Barack Obama can make breezy stump jokes about adverts showing happy couples skipping through fields. For the 71-year-old Arizona senator, however, there's just no upside to any focus on the pharmaceutical product of choice of Bob Dole, the last battered war veteran to run - rather haplessly - for president.
But there was no excuse for McCain's excruciating discomfort when asked about Carly Fiorina, a top ally, blasting insurance companies for covering erectile dysfunction drugs but not birth control.
Instead, the eight-second pause and the protestation that he could not give an "informed answer" because he could not "recall the vote right now" played right into the narrative that McCain is old, out of touch and has been in Washington so long that he can't even remember what he's done there.
While Obama usually seems at ease and ready with a quip or a smile, in formal settings McCain can sometimes look as if he's in pain. If he does grin, he looks more like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" than a candidate actually enjoying himself.
wouldn't you know it that someone already YouTubed McCain in the shining.
Today Obama blasted McCain as completely out of touch with American reality and the current and future problems confronting Americans.
He mentioned McCains belief that the economic woes were strictly "psychological" and said at least McCain admitted he doesn't know much about the economy.
Obama further said that "I don't know what's worse that McCain doesn't know that he voted against providing contraception for women twice, or doesn't know whether or not women should actually have coverage for birth control if men get federally subsidized viagra".
Finally, Obama said that it shows how "out of touch McCain is with reality' in that he only now seems to realize how social security works when McCain called social security an "absolute disgrace". Obama said "the senator doesn't seem to realize that social security is the most successful elderly anti-poverty program of all time and has always worked the way it does today. If it's such a disgrace why didn't McCain do anything about it during his many decades in Washington".
In order to combat the legacy press and media which has ignored many normally campaign killing gaffes, Obama has started a new site "McCain'sMediaBase" to expose the real McCain by using his own words on a single web site on issues important to the american people.
McCain's econ brain
Economic conservatives take heart: Phil Gramm is influencing the candidate's platform.
The big question is whether McCain's radical agenda is simply designed to rally the Republican base, or would prove a blueprint for a McCain presidency. Given the Arizona Senator's maverick record, voters have every reason to distrust the new McCain. He twice opposed the Bush tax cuts and keeps dropping disturbing lines like, "I don't know as much about the economy as I should."
But economic conservatives should take heart. McCain's chief economic adviser - and perhaps his closest political friend - is the ultimate pure play in free market faith, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm. If McCain follows Gramm's counsel, and most of his current positions are vintage Gramm indeed, his policies as president would represent not just a sharp departure from the Bush years, but an assault on government growth that Republicans have boasted about, but failed to achieve, for decades.
Since retiring from the Senate in 2002, Gramm - a former economics professor at Texas A&M - has been circling the globe as an investment banker at UBS (UBS). In July, McCain called on his old friend to salvage his floundering campaign.
Obama please get your wonderful mug in front of a camera on this..
As the former Senator has been out of office for nearly four years, and his stay in this primary season was short lived, the current beliefs of the demographic appeal of John Edwards are based more on perception than on hard numbers (though recently some compelling numbers have been released; we will address those shortly). That said, the general consensus is that John Edwards still holds enormous appeal to working class voters. He comes from the Carolinas (born in SC; elected in NC), which would leave one to imagine he would have a strong pull among Appalachian voters who have largely steered clear of Barack Obama. Iowa entrace polls also demonstrate a clear appeal to conservative Democratic voters; a demographic he won by more than 20 points (42% for Edwards vs. 22% for Clinton and 21% for Obama). These strengths position Edwards as a fine demographic partner for Barack Obama, and unlike say Jim Webb or Wesley Clark (men primarily valued for their military experience and expertise), an Edwards candidacy doesn't cause Obama to look like as if he's concerned about his credibility on foreign policy and feels need to fix it by placing a military man on his ticket. It is especially important for Obama not to undermine himself on foreign policy given that his current crop of advisers points to the fact that Obama is aiming for a tectonic shift from the foreign policy that has governed the last eight years. A vice presidential candidacy that suggested Obama felt less than confident on his bona fides may ironically work against him in this regard.
Hope? Sounds an awful lot like a current presidential campaign I can think of. But even more than the similarity of message is Edwards' credibility on such domestic issues as health care and labor. Obama's health care plan has faced severe scrutiny from members of the progressive media, who fault the Senator for failing to mandate health coverage. An Edwards vice presidency would do much to alleviate these concerns. Edwards was first out of the gate with his health care proposal (which did include mandates), and has continued the drum beat in support of universal health care. In fact, it's been reported that his original decision not to endorse Obama following his withdrawal from the race centered largely on his concerns over Obama's health care policy. His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, is also well-informed and passionate about health care. She would serve as an excellent surrogate for the campaign. Between the two, the Democrats would have a hell of a team lobbying for major health care reform.
Perhaps best of all, an Obama/Edwards ticket would feature the party's two best orators. The nationwide barn-storming would be unimaginable. Further, at only 54 years old, Edwards is still young enough that he could very well win in 2016 (he'll be 63 by the November election). The benefits of another Edwards vice presidency can be found in recent SUSA polls of hypothetical general election match-ups in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. In each instance, the Obama/Edwards ticket slaughters not only McCain (usually by double digits), but trounces Obama tickets supproted by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (KS), or Gov. Ed Rendell (PA).
While name recognition may explain the disparity between an Obama/Edwards ticket and an Obama/Sebelius ticket, the same cannot be said of an Obama/Rendell ticket, which polls even or slightly behind an Obama/Edwards ticket in Pennsylvania (where one would assume the citizens recognize the name of their own governor). The fact that Edwards can draw as much support in Pennsylvania as its own governor is a pretty good sign for his pull at the bottom of a ticket. These poll numbers are probably overly-optimistic, but they certainly do suggest John Edwards' wide-spread popularity.
I'd love to see more battle ground state polling to see how edwards, hillary and all the rest do...
I know if Obama doesn't pick some long time washington insider (hillary, biden, bayh) the media will go nuts.
John McCain's fantastical pledge on Monday to balance the budget by 2013 through massive tax cuts and unidentified budget reductions deserved the bad reviews it received. But the most unfortunate element of his incoherent promise is that it's representative of his policy agenda these days. While the McCain campaign is trying to paint Barack Obama as a flip-flopper, the Arizona Republican is making diametrically opposed policy promises to different audiences at the same time. The contradictions are often in the details, but their obscurity is evidence of the campaign's cynicism.
Take McCain's ambitious health care plan. It would give every family a $5,000 health insurance tax credit at a cost of $3.6 trillion, by his campaign's own account. Despite its size, McCain aides have said, repeatedly, that McCain's health care proposal has no net cost. That's because it would tax workers' health benefits, which the Joint Committee on Taxation agrees will raise $3.6 trillion (in its analysis of the Bush proposal that served as the model for McCain's plan).
nedra pickler of the AP who's McCain's fluffer needs to get a clue..