Showing posts with label 2008 election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2008 election. Show all posts

Monday, November 20, 2017

ATIT Reheated (2008): Pablo Fanque's notorious interview with Sen. John McCain

By Pablo Fanque, National Affairs Editor

In an interview today with All This Is That's national affairs editor, Pablo Fanque, Senator John McCain at first mocked the New York Times recent revelations about a possible relationship he had had with the lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

Fanque: So is there any whiff of truth to the story?

Sen. McCain: Sure, I guess there's a whiff of truth. She is a woman, and a good looking woman. It's more convenient to pin her on me than it would be a male lobbyist. That's for sure. Every person on the hill deals with lobbyists.

Fanque: But the New York Times also alludes to something deeper than a drink with a lobbyist.

Sen. McCain: Sure they do. Have you read the 'paper lately? They allude to a lot of things. And the Times has a stake in getting their boy Obama elected. They shredded Hillary Clinton, and now they're coming after me.

Fanque: But that still doesn't really answer the question.

Sen. McCain: But isn't this interview supposed to be about how I would support the arts after I'm elected?

Fanque: It is, indeed. But this seems a little more important.

Sen. McCain: Than what?! This is a f***ing sideshow you're running here. Let's talk about The Issues.

Fanque: We are. This has become the issue.

Sen. McCain: Look. I've become a threat to the Democrats and to the New York Times. So you drag up a ten-year-old story and start flogging it. It's not relevant to the campaign.

Fanque: So just what WAS your relationship with Ms. Iseman?

Sen. McCain: I think I explained that. Several times this week.

Fanque: But the New York Times and some of your staffers seem to think otherwise.

Sen. McCain: You're talking about Pravda here. A paper that is ashamed of the United States. And some traitor staff members who will be rapidly disposed of. Pardon me for ending that sentence with a preposition.

Fanque: But Senator, you've explained that you did some business with a lobbyist. Now, it seems, you need to explain the accusations that have been lodged against you about having a romantic relationship with Ms.Iseman.

Sen. McCain: Really. OK. I drilled Vicki Iseman. So what? Do I get the same pass you gave Slick Willy? Do I get the same pass you've been giving Obama and Hillary?

Fanque: Pass? I don't recall hearing these sorts of allegations against them?

Sen. McCain: Then you have your head in the sand. Because it's all out there. This interview is over.


Monday, November 03, 2008

The Palin Phone Call Prank

An Associated Press article came out yesterday, with a transcript of much of the prank phone call to Sarah Palin from a Quebec radio station's "President Nicolas Sarkozy of France." Jump here to read the article. It's pretty good.

click to enlarge the Governor

"Palin praises Sarkozy throughout the call and also mentions his wife, Carla, a model-turned-songwriter.

"You know, I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife," Palin says. "Oh my goodness, you've added a lot of energy to your country with that beautiful family of

The Sarkozy impersonator tells Palin his wife is "so hot in bed" and then informs her that Bruni has written a song for her about Joe the Plumber entitled "Du rouge à lèvres sur une cochonne" - which translates as "lipstick on a pig."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who do you love? A comparison of John McCain hugs with President Bush and Governor Palin.

No daylight between 'em. A hearty embrace, where Senator McCain even leans his head on The President's shoulder.

Best Friends Forever? Hardly. A most awkward embrace between the Senator and the Governor, who have now almost erupted into open warfare.

Buyer's remorse:::::::::McCain campaign calls Sarah a whack job:::::Her team fires back::::::::::Palin goes rogue::::::Let the finger pointing begin!

An Awkward Embrace

The wheels have long since fallen off the McPalin bandwagon, and the finger pointing has begun. In public. The McCain camp clearly has a case of buyer's remorse, and the Palin wing feels like they have been kept under wraps and aggressively over-managed.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, writes about a “demoralized” McCain campaign: “Palin is going to be the most vivid chapter of the McCain campaign's post-mortem. … Those loyal to McCain believe they have been unfairly blamed for over-handling Palin. They say they did the best they could with what they got.”

Anonymous McCain campaign leakers have now called Governor Palin a “diva," and even “a whack job.”

George Stephanpolous also wrote: "The Alaska governor herself has been pushing out on her own against McCain's handlers. In recent days she has been speaking her own mind about what she thought of McCain's strategy in Michigan, and what she thought of his decision not to go after Rev. Jeremiah Wright. "

From Atlantic Magazine: "There's a faction within the McCain campaign has begun to whisper about Gov. Sarah Palin to reporters. The faction includes staff members and advisers who consult with staff members. It does not seem to include any members of the senior staff, although the definition of the senior staff here is a bit elastic. This faction has come to believe that Palin, perhaps unwittingly, subconsciously or otherwise, has begun to play Sen. McCain off of the base, consistently and deliberately departed from the campaign's message of the day in ways that damage McCain." reports: "'She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,' said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to 'go rogue' in some of her public pronouncements and decisions. 'I think she'd like to go more rogue,' he said … 'These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves,' a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week."

The New York Post said: "Things have gotten so tense between Palin and her traveling staff, an insider said, that she's overruling their advice — which was evident last week when she ignored GOP aides piling into waiting cars at a Colorado event and strolled over to the press corps for an impromptu talk."

From the Cable News Network web site: "'She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,' said [a] McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."

UPI reported yesterday that "At a Tampa rally yesterday, Palin blasted the RNC for buying her a $150,000 wardrobe, calling it "ridiculous." Unsurprisingly, these were not the remarks that were sent to her in the morning by the McCain campaign.

New York magazine's Daily Intel column online reported that "The idea of Palin as running mate was sprung on McCain at the very last minute by his two strong-willed advisers, Fred Davis and Steve Schmidt. This weekend's New York Times Magazine story reveals just how short a time period it was between when Davis and Schmidt unilaterally presented their case and when the announcement was made by McCain (five days). According to the story, McCain made up his own mind, but in retrospect he may regret the timing and spin."



The Obama "Infomercial": A knockout, virtuoso performance

By Pablo Fanque, All This Is That National Affairs Editor
Illustrations: Jack Brummet

Barack Obama's televised "infomercial" was politically brilliant--a virtuoso performance that made it's case intellectually, as well as working the retail politics angle. You'd have to be a hard-hearted American to have not been touched by the message. To view this masterful talk and not be emotionally affected, in place of your beating heart would be a lump of bituminous coal.

Despite the never ending mud-slinging from the other side, all the name-calling, accusing him of "not being one of us," and the bitter invective being hurled from the desperate Republicans, Obama rose above it all and connected with the American people. No one needs to be scared of Obama. This was not the talk of a Molotov-cocktail flinging Bolshevik; this was a fellow American who mostly ignored party politics because he was talking along the heartline. Obama was talking to you. He almost completely ignored partisan politics and John McCain and Sarah Palin. He was there to close the deal with the voters.

I have been highly critical of Obama's cool in the past, and his inability to show emotion. He made up for all that tonight, with six days left in the campaign. His performance reminded me of Bobby Kennedy, who also knew how to connect with the people, and who also knew how to put politics aside. Tonight we saw the real maverick in the race. After this showing ( a speech?, a talk?, a message?, a multimedia assemblage?), if I was John McCain, I'd just concede the race tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

John McCain: Blowin' In The Wind

Senator John McCain, whose campaign has become riddled with finger-pointing and back-biting, devastating leaks, increasingly glum news from the pollsters, and rifts with Sarah Palin, said he "trusted his senses," which told him the opinion polls were wrong.

Yesterday on NBC's Meet The Press McCain said: “Those polls have consistently shown me much farther behind than we actually are.”

“We’re doing fine. We have closed [the gap] in the last week. We continue to close this next week. You’re going to be up very, very late on election night.”

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Keeping hockey mom/pit bull Sarah Palin presentable: Clothes: $150K; Hair: $36K; Make-up: $18K

click the gov to enlarge

According to an article by Michael Luo in today's New York Times, the highest paid person on John McCain's campaign staff in October is Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, Mark Salter, Charlie Black, Jill Hazelbaker, Amy Strozzi, Sarah Palin's make-up artist.

Yes, it costs money to put lipstick on a pitbull! Amy Strozzi, the Emmy Award [for So You Think You Can Dance?] winning makeup artist, was paid $22,800 in October.

Managing that famous head of hair isn't cheap either: Angela Lew was paid $10,400 as a communications consultant in October. Ms. Lew works out of the Hair Grove in Westwood Village, the very same place Cindy McCain gets her hair "done." That makes Ms. Lew the 4th highest paid person on the campaign.

Make-up artist Strozzi and hair stylist Lew were also paid around $22,000 total in September (for lipstick application "communications consulting," and hair-combing "GOTV" consulting).

The tally so far to keep ah-shucks hockey mom Governor Sarah Palin presentable:

Threads, shoes, accessories: $150,000
Hair: $36,000
Makeup: $18,000

Monday, October 20, 2008

When pigs fly: the Salt Lake City Tribune endorses Obama!

Along with other 'papers that endorsed George W. Bush in the past, the Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Barack Obama for President. They join the ranks of the former Bush endorsing Seattle Times, The Denver Post, Austin Statesman American, Houston Chronicle, the South Carolina State, and The Chicago Tribune (who have NEVER endorsed a Democrat in their 160 years).

Painting: Senator Obama poster

click to enlarge

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A YouTube compilation of John McCain's fidgets, eye bulging, tongue flicking, grimacing, and eye rolling from last night's debate


John McCain graphically demonstrates his energy policy

McCain demonstrates his energy policy

Presidential Debate Three: Obama edges out McCain, but just barely

"I love you, man." "I love you too." Click to enlarge.

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

Our verdict on the third Presidential debate?: Obama edged out McCain, but just barely. . .exactly what he needed to do.

"You didn't tell the American people the truth," Senator John McCain charged. McCain delivered his best debate performance to date. However, his face told the tale. He was blinking at an alarming rate, mugging, and flashing a smile that bordered on a grimace, or even a rictus [1]. At times he seemed to be involuntarily mugging like The Joker.

As always, cool, cerebral, charming, unflappable, and surging ahead in the polls, Obama expertly parried each thrust, and, at times, lobbed a few Molotov cocktails of his own, all the while appearing absolutely Presidential. At the end of the debate, there was little question of who the voters would want to lead America until 2013.

Obama held fire, wisely. Ahead now in every single poll, and in some by 14 points, there was no reason to jump on the ledge in any issue. Obama performed admirably. . .probably his coolest performance in all three debates. But he is on top: he had nothing to win and everything to lose. And he expertly worked that angle. McCain offered him a chance to decimate his running mate Sarah Palin and Obama held back. What could he possibly gain from attacking the wildly popular Palin? Obama effectively diffused the Obama-Palin campaign's unending attempts to link him as some sort of acolyte of college professor and former Weather Underground mastermind William Ayers. A.C.O.R.N. was also mentioned repeatedly by McCain and Obama--rightfully--basically brushed off the association, leaving McCain pounding sand.

Arguably, the key exchange of the debate was when the frustrated McCain finally said in a clearly scripted remark, "Sen. Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago."

Obama fired back and dismissed McCain's claim of political independence from The Administration:

"If I've occasionally mistaken your policies for George Bush's policies, it's because on the core economic issues that matter to the American people - on tax policy, on energy policy, on spending priorities - you have been a vigorous supporter of President Bush," he said.

Senator McCain passed up the chance to say his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, was qualified to become President (and Obama, also wisely, didn't touch it). McCain did praise her performance as governor and expressed admiration for her work on behalf of special needs children (which according to Alaskans is not a given at all).

McCain referred repeatedly to a voter, Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Toledo, Ohio Obama had an exchange with. They both directly spoke to "Joe" several times, and in the end, it went nowhere.

McCain's most critical debate mistake was seeming to dismiss the mother's health exception on the abortion issue. "I am completely supportive of a ban on late-term abortions, partial-birth or otherwise, as long as there's an exception for the mother's health and life, and this did not contain that exception," Obama clearly stated.

McCain sarcastically paid tribute to "the eloquence of Senator Obama. He's (for) health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything." "mother's health," he seemed to be saying, "...who cares?" And with that statement, Senator McCain lost virtually every potential swing vote from pro-choice voters.
McCain tried to raise the issue of public financing, but was effortlessly slapped down by Obama. Yes, Obama did go back on his pledge to consult with McCain and hopefully use only public financing in the campaign. While McCain opted for public financing, any possible ethical or moral advantage has been utterly neutralized by the RNC with its massive war chest relentlessly--and indirectly--pumping gushers of money into the McCain campaign.

With only a couple of exceptions, the Presidential campaign is now being waged in battleground states that were solidly Republican in 2004 - states like Virginia, Colorado, and Iowa - and in most of them, Obama holds significant leads in the polls. In the end, this debate changes nothing. It's on to November 4th!

[1] A gaping grimace: "his mouth gaping in a kind of rictus of startled alarm" (Richard Adams). We often think of the rictus as a death-grin.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The night of the last Presidential tilt and the Obama talking points email

This morning, the Obama campaign's Press Secretary, Sean Smith, e-mailed a list of debate talking points to the media.

It sounds more like news than the partisan diatribe you might expect!:

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 09:37:27 -0500
From: Sean Smith [s***]
To: Sean Smith [s***]

* This is John McCain's last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn't disqualify him from being President.

* Just this weekend the weekend, John McCain vowed to "whip Obama's you-know-what" at the debate, and he's indicated that he'll be bringing up Bill Ayers to try to distract voters.

* So we know that Senator McCain will come ready to attack Barack Obama and bring his dishonorable campaign tactics to the debate stage.

Obama continues to lead on the economic crisis with a rescue plan for Main Street.

* Over the course of the campaign, Barack Obama has laid out a set of policies that will grow our middle class and strengthen our economy.

* But he knows we face an immediate economic emergency that requires urgent action - on top of the plans he's already laid out - to help workers and families and communities struggling right now.

* That's why Barack Obama is introducing a comprehensive four-part Rescue Plan for the Middle Class - to immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities, and help struggling homeowners.

* This is a plan that can and should be implemented immediately.

* Obama has shown steady leadership during this crisis and offered concrete solutions to move the country forward - and his Rescue Plan for the Middle Class builds on the plans to strengthen the economy and rebuild the middle class that he's laid out over the course of this campaign.

* Already in this campaign, he's unveiled plans to give 95 percent of workers and their families a tax cut, eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000, bring down the cost of health care for families and businesses; and create millions of new jobs by investing in the renewable energy sources.

* John McCain has been erratic and unsteady since this crisis began - staggering from position to position and trying to change the subject away from the economy by launching false character attacks. ---o0o---

All This Is That Electoral College Map - Obama 526, McCain 12

Click our electoral college map to enlarge...

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

As of October 14, 2008, All This Is That is officially calling the election for Senator Obama. We project Obama to take the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, for a total of 526 electoral votes.

John McCain will likely win both Alabama and Alaska for a total of 12 votes, although support in Alabama appears to be eroding at an alarming rate.

If John McCain's statement "We, my friends, have got them [Obama-Biden] just where we want them" is the delusional raving of a broken-down wardheeler correct, the next question is "Exactly where would that be Senator McCain?"


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Was Matt Drudge race-baiting yesterday?

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

Something on The Drudge Report yesterday struck me as playing the race card. Matt Drudge posted a link to a Reuters article on Yahoo News titled "Obama goes door-to-door to drum up votes in Ohio." The Reuters article used this photograph from the Associated Press:

The Drudge Report, however, used the same title for their teaser, but included an entirely different photograph:

Isn't this playing the race card? I guess, they could have put a subtitle "Obama molests Blonde Norwegian-American soccer mom." but I may just be a little suspicious after the all the race baiting we saw over the weekend in the Palin-McCain campaign.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Palin-McCain campaign wheeled into the I.C.U.

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

What a week for the John McCain-Sarah Palin Presidential juggernaut! Video clips of their rallies show crowds screaming “treason!” or “terrorist!” at the mention of Mr Obama's name, and at times even darker imprecations like “kill him!” and “off with his head!"

As we wrote earlier, McCain has been forced to appeal for calm, responding to boos from a crowd on Friday: “I have to tell you he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president.” He later snatched the microphone later from a woman who suggested Senator Obama was an Arab.

This past weekend, civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis said the atmosphere at Republican rallies was similar to those of George Wallace, the segregationist presidential candidate. “Senator McCain and Governor Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division.”

At a weekend campaign event in Iowa, McCain was forced to repudiate a pastor who introduced McCain saying that millions of foreigners were praying to “Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins”.

Most Republican insiders and even the rank and file openly admit the McCain-Palin campaign has been desperately adrift, flailing against the economic storms, farcically suspending the campaign to fix the economic problems facing the nation, and having to carry the increasingly heavy baggage of Governor Palin. An Alaskan legislative commission on Friday concluded she had "abused her powers as Alaska Governor by trying to orchestrate the sacking of a state trooper who was her former brother-in-law." Sarah Palin's rallies have generated ugly racial sound clips and both she and McCain appear unable to control their supporters.

In short, it's about time to break out the oxygen and put this campaign in the I.C.U.

Time to pull the draw sheet over the patient?—click to enlarge

Over the weekend, in between trying to seem like a decent person (and possibly rescue some good will for when he trudges back to the Senate in defeat) at his increasingly hate- and invective-filled rallies, John McCain huddled with advisors, struggling to formulate an economic plan that won't be laughed off the stage at this week's debates. We'll see the fruits of those discussions in just a couple of days.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Video: John McCain booed for calling Barack Obama decent and attempting to reign in his rabid followers

John McCain was booed yesterday for calling Barack Obama a decent man (in fairness, the booing was mostly against Obama), asking for respect for him at one of his town hall meetings. One man said he was "scared of Obama" and McCain replied the was a decent man who "you should not be scared of."

A woman said she can't trust Obama and McCain shook his head yes. She went on to say "he's an Arab." McCain vigorously shook his head no and took the microphone away from her and began explaining no, "No, Ma'am, he's decent family man and citizen I just happen to have disagreements with..."

John McCain lit this fire and is now distressed to see the fire spread out of control. He needs to slap a muzzle on his lipsticked pit bull Sarah Palin. It was refreshing to see a distressed John McCain show a little bit of what he had when some of thought he might change America.

Reign in the hate, Senator McCain. You have 24 days to walk away from this election with your head held high. We all know something is wrong when even Karl Rove says you have crossed the line. . .


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

One more dull debate, with McCain edging Obama?

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

The two candidates debated last night in Nashville, and predictably clashed on the economy, taxes, the economic bailout, and the wars in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. We heard very little we hadn't heard before.

John McCain needed a bump from this debate to raise his standings and give him a shot in what appears to be an electoral college lock by Obama. He probably will not get that bump. He did however, mostly redeem himself from his earlier debate performance with a relaxed, folksy performance, "my friends." He was short on substance and never seriously went on the attack. Not completely unexpectedly, there were a couple of strange moments: when answering Tom Brokaw's question about who he would appoint Treasury Secretary, he answered "Not you Tom!" and at one point he vaguely gestured toward Barack Obama and called him "that one." McCain did not bring up any of the mud-slinging "character" issues his partner in crime, Sarah Palin has been hammering away at in rallies recently.

For his part, Obama provided more specifics, and consistently linked McCain with George W. Bush. In a dust-up on foreign policy, Obama hammered away at McCain's steadiness. "This is a guy who sang bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, who called for the annihilation of North Korea—that I don't think is an example of speaking softly." Obama, however, once again appeared stiff and detached. The man just doesn't seem to be able to loosen up on stage, and while he is a great orator, his skills in retail politics are lacking. He never quite connects in these debates the way he seems to when he is alone in the spotlight.

If the debate had a winner, it may have been John McCain. While Obama once again appeared Presidential, McCain was able to connect with the audience in a more folksy way, reminiscent of the old John McCain that people loved. Unfortunately for John McCain, the old John McCain rarely makes an appearance these days, ceding stage time to the George Bush-lapdog McCain.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Flip-flopping between the poles of fear

Isn't there a point where everything about Sarah Palin as Vice-President turns and pivots? Isn't there a moment, goshdarnit, when it all topples over and "funny but a little scary" becomes "sort of funny and really scary" ? Did it already happen and we didn't even notice, or are we just flip-flopping between the poles of fear?