« "How to burn the speculators" - Galbraith | Main | Will Maliki "torpedo" the peace? »

22 August 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


problem with Hillary, too many baggages. It will be media scandal one after another every single day. She is a righwing talking head magnet. She is also very divisive. She is also come with gigantic amount of corrupting connection.

But the chance of her being a veep is still likely.

Biden has wide foreign policy experience, but his money connection is worrying.

I think these are important variable in play to stop the Iraq war. The war still have very wide congress and DC insider supports. Without a clean president, the money connection alone will be able to thwart any effort to stop the war.

On top of that, the economy is in deep funk. In order to stabilize the economy the new president would have to introduce a lot of painful correction and reform.

Loosing war income, then easy money won't make the powerful happy.

They would rather put McCain to keep the easy money going for another cycle.

Nancy K

I so agree with your commentary, but isn't it a sad state of affairs when we have to sink to their level in order to beat them.
I'm hoping the VP will be Clinton or Biden also. Anyone else and it will be McCain's election.

Walter R. Moore


I'm one of the countless Dems who find Biden and Clinton distasteful. But you are right that both would be very good to set loose to attack McCain.

I think Hillary could run circles around Romney, and unbelievably it's rumoured that he's to be the GOP VP nominee.


Dear sir, to drive home the problem (the "recognition gap" many citizens have with Obama) take a gander at the McClatchy newservice cartoon for this date.Prudence may prohibit its display.This is why the low level, bottom feeder, tactics of McSame are both frightening and effective.


i would rather see hillary as a vp pick than to see biden. biden is scary, really really scary.

Cold War Zoomie

Obama will lose in November. I used to think otherwise, but the last few weeks have forced me to change my mind. The GOP is just too good at campaigning for any modern Dem to win.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
-HL Mencken

Here's an interesting paper I found while verifying Mencken's quote above...

The Logic of Collective Belief


Yes. Obama needs an attack dog. I thought Gen. Clark did a great job undercutting McCains's claim to military leadership - but Obama threw him under the bus. We have seen a pattern there. What happens after the VP selection and the inevitable "scandal" or "misspeaking" by the VP candidate? Will Obama then "renounce and repudiate" his VP nominee?

McCain is a hot head. I have always believed that the best thing going for Obama is that his opponent is McCain. Any other candidate and the "memetics" would have been devastating. McCain will give the Obama campaign many opportunities to exploit and confuse the non-thinking American voter which unfortunately is the majority. It seems the Obama campaign is learning - at least they took advantage of the McCain house gaffe to show McCain's "elitism" and the kettle calling the pot black.

The polling data will start becoming relevant after both conventions. IMO, Obama's poll numbers need to be reduced to get an accurate picture since many would be loath to say they will not be voting for him due to his race.

David Habakkuk


If Mencken is right, why should any intelligent young Chinese think that this much-touted 'democracy' is such a good idea after all?

He (or she) might say: 'better the devil we know ...'



The corporate media has gotten themselves in a lather over the Presidential horse race. I actually heard on the radio Al Gore mentioned for Obama and General Petraeus for McCain.

I don’t know how good attack dog Al Gore would be. The media generally ignores him except to say he invented the internet.

The McCain - Petraeus Ticket brings back memories of the George Wallace and SAC Bomber General Curtis LeMay Ticket - "Bomb Bomb Iran". Oops, that is now "Bomb Bomb Ivan".


You heard it here first.

Obama said, "I want somebody who’s independent, somebody who can push against my preconceived notions and challenge me so we have got a robust debate in the White House."

At first I thought that was Hillary. But then we look at the map. His grand tour ends in Billings, MT.

It's going to be Brian Schweitzer.


He speaks Arabic.

This is simply an excellent pick. Excellent.

He may win after all. Maybe.


If I had to place a wager for fun - I would bet that Obama picks Hillary. It's got all the theatrics and the punditry will go nuts endlessly prognosticating on the pros & cons. Then McCain really has two celebrities to contend with. It would also really help Obama pick up a few votes that he otherwise would not get.



if mccain picks sen. lieberman as his vprez choice, then he will in effect have committed political suicide, as such a pick will loose mccain the republican base that he 'has to have' in order to win in november. the independent votes won't be enough to make up for the loss of the republican base that is required. if mccain is lost-without-a-clue enough to pick lieberman, the republican base mccain requires will either sit home in disgust come election day, or they'll vote every other area except the prez position leaving it blank.

if mccain wants to personally smooze with mccain that is his poor choice, if he wants lieberman as his bed partner in the oval office, that is another -- a.k.a. political wrecking of his prez aspirations.


If Mencken is right, why should any intelligent young Chinese think that this much-touted 'democracy' is such a good idea after all?
Posted by: David Habakkuk | 22 August 2008 at 11:33 AM

I think the chinese knows exactly what DC politics is about. They are aware perfectly that the so called democracy is nothing more than interpersonal relationship of the powerful, paying up lobbyists and doing media play.

Beijing bureaucrats and party players have to navigate far more complex interpersonal relationships with far higher risk. Figuring out DC politics, a city 30 times smaller would be trivial.

They've been playing this game for 5000 yrs. I think they know a thing or two about empire and its court.

William R. Cumming

WOW! If the VP selection is down to Clinton and Biden then the DEMS will lose in November. How about someone with real stature? Long history in politics and governing? Ed Rendell? Janet Napolitano? Or if National Security and foreign policy expertise Wes Clark? Richardson? Business? Michael Bloomberg? Paul O'Neil? Looks to me like a short bench for the DEMS, not to say the same for Republicans. Perhaps Kay Bailey Hutchison for McCain? Knowledgable? James Baker? Drama? Jeb Bush?

Seems to me that both McCain and Obama are unlikely saviors given the bad choices made over the last 30 years by the undistinguished Presidents. Still all in all the best "CAMPAIGN" team likely to win! At least whatever the outcome political party realignment will accelerate. This whole VP process is scary to me and probably all other astute foreign ministers internationally. Clearly no consistent US policies when personality can so impact US direction and outcome. Symbolic of lower tier nation-state. No system and no real process that leads to long-term vision. US long-term day in sun appearing to have been increasingly a fluke of history and immigrant scientists to US. Hey maybe immigration will save US again.


I had hoped for Wes Clark also. The fact that Obama didn't back him up pretty much proves your point Colonel. That's why I'm rooting for Biden now. He can put McCain down like nobodies business.


I agree completely with your VP choices.

Bill Clinton has been the only Democrat since Carter to understand, withstand, and overcome the modern, Lee Atwater-created GOP pres campaign (hapless Dem criticizes policy while GOP criticizes character), so HRC is a good choice. Biden is no shrinking violet either. Both fill in the experience and foreign policy creds gap. Both can finally help kickstart this campaign.

Naturally I'd prefer (like everybody else) that this be about issues, but that's the last thing the GOP wants or will allow. You'd think that Team Chicago would have figured that out by now, that this election would be about turning Obama into The Elitist Brother from Another Planet, but they've seemed largely unprepared. Finally, two days ago, the Politico created an opportunity with their "how many houses do you have, Sen McCain question" and Team Obama ran with it. Let's see how they hold up after Team McCain's tactical nuclear reponse (arugula eater who buys houses with the help of convicted felon, Tony Rezko) and let's hope they take the hit and return another harder blow.

In a related note, the LA Times reported this initially happened after the media storm over the McCain's houses story: McCain, who huddled with advisors at his desert compound in Sedona, Ariz., said nothing in public. A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. It took a nine car motorcade to get McCain a cup of cappuccino? (Cappucino!!) Maybe some bright media guy on Obama's team can flesh out/reinforce the out-of-touch elitist theme.



Col. Lang:

David H. re your comment on CWZ’s quote from Mencken.

That’s exactly the problem. The fact that democracy is an imperfect system is what makes it susceptible to a surfeit of carping and caviling from the widest range of aphorists most of whose comments are true, funny and cynical. But its imperfectness also makes it susceptible to those would defeat it by arguing “a bird in hand . . . “ as a better alternative.

Thomas Jefferson perhaps said it best: A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

A further sample:

Ambrose Bierce: An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods. (And) Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

Winston Churchill: The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.

My favorite is by Edward Albee: Remember one thing about democracy. We can have anything we want and at the same time, we always end up with exactly what we deserve.


Col, I agree with what you said but just want to add three things:

1. Hillary has never really accepted defeat nor has she attacked her "good friend", McCain. Still she has more bxlls than Obama.

2. Biden has a tendency to say something stupid and can get angry but maybe that's what Obama needs.

3. Obama is from the South side, where are his bxlls?


I do not agree with some comments here that Hillary is the best pick for VP - she would be repudation of 'change'. I hope that Obama will pick Webb. He would run circles around McCain...


Colonel Lang and a number of this blog's readers appear to believe that Obama's election prospects are dire. Do you still hold to this opinion in light of McCain doing such a good job this week of shooting himself in the foot over how many houses he owns? The election is still over two months away and McCain is a terrible campaigner, prone to gaffes, memory lapses, and bursts of temper. I'm not calling it for Obama; I think he faces tremendous obstacles, but I wouldn't be so certain that McCain has it in the bag.


Joe Biden with a sledgehammer -- James Webb or Chuck Hagel with a wrecking ball. And how do you position yourself as a Washington outsider, coming in to sweep out the entrenched culture of the permanent political class, with Joe Biden at your side?


Credit where its due.

Scanning the tubes today its amazing how the punditry is in frenzy about who Obama's pick will be with no leaks and "inside scoops" and "annoymous sourcing".

IMO, the Obama campaigns decision to directly inform voters first via text messaging is just brilliant! Maybe there is a pony here.

Clifford Kiracofe

Well, perhaps the Dem convention should nominate Hillary for President and Obama for VP.

Latest from Pew Center:
"With less than two weeks to go before the start of the presidential nominating conventions, Barack Obama's lead over John McCain has disappeared. Pew's latest survey finds 46% of registered voters saying they favor or lean to the putative Democratic candidate, while 43% back his likely Republican rival. In late June, Obama held a comfortable 48%-to-40% margin over McCain, which narrowed in mid-July to 47% to 42%.

Two factors appear to be at play in shifting voter sentiment. First, McCain is garnering more support from his base - including Republicans and white evangelical Protestants - than he was in June, and he also has steadily gained backing from white working class voters over this period. Secondly and more generally, the Arizona senator has made gains on his leadership image. An even greater percentage of voters than in June now see McCain as the candidate who would use the best judgment in a crisis, and an increasing percentage see him as the candidate who can get things done...."

Bill W, NH, USA

I'm not yet counting out HRC being the nominee. I'm not sure where/when I heard it but a small provision was attached to a bill that declared McCain a bonafide US citizen in spite of having been born in Panama, angers me as what about the tens of thousands of military children who won't be getting that special consideration. Now, yesterday: The complaint states: "Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution, states in particular part, 'No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been Fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.' Furthermore, all Presidents since and including Martin Van Buren were born in the United States subsequent to the Declaration of Independence." The complaint also states: "Obama claims he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961; however, has never given the name of the hospital he was born in; whereas Obama’s grandmother on his father’s side, half brother and half sister claim Obama was born in Kenya. Reports reflect Obama’s mother went to Kenya during her pregnancy; however, she was prevented from boarding a flight from Kenya to Hawaii at her late stage of pregnancy, which apparently was a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight. Stanley Ann Dunham (Obama) gave birth to Obama in Kenya, after which she flew to Hawaii and registered Obama’s birth. There are records of a 'registry of birth' for Obama, on or about August 8, 1961 in the public records office in Hawaii." Although hardly an Obama supporter, I feel he has as much right to run for President as McCain has.


I see the grandest of all grand ironies appearing out of the gloom.

Not only has America trashed any reputation democracy has of delivering good financial, social, judicial and national security linked oucomes.

Not only has America wrecked the pretention that democracies are by nature peaceable institutions that respect human rights.

What we may now see is a deeply flawed and corrupt system of election delivering demonstrably bad government yet again.

The net result will bring democracy as a system of government into disrepute. The likes of the Chinese, Arabs, Russians and other nations will say to their respective peoples "why do you want democracy? Look at the results it has produced in America!"

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad