JOHN LEWIS IS RIGHT
Civil Rights Icon, Georgia Congressman, and true American Hero, John Lewis (who shares a birthday with me), said the following over the weekend...
"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.
"George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama."
The McCain campaign expressed outrage at these comments and demanded that Obama repudiate them.
Something which he hasn't done yet and I hope he does not do.
The rhetoric of the McCain campaign, Governor Palin in particular, has been disheartening and dirty. Their rhetoric that has taken rowdy crowds and made them even uglier. I noted in the "What's in My Name?" blog some of the awful things that have been shouted by crowds and showed a video of some of the tragically ignorant people that have been there and incited by Palin in particular.
The truth is this... Lewis never called either Palin or McCain racist, he just stated from an expert opinion, that the energy of the campaign and it's followers has worried him. If anyone can talk about what happens when the fires of passion are ignited by the words of politicians, it's John Lewis.
This is what happens when people in your campaign go out and say things like:
"Palling around with terrorists."
This is an awful and disgraceful attack that McCain has not been able to shut down, despite the fact that it is becoming clear that he is not happy with the recent line of attacks.
While McCain has been trying to tone down the rhetoric over the weekend Palin has been has continued spewing vitriol and lies at every turn.
As Politico's Roger Simon writes today it appears that Palin is running her own campaign.
SENATOR McCAIN MISSED THE POINT
Sure that you have seen this but as a point of reference.
I applaud John McCain for taking the microphone from the disturbed woman who made this statement, and was pleased to hear him call Barack Obama a 'decent man', he again missed an opportunity to tamper the down the real bigotry of the question.
The bigotry was the assertion the woman made that Obama was bad because he was Arab.
McCain's response was that Obama wasn't Arab. The words of people matter and the words of a President can cause financial markets to crash and countries to increase the size of their military.
My problem with McCain's reply is that it sounded like Obama was 'decent' because he wasn't Arab.
The United States has many wonderful Arab American citizens and I think it's time that someone has courage to defend them. The McCain statement in this answer had to hurt to Arab Americans who have to want to hear more people in both parties stand up and squash the Arab bias that permeates our country right now.
While I don't think McCain is anti-Arab in any way the fact that he failed to recognize and condemn the anti-Arab sentiment of the statement by the woman in the video was disappointing.
As a country we are too quick to downgrade and show bias against groups in this country. From American Indians, to immigrants, to African Americans, to the Japanese Internment camps, and many more, our fear of those different from us is one the darkest parts of the history of our country.
The Arab's in our country are just the latest group which we feel free to crap on, because of hatred and fear.
For the record I think Obama should handle this stronger as well. If I were him I would answer the "Arab" Question the following way.
"I'm not Arab. But so what if I was?"
I really can't understand Sarah Palin.
The "TrooperGate" investigation, which was authorized by Alaskan Republicans found some irregularities with her behavior.
By no means am I calling this report a version of Watergate or a 'smoking gun' of any kind. Yet the report continues to chip away at her credibility as a reformer.
The report COULD NOT BE CLEARER that she did something wrong, yet Palin was out there yesterday saying she was cleared of any wrongdoing. See the video below from Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Palin really likes to try and show herself as a humble, down to earth, regular person.
Instead she is coming off as delusional and out of touch with reality.
I would have respected her if she blasted the report as partisan politics or a sham. But to say that a report which not only says you broke the code of ethics, but cites the specific code... and you say it clears you of any improprieties?
Like I said, I just do not understand Sarah Palin.
THE PARTY OF REAGAN OR NIXON?
Republicans have an incredible love and admiration for Ronald Reagan. While I have always found this over the top I have really begun to admire the kind of politician that Reagan was after observing the past three elections.
In a wonderful article over the weekend in the Economist the Nixon way is shown pretty clearly. I really recommend this article for Republican readers.
Remember, Sarah Palin said she reads The Economist after saying she read 'all of them' when asked which publications she reads.
But my new admiration for Reagan is that in studying his campaigns, he was tough, but rarely dragged himself into the real dirt of politics.
I think Reagan would have been upset with ads like Willie Horton in 1988, the slanderous attacks against John McCain by George W. Bush, the Swiftboat ads against John Kerry, and the 'palling around with terrorists' rhetoric of this election.
The Atwater-Rove politics of the Republican party have two principles of past Republican Presidents. 1st they attempt to divide and destroy like Nixon,, 2nd they like to say Reagan as much as possible without using the grace and dignity he did.
Reagan may have been a leader I disagreed with the direction he took us, but he seems to have been a respectable person both as a leader and a candidate. I have to say that he ran campaigns with a level of class and dignity that his party has abandoned for 20 years now.
Loyal readers know that I don't talk a lot about national polls, but I do take stock in state polls, because that is how the campaigns decide how and where to put their resources. The news a couple weeks ago that McCain was pulling out of Michigan really surprised me as that looked all year like a fierce battleground. Today we see a new poll that has Obama up 16 points in Michigan.
State polls are where the real interesting and encouraging numbers are for supporters for Obama and why I think there has been such anger and frustration from Republicans.
In the last week alone Obama has expanded his own electoral opportunities and put McCain in a much more defensive position than I ever expected.
2004 TIGHTLY CONTESTED BLUE STATES:
- Wisconsin which John Kerry won with just 5000 or so votes has had three polls in the last week. Two had Obama up 10 points and new poll today had him up 17!
- Minnesota which is always pretty close though reliably Democrat was supposed to be closer with the Republicans hosting their Convention in St Paul has broken hard for Obama. This is one of two states where McCain has outspent Obama. Today's poll had Obama up 11 and while one recent poll had a 1pt lead that seemed to be the outlier of two other polls that had 7 and 14pt Obama leads.
- Pennsylvania. This seems to be where McCain is making his stand but its hard to see why. In the last 8 days there have been 7 polls in Pennsylvania where Palin and McCain have been campaigning almost every day. The leads for Obama in those 7 polls; 15, 13, 14, 14, 12, 13, 15.
RED STATES IN PLAY
I thought the 50 state strategy was nuts and going to cost Obama but what we are seeing is that coupled with the financial crisis, Bush blowout states are increasingly looking to be in play.
- Indiana, very Red State has had three of its last four polls have the race within the margin of error and Sarah Palin will be making a trip there in the next couple days. One poll has a 7pt McCain lead, another has it a dead tie.
- North Dakota! Thats right North Dakota which gave Bush a 24point win four years ago and had McCain up in the polls by 15 three weeks ago had a poll come out that gave Obama a 2pt lead. Yes in the margin of error, but unreal that this state may be in play.
- Virginia and Colorado. The last four polls in Virginia have all gone to Obama though the trend is that the race is getting tighter. The last three polls in Colorado have all showed Obama with a lead outside the margin of error and the lead may be expanding from +6, +6, to +9.
- Georgia. This looks to be a solid McCain state, but the trend is looking to close in favor of Obama. In Mid September McCain was up between 13 and 18 points. Recent polls show that Obama is down from 3-8 points.
- North Carolina. A big Obama target for months may well be the closest of all states this year. The last 4 polls have two leads for McCain inside the margin of error (+2, +3), one lead for Obama oustide the margin of error (+5), and one dead tie.
21 days until the election but if half of these polls are accurate then Obama has a real margin for error and ability to play real offense while McCain has to defend his own states.
Florida and Ohio, where the last two elections were decided you may be asking?
The polls are pretty close, but in Ohio since October 1st there have been 11 polls. 9 of 11 have been in Obama's favor. Five of those 9 have been leads of 4 pts or more oustide the margin of error.
In Florida there have been 6 polls since October 1st. ALL 6 polls have been in Obama's favor, 4 of the 6 have been outside the margin of error. Even more encouraging for Democrats is that two of the three biggest leads in those poll are Fox News Polls.
******* All polling data gathered from Real Clear Politics, Battle Ground State Polls.