It's the repetition, stupid!


I have a little fun today with the presidential candidates repeating the same theme over and over. For most of the people who have already made up their minds, this repetition gets downright annoying. But we have to understand that we aren't the targets. It's the maybe 10 percent of voters who are still undecided. And to get to them, the repetition will continue on and on and on...

Barracky II


Obama the top pick for troops serving abroad


Who do the soldiers serving on the front lines want as their next commander in chief? If the amount of money they are donating to the candidates is any measure, they like Barack Obama six times more than John McCain. Yes, troops serving abroad have given Obama six times more money than they have given McCain. Not only are they putting their lives on the line for this country, but they are speaking with their wallets. Not only did Obama collect six times more money, but he also has five times more donors than McCain.

And the decorated war hero also has a problem with veterans. He may brag about his "perfect" ratings from veterans groups, but they actually think he's done a lousy job.

Joe Biden for VP? Well, maybe...


In the past, when Joe Biden's name was thrown out as a possible Obama VP pick, I just laughed. Biden has a reputation for speaking his mind in ways that might be seen to cause trouble. Secretary of State maybe, but not VP.

But the more I look at this, the better Biden looks. Obama needs two things in his VP. First, he needs someone who knows how to work with Congress and get things passed, and Biden's long Senate career is a big plus there.

Obama also needs a Dick Cheney-style attack dog to fight back against smears by the McCain camp. And Biden would fit that role very well, allowing Obama to stay above the fray.

I still think Obama isn't likely to pick notable frontrunners Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine. He isn't going to let the Republicans take over a senate seat or governor's mansion that easily. I think Biden and Tom Daschle now look like the top picks. We'll just have to wait and see what he does.

Obama starts to hit back


Here's an ad hitting McCain on his "maverick" image. It's pretty good:

"Now Obama is starting to play by Karl Rove rules. Hit your opponent at their strength. McCain's strength has been his long-since-vanished reputation as a maverick. And it's about time. A lot of Dems are upset that Obama has let the attacks gone unanswered for so long:

On McCain, the Obama people are missing a golden opportunity with this tire pressure thing. Hit McCain back in the teeth. "Of course he wouldn't understand, Millionaire McCain hasn't driven in years. He's been in a chaffeur-driven limo, or on his wife's plane. Jet-setting among his 10 house. He wouldn't know a tire gauge from a Web page.

"Hit the man in the teeth. piss him off. Start calling him Daddy Warbucks. Seriously, pull out the stops. It puts all of the critiques together. He's old. He's a war monger. And he's rich. Why the hell didn't they put out an ad saying McCain was gonna make million off the sale of Budweiser? Jesus, this is getting ridiculous. Hit McCain in his wheelhouse and piss him off. All it will take is McCain losing his cool once and he'll drop like a stone. The ads write themselves."

Is Obama really considering Bayh for VP?


Sorry, but I don't believe Barack Obama is seriously considering Evan Bayh for VP. Bayh has one huge strike against him: Indiana has a Republican governor, who would pick his replacement should Obama win. Obama is putting a lot of effort into making sure he has a strong congressional majority, and he's not going to throw away a badly needed vote in the Senate.

I suspect this has more to do with placating Hillary backers who haven't come around to full support Obama yet. If Obama does pick Bayh, that tells me there is a whole lot of internal warfare going on in the party that we don't know about. Having Bayh on the ticket means that a bunch of Hillary people will be getting jobs in the new administration. It speaks to the core corruption in both parties that the VP selection comes down to securing jobs for cronies, even at the cost of pushing through the party's platform.

Obama's best strategy? Attack


I agree. There is a danger here that Obama starts playing prevent defense, trying not to lose instead of trying to win.

Going on the attack would also help negate the McCain camp's narrative that he is aloof and gutless. Or as John Aravosis contends, they are doing a subtle gay-baiting of Obama. He can hit back at McCain without crawling in the gutter with him.

He can start by pointing out that the man calling him an elitist wears $500 shoes, and his wife has a private jet to travel to their seven homes.



Trapper John makes a good case for Obama picking Tom Daschle.

I hadn't thought about Daschle being in the running for VP. But it does kind of make sense. I interviewed Daschle last summer, and he's a pretty good fit for Obama, a veteran politician who can drive Obama's agenda through Congress. In some ways, he's the new Dick Cheney. He doesn't have any presidential ambitions, is very loyal to Obama and already has his ear.

But Trapper also makes a case for Kathleen Sebelius. She has all upside and little downside. After the bruising campaign with Hillary Clinton, I think Obama needs to make some more outreach to Democratic women. Some are saying that a black president and a woman VP is too much change for Americans to handle. I'm not so sure. What else could Obama do to give women a voice and combat those still sore about Hillary losing?

I keep hearing about conservative African-Americans who are vowing to cross over and vote for Obama because of what his being president would mean for race relations. Could we see the same dynamic if there was a woman on the ticket as well? Might Sebelius' gender be enough to pull over independent and moderate Republican women voters?

Obama-Maliki, Day Three


First we have Iraqi PM Maliki endorsing Obama's 16-month pullout plan. The the Bush administration muscled Maliki's people to issue a statement that the PM was "misquoted" or "mistranslated." The funny part was that this sort-of retraction didn't name any specific part of Maliki's interview that was wrong, and the message itself came from CENTCOM. Gee, why would the Iraqi government send out a message through the U.S. Military?

But now we learn that the translator for this interview was Maliki's, and there is a recording of the interview that has been re-translated and confirms that Maliki really did say these things.

So the latest spin from the Bush folks is that Maliki was simply appeasing his restless constituents in Iraq. After all, to them, a politician saying something he doesn't believe comes naturally.

Except that here, it points out the obvious, that the Iraqis and their government would like for us to leave, sooner than later. That leaves a whole lot of people who don't like Bush's and John McCain's plans for Iraq.

Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan


Wonder what John "100 years in Iraq" McCain will say about this:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.

In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

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