McCain Gallup’ing to higher ground

More interesting poll numbers for John McCain — this time showing a notable surge among independents. The Gallup chart tells the story.

As I have said before, polls are of limited use and shouldn’t be relied upon religiously. But this post-convention swing is notable in the fact that the chart doesn’t show a similar bump for Obama after the Dem convention. In other words: Nice show, Barry… but it appears those styrofoam Greek columns failed to leave much of an impression on scrupulous independent voters. Not only has McCain’s support reached an all-time high among this important voter class, but Obama’s has reached an all-time low.

Gallup’s ‘Final Points’:

The events on the Republican stage in St. Paul, Minn., from Sept. 2-4 appear to have provided two important boosts to the McCain-Palin ticket.

First, according to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Sept. 5-7, McCain has energized his Republican base and, as a result, has potentially strengthened his positioning on Election Day with “likely voters.” Second, as the Gallup Poll Daily trends discussed here show, voter movement toward McCain since the Republican convention occurred mainly with independents, thus broadening McCain’s appeal beyond the party.

Republicans had already lined up for McCain before the convention started. Now, they are excited, and are joined by more independents than at any other time in the campaign. Those gains may not last — “bounces” rarely do — but they enable McCain to launch the next phase of the campaign with the knowledge of what his winning coalition might look like.

Link to Gallup article below:

McCain Now Winning Majority of Independents


What a difference a convention makes

Bump, bump go the polls:

WASHINGTON — John McCain bested Barack Obama 50-46 percent among registered voters in the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, jumping 11 points over his previous showing and taking his biggest lead since January. McCain’s showing is credited in part to a well-received Republican Convention last week fueled largely by the surprise pick of McCain’s vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin. The numbers out Monday show McCain wiped out a 7-point lead Obama received after the Democratic convention two weeks ago.

So are the Obamites worried? Oh yeah… but they don’t want us to know that:

“Up or down, we believe national polls are meaningless,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton told FOX News.

We shall remember that statement. Might come in handy at a later date.

Actually I don’t put much stock in polls either. They’re nothing more than manufactured news and carry a danger of influencing voter opinion when overused.

BUT there is at least one significant change worth noting:

Monday’s USA Today poll shows McCain has closed the week-before advantage on the economy from 19 points in Obama’s favor to just 3 points now.

That’s a little more than just a post convention bump and the Obama camp knows it. The economy is what Barry considers his golden ticket to the Oval Office. If he starts losing ground on that he may be in ‘heap big trouble’ come election time.

Full story below:

McCain Jumps Ahead of Obama in Latest Poll

“Fight with me”

John McCain delivered a decent speech Thursday night as the RNC drew to a close. Few will argue that Sarah stole his thunder the night before but he did make the best speech John McCain can make.  John has a different speaking style than George W. Bush but shares some of the same problems with timing and emphasis. He also has a tendency to break into a smile at all the wrong times. He did have some good lines but with the possible exception of the speech’s rallying cry at the end, there were no real ‘pump your fist in the air’ moments. But that’s just John. We knew what to expect here.

That having been said, he did do an adequate job. He covered the usual domestic issues such as education, healthcare, taxes and the economy. The contrast to Obama’s platform was not always as clear cut as one might have hoped. But he did emphasise his commitment to lowering taxes as compared to Obama’s ‘pretend’ tax-cut which would actually line Congress’ pocket more than ours. And he did press for offshore drilling and more nuclear power… much to the delight of the crowd.

The second half of his speech was much better than the first and he was markedly more effective when speaking about his military heroism than he was when talking domestic policy. His account of being held captive at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam was both sobering and inspiring.

I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn’t in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.

There is no doubt McCain emerged from that experience a true hero and an honor to his country. And he was believable when he promised to fight against terrorism and foreign aggression. These issues are definitely his strong suit.

Hardly worth mentioning were a handful of interruptions from a few brats at Code Pink… their faces contorted into positively miserable forms as they were ushered out of the building to deafening chants of “U.S.A!”.  They honestly reminded me of a kid getting dragged fitfully out of a store by their mom because she wouldn’t buy them a box of Skittles. Apparently they think they swayed someone to their cause with that foolishness but I’m not sure who.

But all in all the speech went as expected and it accomplished it’s objective. Things did end on a powerful note as MCain literally shouted the following lines over a roaring crowd:

I’m going to fight for my cause every day as your president. I’m going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I’m an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what’s right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children’s future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Excellent words. A stirring moment and a great way to end the speech.

I also LOVED it when they played Heart’s “Barracuda” after the families of McCain and Palin took the stage — an obvious nod to our favorite bad-ass running mate. The campaign would be crazy not to adopt that as her theme song from this point forward.

Putting it all into perspective, I’m very enthused about our chances for the first time since this race began. Though McCain is nowhere near the orator Barack Obama is, his experience and service to his country came across loud and clear last night. With his brilliant addition of Sarah Palin (whose mere presence in the audience somehow seemed to ignite the crowd) this has become a VERY powerful ticket.

Bring it, Golden Boy.  This game is officially on.

Barracuda bites back

There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Sarah Palin would hit a home-run with her speech at the RNC last night… the only question was how far. This was an upper deck shot, folks. With some finger wagging at the opposing team as she rounded the bases.

Great debut — I was very impressed and I must confess I sometimes found myself wishing the ticket were reversed as I watched her speak. She has a lot of charisma — as much as Obama in my opinion — and her record shows that she backs up her talk with action.

My favorite quote:

I love those hockey moms — you know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.

Oh HELL yes! You won’t find that one in the official text of the speech, by the way. That’s pure, unscripted Sarah Palin. We got many such glimpses of the real woman last night as she connected with the crowd on the funny, down-to-earth level of a friend you might bump into at the grocery store. Try that Hillary.

Other notable excerpts:

In response to scrutiny of her family:

And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.

That’s how it is with us.

Our family has the same ups and downs as any other … the same challenges and the same joys.

Addressing Obama’s criticism of her “inexperience”:

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

[big applause and laughter]

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.

Ooooooooooh, that’ll leave a mark. Chuck Norris ain’t got squat on this babe. A well placed, well deserved roundhouse kick to the groin. WHAP!!

Next she takes a shot at the MSM:

I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment.

And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

And make no mistake, Sarah’s outsider status does indeed give fits to the elitists in the press. They’re not sure what to make of her and most of what they have assumed so far has been dead wrong. But any myths that lingered about Sarah Palin’s inadequacy were dissolved last night. The Barracuda showed herself as a force to be reckoned with and her opponents know it.

Mind you, that didn’t stop the spin. While the TV talking heads were forced to acknowledge afterward that Palin did a great job, a common theme soon began to surface as pundit after pundit began commenting on how the speech was “well written” — the implication being that Sarah’s only talent is in delivering the words of others. Funny how they fail to mention the fact that the Boy Wonder himself uses a speech writer… and in fact stammers awkwardly whenever he’s not in front of a teleprompter. Biden and McCain also rely on speechwriters.

But the media knows Palin made a huge impression last night and this is literally all they have left. Until she soundly trounces Biden in the debates, the MSM and the Obama camp will try to portray her as an empty suit (hmmmm…. now where have we heard that before?).

But what really kills me is how Palin’s opponents and lib pundits act so taken aback that the hockey mom actually came out swinging last night. What did they expect after all the abuse these bottom feeders have subjected her and her family to over the past several days? Payback’s a bitch ain’t it?

Full text of the speech may be found here.

Heavy “mettle” woman

I can’t quite recall a time when the MSM has gotten as agitated and panicked over a presidential running mate as they have over Sarah Palin. And why? Is she not a strong and accomplished woman? Has she not forged her own path to become the head of the largest state in the union? Does she not exemplify all of the qualities women have worked so tirelessly to cultivate over the years?

Well yes… but she’s also a conservative. She’s pro-life. She staunchly supports offshore drilling in her home state. She owns — and uses — guns. She likes to lower taxes and tackle government corruption. And so, says a leftist press, the woman must go.

Rest assured that the lib media is on the case. Their modus operendi is to relentlessly turn up the heat on Palin’s personal life until she finally bursts into tears and leaves the kitchen (a little sexist lingo there).  And I have to say, after decades of observing the political scene, never have I seen the MSM spring into such swift and ruthless action in going after a V.P. candidate and their family. Throw a sickly cow into a piranha pond and you won’t see the frenzy you are witnessing here.

Of the handful of “disturbing” revelations which have surfaced, the one bit of news that opponents seem to see as Palin’s Achilles heel is the pregnancy of her teenage daughter, Bristol. After all, how can a good mom possibly manage her daughter’s crisis and be there for her while running for the second highest office in the land? And what kind of gall must the woman have to even accept McCain’s offer under such circumstances?  Lib pundits breathlessly speculate that Palin’s family troubles may just cause her to sheepishly withdraw from the race by week’s end. Or as The Trentonian so tactfully put it in their caption to an AP photo:

Yesterday, the sexy mother said that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and that her mountain man hubby was busted for driving under the influence. Some think she won’t last the week as McCain’s No. 2.

Very objective journalism there Trentonian!  But as John McLaughlin would say: WROOOOONG! Sarah ain’t going nowhere.

Good God, how many ways can a liberal media underestimate a situation? I can count three right off-hand — three factors that the Obama camp and their accomplices in the press aren’t taking into account:

  1. Palin’s resilience. Sarah is well-known in Alaska as someone who never backs down from adversity. In fact, she seems to thrive on it. If her bulldog rep is true, these attacks from the left will only energize her.  Get ready for a zinger or two aimed at the press during Palin’s speech tonight.
  2. Hillary voter backlash. Many Hillary Clinton supporters are still fuming over what appeared to be a sexist media bias against the first female presidential candidate in history. Now that another woman has thrown her hat in the ring, questions about Palin’s readiness based merely upon the fact that she’s a mom will only fan the flames higher. Examples of this are already popping up in some of  the comments sections of articles and blogs about Palin. Hillary’s peeps are NOT happy, folks.
  3. General voter backlash. Most of us have known a family at some time in our lives who has had to deal with a teen daughter getting pregnant. We know how freaked out a young girl can get in this situation and how essential maintaining privacy is to her and her family. The MSM’s shameless efforts to bore down on Palin’s daughter will not play well with the public… at all.

So there you have it… yet another case of the media inadvertently helping the very person they were trying to destroy. Will they ever learn? Let’s hope not.

Media mud

It’s been entertaining to watch the reaction of the liberal media over John McCain’s surprise bombshell (and I mean that on SO many levels) of choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.  In the first place they are clearly bothered that he chose a woman — make that a Republican woman. After all, the official MSM template dictates that the first female ANYTHING in Washington HAS to be a Democrat. They being the enlightened ones who are with the times and all…

Secondly, they are resentful at being forced to turn their cameras away from the overconfident visage of the Golden One so soon after his star-studded pow-wow atop Mt. Olympus. After all, we were still supposed to be basking in the glow of history in the making last Thursday as Obama accepted the DNC nomination on the anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Today we were supposed to be reading the MSM’s poignant analysis of what this monumental event “means for America”.

Sure the media knew McCain’s introduction of a running mate was imminent. But they weren’t worried. They expected the traditional Republican cookie-cutter candidate… a Mitt Romney perhaps. They already had page two reserved for their obligatory three paragraph write-up on whoever the fuddy-duddy turned out to be.

So now the press has been thrown more than just a curve — we’re talking a Phil Niekro knuckler doing a butterfly dance around their bat. They are in absolute fits, folks… and they’re not playing nice. The same MSM who so obediently acquiesced after Barack Obama ordered them to lay off his wife and children has now embarked upon a hell-bent mission to find the dirt on anyone in the Palin clan all the way down to the family pooch.

And to the thrill of leftist pundits they believe they have uncovered some tasty morsels: Hubby had a DUI several years ago as a young man. Teen daughter is pregnant. Palin may have overstepped her authority while trying to protect her sister in a nasty custody battle. Sarah’s husband and son are (gasp) independents.

So how much of the mud will stick? From all indications not much at all. What is emerging here with the Palins is the family next door — or maybe our own.  It is actually refreshing for voters to see that Palin shares our problems and is somewhat approachable. As Politico’s Charles Mahtesian writes:

So far — and it is hard to tell what the future may hold for Palin’s unexpected national candidacy — the travails of the Palin family probably seem awfully familiar to many average Americans. It is this averageness that makes her such a politically promising running mate for John McCain — and such a dangerous opponent for Democrats. Many voters will find it easy to identify with her family’s struggles — a significant advantage in an election where the voting calculus is so unusually and intensely personal.

Agreed. These revelations may help her in an odd kind of way and will likely do little to put the brakes on what has suddenly become a very promising McCain candidacy.   The libs will kick up some dirt but what will be left when the dust clears is an intelligent, well spoken, confident, attractive, tenacious leader who is firm on her decidedly conservative convictions.

Dems and libs would like us to think they are laughing off McCain’s attempt at a checkmate. But make no mistake “Sarah Barracuda” is haunting their dreams at night. They are more than a little worried — and many of us on the right are now more than a little stoked. For the first time in the campaign we have… if I may borrow Barry’s buzzword… hope.  With Palin, we have finally broken the traditional Republican mold — at a time when things had indeed become moldy.

--Cartoon by Gary Varvel 

Veep looks like a lady

Maybe the guy really is a maverick. Things have suddenly gotten very interesting in the presidential race as John McCain taps Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate:

McCain introduced Palin on Friday as his surprise pick on the eve of the Republican National Convention, calling her the one “who can best help me shake up Washington and make it start working again for the people who are counting on us.”

Palin is the full package — solid leader, devoted wife and mom, firebrand conservative, intelligent, attractive. And I don’t just mean attractive for a politician… I mean freakin’ beautiful. In this day and age that helps. Realclear politics provided an impresssive bio about her in a June article:

When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her fierce competitiveness.

Two years later, when she won the “Miss Wasilla” beauty pageant, she was also voted “Miss Congeniality” by the other contestants.

Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is still drop dead gorgeous. And smart to boot.

But it’s mostly because she’s been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.

Ms. Palin touches other conservative bases, some of which Sen. McCain has been accused of rounding. Track, her eldest son, enlisted in the Army last Sept. 11. She’s a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes and runs marathons. A regular churchgoer, she’s staunchly pro-life.

Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal said Sen. McCain should run against a corrupt, do-nothing Congress, a la Harry Truman. If he should choose to do so, Gov. Palin would make an excellent partner. “The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah,” pollster Dave Dittman told the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes.

But here’s my favorite little factoid:

She was quoted as saying her favorite meal is “moose stew after a day of snowmobiling.”

YEAH baby! Politically incorrect to boot!  Man, this is just too good to be true…

In addition to her conservative credentials, Palin obviously will draw some of the female vote McCain so sorely lacks and will likely help him win over more of the Hillary voters. And her presence on the ticket will provide some of the youth and vigor his campaign has been needing.  VERY nice move. Give Johnny credit for some guts.

Not surprisingly the Obama camp is in quite a tizzy over the pick. They wasted no time going on the attack, citing of all things… Palin’s inexperience:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

What a laffer. Palin could spend 10 minutes flipping through an issue of Foreign Affairs and it would catch her up COMPLETELY with the Boy Wonder.

What really worries Dems is that a McCain victory would put a Republican woman that close to the presidency.  This was supposed to be their turf.

This is starting to get fun now.

Full story below:

McCain taps Alaska governor for VP