So, I’m watcing the debate..

It’s 9:30 Friday night, I’m watching the debate and I’ve got to tell you..the old man is really holding his own, if not whipping, the young ‘un

Many times McCain has said, “I don’t think the senator understands..” or “..that view is naiive”. He’s even called Obama out on needing on-the-job training.

Obama seems defensive..stammering and stuttering. This surprises me because his delivery on the stump is usually so smooth.

I give this one to McCain. event marketing fine

All Hands on Dreck

When I’d just moved from the newsroom to Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin, a PR shop, it took me only a couple of months to get this image of the media — birds. And birdseed. If you put out birdseed, birds will come. Many reporters, of course, are smart and analytical and have great bullshit detectors, but it is waaay too easy to get the birds to hit the birdseed.

McCain is great at putting out the birdseed. He says he’s suspending his campaign to deal with the financial crisis. And the birds gobble up the seed. They report that he’s suspending his campaign. “McCain to Put Off Politicking” The New York Times subhead read yesterday. The lead read: “Declaring that it was time to ‘set politics aside,’ Senator John McCain said Wednesday that he would temporarily stop campaigning” to deal with the financial crisis.

The fact that he didn’t stop campaigning never catches up with the original perception. MSNBC and CNN counted the ways McCain politicked yesterday — campaign offices were open and functioning; no memo to stop campaigning had gone to any of them; memos had gone out on how to talk to the press about suspending the campaign, which is of course campaiging; Sarah Palin was making appearances, with full notice to the press; campaign ads were running in swing states; and McCain was politicking at full speed, stopping, in his rush to save the country, at the Clinton Global Initiative to praise himself in a speech for suspending campaigning and rushing to the rescue — I’m an old Navy pilot, he said, and when there’s a crisis I know it’s all hands on deck.

Nowhere in today’s New York Times is it reported that McCain was still campaigning. That he didn’t do what he said he would do. The original story is still out there, and McCain got people to talk about how he’s stopped campaigning. The CNN and MSNBC stories reach about two million people — a tiny fraction of the electorate. And there will be stories in the papers in the days ahead about whether McCain stopped campaigning or not. None of it matters. The birds flew off with the original seeds and that’s the story. “A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is getting its shoes on,” Mark Twain said.

Tweet tweet.

-Bruce Benidt payroll processing fine

“No Way This Gets Any Better…”

Part five of the Sarah Palin action figure arc.  As the Los Angeles Times noted, maybe the only winner from the recent economic news has been Governor Palin; fewer people are paying attention to her and to her poor performance in her most recent interview.

We Crowdies, however, have a strong stomach so we can watch without flinching. As Brother Loveland notes, pay particular attention to the answer on Russia.


Unfortunately, for Governor Palin, the answer doesn’t read any better than it sounds…

Couric: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don’t know, you know … reporters.

Couric: Mocked?

Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

Couric: Well, explain to me why that enhances your foreign-policy credentials.

Palin: Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state that I am the executive of. And there…

Couric: Have you ever been involved in any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

Palin: We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.

John McCain may not be funny anymore, but Sarah Palin is.  Except for that little part that she might end up as the vice-president.

If John McCain can’t handle David Letterman and Sarah Palin can get mugged by Katie Couric, how exactly are they going to handle Putin rearing his head?

– Austin

PS – If you want to read the full transcripts of both parts of Governor Palin’s interview – spoiler alert: they don’t get better – they’re here and here. grants for school fine

“Me First”

John McCain stopped being funny today.

It’s hard to find the humor in a man who is willing to put his electoral prospects so nakedly ahead of the country’s economic security.  It’s embarrassing to see a man who was once respected for bravery in the face of terrible suffering and torture afraid to open his mouth in a meeting he practically demanded be convened so that he could play leader for an hour.  It’s repugnant that when the deal that had been brokered between the White House and Congress – including leaders from both parties – started to unravel, John McCain did nothing to prevent it.

Based on accounts from those in the room, the New York Times described the scene:

When Congressional leaders and Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, the two major party presidential candidates, trooped to the White House on Thursday afternoon, most signs pointed toward a bipartisan agreement on a grand compromise that could be accepted by all sides and signed into law by the weekend. It was intended to pump billions of dollars into the financial system, restoring liquidity and keeping credit flowing to businesses and consumers.

“We’re in a serious economic crisis,” Mr. Bush told reporters as the meeting began shortly before 4 p.m. in the Cabinet Room, adding, “My hope is we can reach an agreement very shortly.”

But once the doors closed, the smooth-talking House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, surprised many in the room by declaring that his caucus could not support the plan to allow the government to buy distressed mortgage assets from ailing financial companies.

Mr. Boehner pressed an alternative that involved a smaller role for the government, and Mr. McCain, whose support of the deal is critical if fellow Republicans are to sign on, declined to take a stand. (Emphasis added).

There’s real leadership for you.  I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m not willing to entrust the next four year’s to a man whose rallying cry is, “Me first!”

– Austin standby letter of credit fine