The VP Debate

I cringed, more than once. Right out of the gate Senator Biden lobbed a softball to the Governor about Gwen Ifill's initial question on the current economic crisis.

Greedy, predatory lenders!? Really...?

Dispirited, I left the room for a time and started to surf. The Corner's servers had crashed, no live-blogging available there. Stephen Green's drunkblogging just isn't my cup of tea.

The only place I found that I could follow and whose pages were actually up was over at Ann Althouse. As I kept reading and kept returning to the room, the mood changed.

Biden was being Biden...not gaffe-tastic but Biden the blowhard. Biden the "I've been here forever, seen everything and know everything about everything" loudmouth. The first few answers in this mode I thought were effective but as the evening wore on, it wore thin.

My take? Through the entire middle-third of the debate Senator Biden was giving angry lectures, not answers. Ann and I were on the same page when she declared he looked like he was "heating up."

Such behavior can often be seen as off-putting. Combine that with the charm and wit displayed by the Governor, I think it's fair to say that at the very least she may have staunched the bleeding with regards to people's opinion of her.

What does that mean? Hard to know but here's hoping...

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Whither the Bounce?

It's there in all the polls. Or should I say, it's not there in all the polls anymore. Where'd it go?

Here's one crack at answering the question.



Joe-Joe the Clown #3

Hitting back and Hard

Senator McCain came out swinging today on the economic issues of the week. After seeing the slim lead of the last two weeks evaporate, McCain hit Obama square in the puss today on the market meltdown, Fannie and Freddie and his lack of...well, everything:

Top aides to Republican John McCain are claiming Democrat Barack Obama and his advisers are exploiting Wall Street's financial problems for political gain.


Ouch, again:

I'm happy to be introduced by Governor Palin, but I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington. Let me offer an advance warning to the big spending, greedy, do nothing, me first, country second crowd in Washington and on Wall Street: change is coming.

We need reform in Washington and on Wall Street. The financial markets are in crisis. Times are tough. Enormous strain is being put on working families and individuals in America. I know that the events unfolding can be difficult to understand for many Americans. The dominos that we have seen fall this week began with the corruption and manipulation of our home loan system. The reason this crisis started was the abuses that took place within our home loan agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and within our home loan system.

Two years ago I warned this Administration and Congress that regulations for our home loan agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, needed to be fixed…

But nothing was done.

Senator Obama talks a tough game on the financial markets but the facts tell a different story. He took more money from Fannie and Freddie than any Senator but the Democratic chairman of the committee that regulates them. He put Fannie Mae's CEO who helped create this disaster in charge of finding his Vice President. Fannie's former General Counsel is a senior advisor to his campaign. Whose side do you think he is on? When I pushed legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Senator Obama was silent. He didn't lift a hand to avert this crisis. While the leaders of Fannie and Freddie were lining the pockets of his campaign, they were sowing the seeds of the financial crisis we see today and enriching themselves with millions of dollars in payments. That's not change, that's what's broken in Washington.

There was no transparency into the books of Wall Street banks. Banks and brokers took on huge amounts of debt and they hid the riskiest investments. Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch.

The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino. They allowed naked short selling -- which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.

The Chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the President and has betrayed the public's trust. If I were President today, I would fire him.

We cannot wait any longer for more failures in our financial system. Structures like the resolution trust corporation that dealt with the failed savings and loan industry were designed to clean up the system and worked. Today we need a plan that doesn't wait until the system fails. I am calling for the creation of the mortgage and financial institutions trust – the MFI. The priorities of this trust will be to work with the private sector and regulators to identify institutions that are weak and take remedies to strengthen them before they become insolvent. For troubled institutions this will provide an orderly process through which to identify bad loans and eventually sell them.

This will get the treasury and other financial regulatory authorities in a proactive position instead of reacting in a crisis mode to one situation after the other. The MFI will enhance investor and market confidence, benefit sound financial institutions, assist troubled institutions and protect our financial system, while minimizing taxpayer exposure. Tomorrow I will be talking in greater detail about the crisis facing our markets and what I will do as President to fix this crisis and get our economy moving again.

Senator Obama has never made the kind tough reform we need today. His idea of reform is what his party leaders in Congress order him to do. We tried for bipartisan ethics reform and he walked away from it because his bosses didn't want real change. I know how to make the change that Senator Obama and this Congress is afraid of. I've fought both parties to shake up up Washington and I'm going to do it as President.

Those same Congressional leaders who give Senator Obama his marching orders are now saying that this mess isn't their fault and they aren't going to take any action on this crisis until after the election. Senator Obama's own advisers are saying that crisis will benefit him politically. My friends, that is the kind of me-first, country-second politics that are broken in Washington. My opponent sees an economic crisis as a political opportunity instead of a time to lead. Senator Obama isn't change, he's part of the problem with Washington.

When AIG was bailed out, I didn't like it, but I understood it needed to be done to protect hard working Americans with insurance policies and annuities. Senator Obama didn't take a position. On the biggest issue of the day, he didn't know what to think. He may not realize it, but you don't get to vote present as President of the United States.

While Senator Obama and Congressional leaders don't know what to think about the current crisis, we know what their plans are for the economy. Today Senator Obama's running mate said that raising taxes is patriotic. Raising taxes in a tough economy isn't patriotic. It's not a badge of honor. It's just dumb policy. The billions in tax increases that Senator Obama is proposing would kill even more jobs during tough economic times. I'm not going to let that happen.

I have seen tough times before. I know how to shake-up Wall Street and Washington. I will get this economy moving. I will lead us through this crisis by fighting for you, and when I am President we will be stronger than ever before.

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Go to Jail...

Do not collect $200. Go directly to Jail.

The hacking of Sarah Palin's private email and posting of all kinds of private information made quite the stir yesterday. Regardless what you might think of the wisdom of a public figure using such an account, there is no getting around the fact that the hacker is in deep you-know-what:

The simplicity of the attack, of course, makes it no less illegal.

Come to learn that the prime suspect is the son of a Tennessee State Representative:

State Rep. Mike Kernell confirmed Thursday that his son, a University of Tennessee-Knoxville student, is at the center of heated Internet discussion into the hacking of the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Kernell, a Memphis Democrat, confirmed that it is his 20-year-old son, David, who is being widely named on Internet blogs and chatrooms in connection with an unfolding story about Palin's hacked e-mail accounts.

If in fact it is Kernell, he can only blame himself. As the Wired blog post notes, the hacker couldn't help but talk about it:

A person claiming to be the hacker who obtained access to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's private Yahoo e-mail on Tuesday has posted a supposed first-person account of the hack, revealing the relatively simple steps he says he took to crack the private e-mail of the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

The story was briefly posted Wednesday to the 4chan forum where the hack first surfaced. Bloggers have connected the handle of the poster, "Rubico," to an e-mail address, and tentatively identified the owner as a college student in Tennessee.

Could be a short-trip from college student to felon. All because he couldn't help himself.

Sadly, I've noticed that most of the angry left that you find in all kinds of holes throughout the internet share that same characteristic. For more proof just read this bit of insanity.

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Of Peaks & Valleys

McCain and Palin have peaked...? I'd have been more concerned by the actual analysis had it come from somebody whose candidate hadn't lost every Presidential bid he's been involved in.



Joe-Joe the Clown #2

This hasn't made it's way to the GOP.com Gaffe Tracker yet...not sure why; it's an instant hit! From ABC's Political Radar Blog:

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports: Sen. Barack Obama's, D-Ill., vice presidential nominee, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., Wednesday said that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., might have been a better pick for the position than him.

At a rally in Nashua, N.H., a man in the audience told Biden how glad he was that Obama picked him over Hillary, "not because she's a woman, but because, look at the things she did in the past."

"Make no mistake about this," Biden responded. "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let’s get that straight. She’s a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she’s easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me. But she’s first rate, I mean that sincerely, she’s first rate, so let’s get that straight."

Joe--not to be outdone by everybody's favorite out-of-place VP hopeful--let's fly with one for the ages.



It's the Momentum, Stupid

It's everywhere in the polls...

The RealClearPolitics Average now has McCain up 2.4%. Small, yes. Statistically speaking, insignificant. But the real story is the direction. It's all one-way.

This image was pilfered from an Ann Althouse post and graphs one particular question from a Gallup poll. It's there too.


They hate her and we love her

Because she's real. The more I watch, read, listen and think about it that's what it boils down to for me.

She connects because she's real and in inimitable Democrat fashion, the Obama campaign and many of it's supporters are completely blind to the 'L' factor and it's role in presidential campaigns. Likability is a huge part of how and why Reagan won two blowout electoral contests; it's why we didn't elect the technocrat Michael Dukakis and most recently it's why President Kerry is not running for re-election as an American majority refused to be lectured incessantly by such an unlikable boor, despite what they thought of his policy views and positions.

She has it and in spades.


A Big One?

Has Senator Obama possibly stepped in it today? I suppose it depends on who you ask but Instapundit has a roundup speaking to comments that Obama made that many feel were very...unflattering...(at best) about Governor Palin:

DID OBAMA MEAN TO CALL SARAH PALIN A PIG? It's probably just a slip, but . . . "The crowd apparently took the 'lipstick' line as a reference to Palin."

Reader David Schlosser emails: "This will endear him to all those disaffected Hillary voters." And former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift is calling on Obama to apologize.

All I can say is, some pig.

UPDATE: "Lipstick on a trainwreck."

Plus, Tom Spaulding: "This is a major gaffe from Obama."

ANOTHER UPDATE: Marc Ambinder doesn't think Obama was talking about Palin. But reader Mark Martin emails: "This was just plain stupid on Senator Obama's part. It must be due to Karl Rove mind rays or something."

MORE: A reader emails: "Surely a man smart enough to be elected president should have foreseen how these remarks would be taken. Don’t Harvard law grads know the impact of words?" Everybody stumbles now and then. I say, don't make any more of it than if McCain had said something similar.

On the other hand, reader Alin Corle emails: "I think if you look at the entire quote, you realize that Obama was referring to Palin in the 'pig' comment. In the next phrase, as reported by Politico.com, Obama referred to 'old fish' wrapped in a paper of change that still stinks, a clear personal attack on McCain. I think both comments taken together are quite outrageous."

The reader's point about Harvard law grads goes straight to the key point; for all his articulate, intelligent, bright-guy labels it doesn't show when you put him in front of a microphone sans flash cards. If any of the old-guard Republican strategists were still in the game, this is the kind of thing--in type if not exactly--that could be turned into a Dukakis-in-the-tank moment.

Stay tuned.



Memo to Andrew Sullivan

Open memo to the once-respected and still-talented Andrew Sullivan, latest of the Atlantic.

Dear Andrew,

In the immortal words of Bat Thumb: "You're Insane!"

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