hopperbach


No pressure… but be perfect


The V.P. debate is scheduled for tonight, and to many on the right it marks what may be the tipping point for this election. The general consensus is that if Sarah Palin’s performance is nothing less than flawless tonight, McCain’s campaign may never recover. And make no mistake, a growing number of my conservative friends are getting fidgety about our veep-in-running. Citing her less than stellar performances in recent television interviews they are even going so far as to suggest that she should never have been added to the ticket.

And you now what? I am starting to agree. But NOT for the reasons you might think.

Put simply: Sarah Palin is not destroying John McCain… John McCain is destroying Sarah Palin.

In the beginning I had assumed that maybe McCain was a little out of touch — that he simply didn’t understand what it was that made Sarah such a great asset. But now I’ve come to realize he understands her a little too well.  I think she makes him a little nervous. Not nervous that her inexperience will show, but nervous that if she’s allowed to be herself she may just outshine what was supposed to be the main attraction.

McCain knows that Sarah has energized the conservative base and he further knows that the prime reason for this is because she is everything he is not.  She’s an outsider and a true conservative who when left to her own devices has an impressive knack for communicating the conservative message in layman’s terms. As Alaska governor she also has gained a reputation for fighting against the Republican establishment.  And let’s face it: John McCain is Republican establishment, folks. I don’t believe he has any disdain for Sarah but I do think his bizarre actions since choosing her as running mate have been almost an unconscious form of sabotage.

Basically his strategy for containing this potential loose cannon has been to lock her away in the basement, letting her out on occasion but only under carefully guarded conditions. During her confinement, he has charged his campaign staff with the daunting task of reprogramming this dynamic young conservative woman into an clone of himself.

And so, after what I imagine were long and intense sessions of attempting to cram John McCain talking points into Sarah’s head, the campaign then sent her staggering out for a couple of interviews with near disastrous consequences. She muddled through anwsers that she either didn’t fully believe or perhaps did believe but would have phrased much, much better herself. Even during her best moments she came across more like a Stepford wife than the fiesty barracuda we came to know and love at the convention.

So now because John has been so reluctant to unleash his running mate in her full power and allow people to get to know the real Sarah, he has allowed a situation to manifest where her performance in tonight’s debates may make or break his campaign. It never had to be that way.

So a word for John McCain: If it’s not too late at this point I’d like to join the growing chorus of my conservative friends… LET SARAH BE SARAH.

Dammit.

You have taken a bright new star in the conservative moment and instead of allowing her to shine you have insisted on hovering in front of her like a dusty old establishment cloud. If you don’t change that strategy and FAST you will not only lose this campaign, you will do permanent damage to what could have been a very promising career for a remarkable woman.

If a parrot in a suit was what you wanted, you could have chosen Mitt Romney and he would have been easily up to the task. He would have repeated your lines with the polished flair of a seasoned politician and without a single hair falling out of place.

But you have chosen Sarah Palin… so for God’s sake take off the leash and let the pit bull loose. Sure she will make the occasional gaffe but rest assured that lovable clown Joe Biden will always be two steps ahead of her in that category. And yes she will disagree with you on occasion but trust me… that’s what we WANT her to do.  Those qualities are what made us love her in the first place. Her refreshing honesty and down to earth manner will HELP rather than hurt your campaign.

So two words, Senator McCain: FREE SARAH. Your victory depends on it. If you refuse to do this then her inclusion on your ticket was in vain. And in that sense I will come to regret her ever being chosen… for HER sake, not yours.

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They really, really like her
September 22, 08, 1:10 pm
Filed under: campaign, elections, Florida, John McCain, politics, Sarah Palin | Tags: , ,

Up until a month ago there was only one candidate in the presidential race who could draw a crowd of 60,000 enthusiastic supporters. Sarah Palin has changed all that. The Republican V.P. candidate got a hero’s welcome in Florida yesterday as she made her first stump speech in the battleground state. Is it any wonder Dems are foaming at the mouth over this woman?

“Sa-Rah! Sa-Rah!” they chanted at every mention of her name, applauding loudly and waiving tiny American flags that were distributed — along with free water bottles — by local volunteers. The fire chief estimated the crowd at 60,000.

Admiring throngs mobbed the Palin family’s arrival and departure, snapping souvenir pictures. Autograph seekers thrust campaign signs, caps with the McCain-Palin logo and copies of magazines with her face on their covers, and the Palins responded warmly.

Ask any lib why he or she loathes Sarah Palin (be sure to back up so that the spittle doesn’t land on your khakis) and they’ll rattle off a litany of venomous talking points they’ve collected on the Internet.  But make no mistake, THIS is what is really eating at them. 60,000 adoring Americans gathering in one place to show their support for a [snort! spit! sneer!] Republican candidate.

The folks in this Florida crowd were not celebrities. They weren’t media elites. They weren’t scholarly types or cooler than thou college hipsters. They were just 60,000 of your next door neighbors. Sarah connects with people. She energizes them. She’s one of them.

Libs hate that.

With Sarah’s popularity this race has ceased to be the slam dunk that it once was for the Golden Boy. The left is panicking. Their shrieks of displeasure can be heard from all directions. Honestly it’s like being in a room full of chihuahuas. Yapping, growling, snapping. Refusing to be placated. Defiantly leaving trails of pee and poop everywhere they go. They are not happy.

Let ’em yap. Let ’em poop. I’m a pit bull person myself.

Story below:

Palin draws crowd of 60,000 in The Villages



Hillary rides again


By all accounts, the Chosen One is poised to take the stage at the Democratic National Convention in August and be crowned as the party’s official nominee for President. So is former rival Hillary Clinton prepared to hold hands with Obama and join the Kum Ba Ya chorus? This is a Clinton, folks… need I even ask?

Although she suspended her campaign in June, this witch still has a little magic up her sleeve. Hillary never formally dropped out of the race after all… meaning she still has all her delegates. She also still has a very angry army of 18 million awaiting their marching orders.

As ABCNews’ The Note reports:

To former President Bill Clinton’s missing praise (to say nothing of what he is saying), we add this: A steadfast refusal by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to rule out allowing her delegates to vent in the peculiar fashion of voting for her on the convention floor, instead of the candidate she’s campaigning for.
“I happen to believe that we will come out stronger if people feel that their voices were heard and their views were respected,” Clinton, D-N.Y., told a gathering of supporters last week, ABC News reported Wednesday. “We do not want any Democrat either in the hall or in the stadium or at home walking away saying, well, you know, I’m just not satisfied, I’m not happy.”

It’s as old as, you know, Greek drama,” Clinton said. (We couldn’t agree more.)

And guess who’ll be playing Medusa…

So is Sen. Clinton scheming to be the next comeback kid?  Maybe…. but I think that term is a little too cute to aptly describe it. Think Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction… Hillary is about to rise screaming out of the bathtub.

Note the peculiar “joint” statement issued by Clinton and Obama on Wednesday:

“We are working together to make sure the fall campaign and the convention are a success. At the Democratic Convention, we will ensure that the voices of everyone who participated in this historic process are respected and our party will be fully unified heading into the November election.”

The way things are shaping up, this show of unity will go about as smooth as a gathering of Yankees and Red Sox fans. Make no mistake, Hillary has some leverage here. Behind the scenes she is making sure the DNC knows that how she behaves and what she says during the convention will rest largely upon their cooperation.

“The refusal to publicly announce her intentions is widely seen as a bargaining chip Clinton is holding on to as party officials negotiate logistics regarding her convention speech and other activities,” per ABC News.

And the press certainly seems to like the idea of a renewed battle:

“At this point, it is as likely as not that Clinton will be formally nominated at the convention, individuals close to the negotiations said,” per The Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut. “Officials have firmly denied a report last week that Clinton had decided not to have her name put into the record. Advisers on both sides also said that relations between the two are improving.” (But still have a ways to go?)

You only thought it was over,” ABC’s John Berman said on “Good Morning America” Thursday.

Oh we never thought it was over… this Greek tragedy is only beginning.



Saturday funnies
July 19, 08, 10:56 am
Filed under: barack obama, cartoons, elections, John McCain, politics | Tags: , , ,

Just a little collection of timely editorial humor. Enjoy your weekend, folks!



Barack Branding 101

I remember reading where certain brand-name companies who sell their products in grocery stores often will put the word “NEW!” on their packaging to get a boost in sales. The actual change in the product itself could be nothing more than adding four milligrams more of riboflavin. But that doesn’t matter to the consumer. Apparently just seeing that magic word is enough to persuade a shopper to throw the item in their buggy without even checking to see just what is ‘new’ about it.

That being said, I have long been mystified at the ease with which starry-eyed Obama supporters are willing to stock up on his special brand of Kool-Aid. Granted their candidate has some exciting qualities — he’s young, he’s hip, he has a great stage presence and he speaks with authority. But as Thomas Sowell so eloquently points out, he is still short on that important little ingredient called substance.

In an election campaign in which not only young liberals, but also some people who are neither young nor liberals, seem absolutely mesmerized by the skilled rhetoric of Barack Obama, facts have receded even further into the background than usual.

As the hypnotic mantra of “change” is repeated endlessly, few people even raise the question of whether what few specifics we hear represent any real change, much less a change for the better.

Certainly it’s a brilliant stroke of marketing on Obama’s part. But what about this “Change!” that is stamped all over Barry’s packaging? A look at the few specifics he has provided on the economic front shows us that nothing new is being proposed at all —  just the same old ‘New Deal’ politics presented  in a fresh shiny charismatic package.  As Sowell points out:

Raising taxes, increasing government spending and demonizing business? That is straight out of the New Deal of the 1930s.

The New Deal was new then but it is not new now. Moreover, increasing numbers of economists and historians have concluded that New Deal policies are what prolonged the Great Depression.

Putting new restrictions of international trade, in order to save American jobs? That was done by Herbert Hoover, when he signed the Hawley-Smoot tariff when the unemployment rate was 9 percent. The next year the unemployment rate was 16 percent and, before the Great Depression was over, unemployment hit 25 percent.

So the ideas are actually quite old. But they are part of a populist strategy that will appeal to the average voter who is unsatisfied with his or her life and wants something or someone to blame.

Sowell then goes on to examine the mindset that is catching on at an alarming pace in this country — the idea that Washington is here to make our lives better:

One of the most naive notions is that politicians are trying to solve the country’s problems, just because they say so– or say so loudly or inspiringly.

Politicians’ top priority is to solve their own problem, which is how to get elected and then re-elected. Barack Obama is a politician through and through, even though pretending that he is not is his special strategy to get elected.

And he is certainly very good at pretending he is not. A few short months ago he even had yours truly fooled. Although I knew he was a liberal and would never have voted for him on that fact alone, I was impressed by what appeared at the time to be a certain amount of integrity. Unlike Hillary, he didn’t give off that phony air of trying to be everything to everyone. And what most struck me at the time was that he seemed to be taking the high-road on race. It was, to say the least, refreshing.

But after the Jeremiah Wright revelation broke, I soon began to realize that Obama’s real strategy is to let others speak for him on the more controversial issues while he stands around looking and sounding presidential. If a firestorm erupted… as it already has a time or two… he could always distance himself without getting his own empty suit singed.

Yes people will call him on these tactics and yes he will look bad a time or two… or twelve. But ultimately what will matter to Democratic and centrist voters is his presence and his ability to look leader-like. That combined with the repetition of carefully chosen buzzwords like “change” and “hope” will likely be all he needs to win this election. McCain, as I have often said, is Bob Dole redux. Nothing about him says ‘new’ and I just don’t see him getting in the Oval Office when so many Americans are wanting newness for newness’ sake.

Those are the sad facts, folks. Maybe by 2012 the spiked Kool-Aid will have worn off and Americans will be ready for the real, bonifide “get government the hell out of our lives” kind of change. Until then, buckle your seatbelts…

Click below for the rest of Sowell’s excellent (as usual) column:

Are Facts Obsolete?



Seed of Chucky

So what caused the sudden closing of IndyMac this past Friday? According to OTS it was none other than a friendly letter from our favorite Senator from New York (no, the OTHER favorite):

The OTS has determined that the current institution, IndyMac Bank, is unlikely to be able to meet continued depositors’ demands in the normal course of business and is therefore in an unsafe and unsound condition. The immediate cause of the closing was a deposit run that began and continued after the public release of a June 26 letter to the OTS and the FDIC from Senator Charles Schumer of New York. The letter expressed concerns about IndyMac’s viability. In the following 11 business days, depositors withdrew more than $1.3 billion from their accounts.

Here’s my prescription for the ailing economy: STOP listening to Democrats. If you don’t think Schumer was more than a little happy at causing this bank run… you don’t know Chuck. Panicking impressionable Americans in an election year so as to pave the way for a Savior who will ride in and “solve the economy” (as Barry so eloquently put it) is par for the course when it comes to Democratic strategy.

If you are worried about the economy, do yourself a favor… turn off CNN and C-Span. Take charge of your own situation — scary as it may seem to you at the moment — and stop giving your power to politicians and pundits who have anything but your best interests at heart. You will get through this rough patch and you’ll be much happier in the long run.

If you insist on reading a newspaper, I would suggest getting your hands on older ones from times past when we have had economic slowdowns. Look at the headlines and the dire predictions of the time and observe how many of them actually came true. Also observe who it was that made those predictions. You may just find yourself coming face to face with the real enemy…



Pelosi’s petro pickle

As the Democrats were poised to take the helm in the 2006 elections, Nancy Pelosi wrote the following in a press-release addressing the nation’s energy woes:

Democrats have a common-sense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price-gouging; rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies; and increasing production of alternative fuels.

Now two years after revealing her “common sense” solution, Pelosi is passing the buck — four of them at last count:

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her San Francisco holiday weekend Monday with a blast at President Bush. The topic — the price of oil. Gasoline has more than doubled since the Bush administration took office she says.

San Francisco’s Meals on Wheels turns out more than 1,300 meals a day to seniors. But now there has been a dramatic rise in expenses.

“Our costs have gone up 40 percent, but even more so, the indirect costs of driving food costs is really taking a big hit on us. Almost a nine percent increase in food costs in just one year,” says Ashley McCumber of Meals on Wheels.

McCumber joined Speaker Pelosi Monday to dramatize the tough times businesses are having because of fuel costs. The speaker blames what she labels the Bush-Cheney big oil agenda, using graphics to point out gasoline prices have more than doubled in the Bush administration.

This is a scam of the greatest magnitude,” says Speaker Pelosi.

Truer words have never spilled forth from her botox lips. In fact, that last statement would look great hanging over the door of DNC headquarters.

What Nancy failed to mention in her fancy presentation is that the biggest surge at the pump occurred after her Democrats assumed control of congress. Here’s a little fancy chart of our own:

pelosi_premium

Yes, things are certainly looking up… vertical even.  Maybe this is part of the reason Pelosi’s Congress has now set a new precedent according to the pollsters at Rasmussen:

The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to single digits for the first time in Rasmussen Reports tracking history. This month, just 9% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Most voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, which ties the record high in that dubious category

Congrats! Definitely breaking bold new ground here. For nostalgia sake, let us hearken back to the inspiring speech Pelosi gave in January 2007 after being elected as Speaker:

The election of 2006 was a call to change — not merely to change the control of Congress, but for a new direction for our country.

And we have indeed taken a new direction… hope you folks brought your parachutes.