG. If you were planning on ordering some, though, watch this video from KATU 2 TV in Portland, Oregon first.* A father and daughter bought the coins and discovered that they’re just regular money with color stickers applied. One of the news anchors even comments that she could see the face on the coin through the sticker when she looked at it from the side. (H/T)
Dorothy posted this at 5:57 PM CDT on Sunday, February 15th, 2009 as Audacity of Hype
Bill Bennett and John Cribb have an interesting and optimistic take on the President-Elect’s coming inauguration, especially in terms of what it means for the future of race relations. They make some excellent and rather optimistic points that deserve attention:
Barack Obama did not run as a black candidate. He ran as a Democratic candidate. He ran as a U.S. Senator from Illinois. He ran as a progressive. And, even though he is a black man, he did not run as other black presidential candidates before him — as a black man. He ran as an American. And America, by larger margins than in recent elections, voted for him.
To be sure, we did not accept Barack Obama’s political prescriptions or platform, but — like so many other Americans who voted for John McCain — race was not the issue for our opposition. Nor was it the issue in the decisions of tens of millions of Americans who voted for Barack Obama. Having moved beyond a politics or candidacy based on race, a lot of lessons were taught on November 4th of last year; they will be taught again and amplified on January 20th of this year.
The election of Barack Obama confirms a new self-evident truth: that there is no ceiling to achievement in America based on race. Yes, of course, there is still racism in America. But there are no more viable excuses based simply on race. A black man or woman can become President in America — or anything else he or she wants to be. The recipe, as it largely was for Barack Obama, is to take a serious education seriously, to work hard, and to maintain a strong family ethic. The message to non-black America is that the Huxtables are not just a fictional drama or sitcom of the past; a version of the Huxtables is now about to run Washington with the paterfamilias leading the free world. A successful, upper-middle-class black family now serves as a role model for the success of the rest of black America and the rest of non-black America, too.
However, their recollection of the Rev. Wright Affair is so weak that I can only describe it as praising with faint damnation:
Then came the videos and audio of Barack Obama’s pastor and friend, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, broadcasting a racially divisive and un-American creed that cast even greater doubt on an Obama candidacy. Senator Obama reassured many that Wright’s view of America was not his view, saying what so many of us truly believed in our hearts and minds. Despite the ranting and raving of later-day racialists and those who still had their doubts about the meaning of our nation’s founding, Barack Obama said that the U.S. “Constitution […] had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law,” that it was “a Constitution that promised its people liberty and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.”
Quite right. But when Barack Obama’s pastor refused to take the hint — or lesson — from his pupil and candidate, he ultimately had to be cast aside, as Barack Obama full-throatedly denounced Reverend Wright and ultimately quit his church. The days of doubt about America’s commitment to equality and liberty, for Obama and, happily, so many Americans who wanted to move beyond racial categorization and reference, had passed. Professor Harry Jaffa put it this way, reminding us: “Lincoln at Gettysburg said that the nation, at its birth, had been dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Earlier, Lincoln had said that the proposition of equality was the ‘central idea’ of the founding, from which all its minor thoughts emanated.” Barack Obama seemed to understand that. And so did the voters.
This is highly misleading on a number of counts. First, it completely side-steps the fact that our president-elect attended a racist church, where crackpot theories about the government engineering AIDs as a bioweapon against African Americans were greeted with credulity. He gave money to this church, was married there, raised his kids there. When Trinity first started to make news, Obama acted surprised even going so far as to say that he didn’t think his church was “that controversial.” And lest we dismiss Wright’s theories as idiosyncratic and not representative of church as a whole, don’t forget that Trinity’s new pastor — thrity-something Otis Moss — refused to disavow the AIDs charge when asked directly about it.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, when Wright’s sermons were made public he managed to turn a moment of personal shame — close association with, financial support for, and glowing adultations of an avowed racist — into a meditation on national race relations; though professing disapproval for Wright’s comments, he failed to identify a single one of them specifically. It was only a few weeks later when Wright publically and personally insulted him that the Senator turned on him. Throughout, the entire affair, Obama was deft, clever, smooth, and utterly craven.
I do not beleive that Obama beleives that AIDs is a government conspiracy, nor do I believe he is personally a racist. He was, however, perfectly willing to coddle an outspoken racist up to the moment when it became politically impossible to continue to do so. Whatever the positive effects Obama’s presidency may have on race relations, they must first overcome this shame.
A week from today, Barack Obama will be my president, too, and I hope for all of our sake’s that he is successful, that we do well by him, and that Bennett and Cribb are more accurate in their predictions than I am. But I do not share their optimism.
In my first post about Sarah Palin, I gleefully recounted how the governor had “already caused one liberal pundit’s head to explode in violent mixtures of irrationality, peevishness, and bitterness.” Among other things, I was referring to liberal cries about her inexperience.
At the time, I thought McCain had made a brilliant tactical maneuver: he would bait the Democratic ticket into making Palin’s political inexperience an issue then turn this argument right back on them with devastating effect. Exchanges like this between Marc Ambinder and a republican delegate made think this was going to work.
Like Glen Loury, I must now admit that this didn’t work. Part of the problem was Palin’s poor performances in interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric. Another was that — putting aside matters of substance — Obama just sounded so damned calm, collected, and presidential that it was easy to forget how little he’s governed. His eloquence seemed to diminish his inexperience; Palin’s folksiness amplified hers.
The primary reason, though, was that in leading the Obama/Biden ticket into the Experience Trap, McCain/Palin fell head first into the Covered Pit of Superstardom. Palin’s entrance electrified the Republican base by appealing to their silliest instincts: anti-intellectualism, Christian identity politics, pulling the patriotism card, and regional victimhood.
Moreover, the campaign’s decision to embrace Palin’s new-found rockstar status undermined his ability to lampoon Obama’s arrogance and self-adulation. The timing could hardly have been worse; McCain had spent weeks trying to focus attention on the sheer weirdness of the democrats’ Messianism. As soon as his running mate began attracting equally adoring crowds for equally vapid reasons, McCain lost all focus and looked – rightfully – like a hypocrite.
What was even more depressing was how thoroughly the Conservative establishment bought in to this and how entirely unaware of its own folly it was. That partisan hacks – whether facile like Kathryn Lopez or clever like Hugh Hewitt – became enthralled by Palin came as no shock. That pundits as thoughtful and level-headed as Victor Davis Hanson and Dennis Prager – who improbably declared Palin “The American Margaret Thatcher” the day McCain tapped her – also became enraptured is quite another story.
Conservatives have a lot of lessons to learn from this election and the last eight years. That we are susceptible to a lot of the same foolishness as liberals is one of them; that we might have squandered the national career of a promising young governor in the process should be deeply upsetting.
Tom posted this at 9:27 AM CDT on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 as Audacity of Hype
If it weren’t well known that one vice presidential candidate were a rambling buffoon, this might have made the tv news.
“You know why I think Jill likes Claire McCaskill so well, Senator McCaskill? Jill is one of five sisters, Claire is one of three sisters. And I tell you what, you women raised with sisters are different than women raised with brothers,” Biden said as both women joined him on stage.
“My sister is smart, runs every one of my campaigns; is beautiful; graduated with honors from college; is homecoming queen. But she’s a … she is what I call a ‘girl-boy’ growing up, you know what I mean?”
“And I tell you what? Girl-girls are tougher than girl-boys,” he said. “But there’s one important thing I noticed.The great thing about marrying into a family with five sisters, there’s always one that loves you. ‘Cause you can count on splitting them a bit. You know what I mean?
What makes Biden’s comments so goofy is that he knows he’s rambling in an incoherent and stupid manner:
“I shouldn’t be going off like this, but — hey, folks, 37 more hours, 37 more hours,” he then said.
This man is not just a fool, but the most dangerous sort of fool: the type who knows what he’s doing but doesn’t think what he’s doing is foolish. It’s like he’s constantly drunk, but impressed with his ability to still form grammatical sentences, so he shares. He shares. And he shares some more.
People who think Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to be president (like me!) think that because she hasn’t had the time or opportunity to prove herself. Joe Biden, though, has had oodles of time to prove himself. He’s had more than three decades in the senate, and the only thing he’s proved himself to be is that guy who works at a place so long that people just presume he knows what he’s doing even though he doesn’t.
I started this election cycle thinking Joe Biden was a serious person who occasionally said unserious things. I vote today believing that he’s an idiot, a fool, a buffoon, a walking carciature of the blowhard senator who doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about but doesn’t let that stop him from talking.
There’s one vice presidential candidate who is a genuine embarrassment to his candidate, and will be a genuine embarrassment to his country if elected. You’ll note I used the masculine.
Apollo posted this at 10:54 PM CDT on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 as Audacity of Hype
If anyone else is still interested: We meet at dawn.
P.S. At least Obi Wan will be there.
Watching the news clips of the candidates, I’m particularly struck by how much more energy McCain has than Obama. Obama’s looked tired at every rally I’ve seen him at over the last few weeks; the clip today was of him forgetting what state he was in (Florida, Ohio, who knows?). Sarah Palin even looks a little draggy today. Meanwhile McCain’s shouting and pounding the podium and firing up crowds, and he’s a 72 year-old who’s had a cold for the last week. The rally I just saw a clip from was his fourth (!) for the day, and he was still shouting through a hoarse voice and looking very energetic.
McCain’s been through quite a bit of physical trauma in his life, not just the years in a Vietnamese prison but also a couple of bouts with cancer. He is a man of truly impressive constitution.
Apollo posted this at 5:14 PM CDT on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 as Audacity of Hype
Now, Obama bans their reporters from his campaign plane. A few thoughts and observations.
Ronald Radosh sees an attempt to intimidate the press:
[T]he Obama campaign suddenly announced that in the few remaining days of the campaign, they were removing the reporters of The New York Post, The Dallas Morning News and The Washington Times from the campaign plane. In their place would be journalists from Essence and Jet, two African-American monthly publications. Not only would the latter two be depended upon to offer fawning stories about Obama, by the time their articles got into print it would be two months after the election.
Despite disclaimers from the Obama spokesman, the reason was clear why the three press outlets were banned. They were all papers hostile to Obama and had endorsed John McCain for the Presidency. To get a place on the campaign plane, their papers had reserved space way in advance, and had paid giant sums to guarantee seats for their reporters. Yet when last minute coverage was critical, their people were pushed out.
This may seem like a minor story, and indeed, Saturday’s Washington Post had not one word about this development, although it was a front page story in the competing Washington Times.
It may not amount to much. Perhaps it was simply a matter of the campaign having too many demands on it for space among different news outlets. Yet anyone who thinks the choice of removal of three who were known opponents of the campaign was accidental is simply not reasoning clearly.
A thought experiment. What would the reaction be if John McCain banned, say, the New York Times and The Washington Post from his campaign plane for endorsing Obama, particularly if he replaced the seats reserved for these major papers for writers from, say, National Review and The Weekly Standard, who would of course be more sympathetic to him? A whole bunch of people would probably say that McCain was afraid of those papers, and suggest he grow a backbone.
It appears that Obama, like Nixon, has an enemies list. How much of the press will bend over backwards to stay off it?
I’m really tired of people saying that Obama campaigning in states that Bush won is a sign of strength. Whether Obama is strong or weak – hell, if he was 30% behind in the polls – he would have to campaign in states that Bush won, because otherwise he couldn’t flippin’ win. It’s not necessarily a sign of strength that he’s campaigning in Bush states, it’s a sign that he did well enough in grade school math to figure out that 254<270. The last guy who only won the states Bush didn't win didn’t win.
If journalists want to argue that Obama’s in the lead, it doesn’t take much creativity to do so. But “he’s winning because he’s campaigning in Nevada and Iowa” is as thoughtless as analysis comes.
Barack Obama is possibly four days away from being president-elect, and he has the audacity to get pissy when he can’t take his daughter trick-or-treating without photographers following him? Does he think it’s routine for the most powerful man in the world to go door to door asking for candy, and that such activity won’t attract a little publicity? What office does he think he’s running for? He and Sarah Palin should talk.
Two students have been arrested for hanging a presidential candidate in effigy. It seems the actual arrest is for stealing the things to make the effigy, but I’m curious how many times something gets stolen from a frat house and it results in a prosecution.
UK President Lee Todd said the effigy violates the university’s code of ethics, and Fischer faces punishment that could include expulsion.
“As outrageous and offensive an act as the effigy was, I truly believe it has mobilized our campus, the community and the state in an effort to battle racism,” Todd said Thursday.
Go to hell, Lee. Making and harming effigies of presidential candidates is an old American hobby, and if we’re going to live in an age when black people are going to run for president, we’ve got to tone down our racial sensitivity when people make political statements about black politicians.
UK police said the two men told them the act was in response to news reports of an effigy of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in California.
I guess prosecuting them for the theft could be called for (again, though, from the information released, this sounds like a pretty minor thing to give someone a criminal record over). But the university president’s jump to “now let’s fight racism” is the idiotic crap you’d expect from a university president. And the sort of racial overkill you’d expect in the Age of Obama.
Much of the time, ‘Christianism’ is just a label applied to any conservative who expresses his religious views in a way that displeases Andrew Sullivan. Then there’s stuff like this.
H/T: Huffington Post
Comes from McCain’s pollster. Read the whole thing, but this point did a particularly good job of tying some things together for me:
6. I am becoming more and more convinced Senator Obama “gets what he gets in the tracking.”
Typically a Republican candidate trails among African Americans on a survey by a margin of something like 78% to 14%. As a firm, we consistently warn our clients that on Election Day, they will underperform their polling margins with African American voters. If their tracking says 78% – 18%, they should expect to only carry 8% of the African American vote, as the Democrat candidate will typically carry more than 90% of the African American vote.
Senator Obama’s numbers are different than anything we have ever seen before among African Americans.
In most polls, McCain is losing these African American voters by margins like 97% to 1%.
This means when you see Senator Obama’s number in a survey, it already reflects his significant and full support among African American voters.
Functionally, this means the only undecided/refuse to respond voters are white and Latino.
So, in a state like Indiana where he has recently “led” Senator McCain, in most tracks, Senator Obama is at 46% to 47% of the vote.
I am becoming increasingly persuaded it will be very difficult for Senator Obama to perform much above his percentage of the vote in a state. This puts any number of historically red states very much “in play” and MUCH more competitive than is generally believed by the media. But critically, as Obama drops below 50% in other blue states, some of these states may also becoming back in play as well.
In a year when I’m very leery of polls, this analysis made more sense to me than anything else I’ve read.
Apollo posted this at 4:08 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 as Audacity of Hype