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Thread: Race for the White House

  1. #3646
    Senior Member joe25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Chicago, IL


    ^that smirk he had on all the time while obama told him how wrong he was on the war didnt help him at all either.

  2. #3647


    For Obama, Dialogue Drove Week's Work

    Democrat Stayed Current as He Labored

    By Anne E. Kornblut
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    When the news first broke on Wednesday that Sen. John McCain had suspended his campaign, a wave of distress rippled throughout the Obama campaign -- from the Chicago headquarters to the traveling entourage on the ground in Florida.

    Some Obama aides worried the move could give their rival a quick advantage, making him seem more engaged in the national financial crisis during a week that was putting the economy, Obama's strongest issue, at center stage. People across the Obama universe reacted "with different levels of hysteria," one aide said.

    Then Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, e-mailed his staff members to take a deep breath. Obama himself got on a conference call at a hotel in Tampa with eight of his top advisers and set the tone for the days ahead.

    Obama addressed the group with a mixture of amusement and calm, describing his recent phone call with McCain, and quickly ruling out postponing the debate. "He kind of laughed and shook his head, and said, 'This is what has happened,' " said senior strategist David Axelrod. "He went through it all and said, 'There's nothing to do here but what we are doing. We're not going to follow him down this path. There's nothing to be accomplished here by making a show of imposing ourselves in the process.' "

    Obama had been considering his own course of action when McCain made his dramatic move. Flying Tuesday night to Tampa, where he would prepare for the Mississippi debate, Obama told Axelrod and senior aide Robert Gibbs that he was considering asking McCain to join him in issuing a "statement of principles" on the bailout proposal.

    The next morning, Obama called McCain, but didn't hear back from him until six hours later. The two agreed to issue the joint statement, but McCain asked to take it a step further by suspending the campaign and postponing the debate. Obama suggested putting out the statement first, and the two hung up. He was on the phone to Jason Furman, his economic policy adviser, in Chicago when Furman glanced up at his television screen to see McCain appearing live, a banner headline declaring that he had suspended his campaign.

    Throughout the week, Obama cast himself as the responsible stakeholder and party leader, communicating with White House and Democratic leaders as he tried to influence the outcome of the bailout talks behind the scenes. He made no sudden or dramatic public moves. He slipped the trap his advisers believe McCain tried to set for him by proposing a delay in the debate -- and simultaneously avoided tying himself inextricably to a bailout proposal that, even if it passes, may remain extremely unpopular.

    One of the most dramatic confrontations between the two rivals did not even occur at the debate but at the private White House meeting that President Bush hosted the day before. As House Republican leaders explained their objections to the bailout agreement, Obama pressed McCain on whether he supported their alternative plan. "What do you think of the plan, John?" he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.

    Later, pulling away from the White House, Obama called senior advisers from the car to convey how strange he had found the entire session.

    During the debate, Obama was courteous and at times almost deferential to McCain, while the senator from Arizona seemed more aggressive in questioning him. Obama's supporters thought that he had more than held his own, but the outward calm that Obama showed all week came with a potential downside: He seemed less of an actor than McCain, who became the center of each news cycle leading up to the debate and a sometimes dominant force during it.

    But Obama's cool-under-pressure approach became a selling point for Democrats.

    In an interview Friday before the debate, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) described his behavior as pitch-perfect, even if it did not always satisfy partisans craving a bigger punch.

    "I'd rather err on the side of someone who's got that kind of equanimity -- and I think we've seen it over and over in the campaign -- as opposed to someone who, and some Democrats I realize want this, has passion spilling out of them," Casey said. "In a campaign context, that may seem like a stronger candidate, but as a president may not be as effective."

    "Obama on the phone this week sounded like a president should: asking the right questions, being substantive, not looking for an immediate political benefit," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who fielded two or three calls from the Illinois Democrat during the course of the negotiations.

    "Certainly the economy is the high ground for Obama, and McCain has made it only more so," Schumer said. "I think this past week could end up being a turning point for the presidential race."

    For Obama, who struggled with how to make the economy an issue during the Democratic primaries, it was not always a given that he would be much more successful against McCain, despite the inherent advantage in running against the Republicans who oversaw the current downturn. Just three months ago, Democrats openly fretted that Obama would fail to connect with the white, working-class voters who were drawn to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Obama set out to conquer that challenge right after clinching the nomination, launching a 2 1/2-week economic tour three days after Clinton dropped out and bringing new economic advisers into his campaign. By the time Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. called Obama on Sept. 5 to discuss the quickly developing crisis surrounding housing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Obama was relatively up to speed on the issue, his aides said.

    Obama's response to unfolding events in the days since has offered a window onto his style of management as well as his substantive economic beliefs.

    As a slew of financial institutions collapsed and the entire Wall Street landscape shifted, Obama delivered a series of economic speeches on his regular campaign stops -- adding new statements about the failures of Wall Street and their effects on "Main Street," synthesizing previous proposals he had laid out for greater oversight, and eventually remarking on a $700 billion bailout proposal as it emerged. He began speaking to Paulson on a daily basis, aides said, asking for status updates; he also increased his phone calls to members of Congress involved in the talks. Several Democratic members of the House and Senate reported hearing from Obama up to several times a day.

    "The center of gravity of the election has moved toward the economy and the message of change and away from the culture of slashing the budget and reform," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a member of Congress who speaks to Obama most frequently. He described Obama as having economic instincts similar to those of former President Bill Clinton, for whom Emanuel worked in the White House during the international financial meltdowns of 1998. "You would want to see that same type of judgment, and that's exactly what I'm seeing," Emanuel said.

    Not all Democrats are convinced that Obama has entirely closed the gap that emerged in the spring. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell said that Obama now fully owns the economy but still has work to do conveying his sense of command to the electorate.

    "I think his ideas are great, and if they ideas are properly transmitted, he scores heavily with them," Rendell said. "I'm not sure the campaign has done quite as good a job in transmitting those ideas. But once they do -- and I think they will in the next six weeks -- those white, working-class voters are going to like what they hear."

    2008 The Washington Post Company

  3. #3648

  4. #3649
    Senior Member joe25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Chicago, IL


    I am probably the only person in the universe that thinks this, but SNL is way too overrated.

  5. #3650
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Talk about throwing another big wrench into the political campaigns. Rep. John Boehner just announced that John McCain played a major role in the bailout negotiations by standing up for him during the meeting with Bush last Thursday, and by doing so, allowed the Republicans to insert added provisions into the bill that now provide "substantial" protections for US taxpayers.

    Forget about what McCain actually did, which was probably next to nothing. If the media picks up on this and McCain is allowed to sell it as "evidence" that he's a bipartisan compromiser and someone who stood up for American taxpayers by arguing that the "Democrat" bill wasn't doing so until after Republican modifications...well, I think he might have just gotten something for nothing.

    This could be a potential game-changer for the election, if McCain seems better-suited to handle economic, as well as foreign policy crises. Of course this has nothing to do with his base of knowledge or his understanding of economics. It has to do with him being a "better leader" and as someone who looks out for the taxpayers. Incredible, isn't it?

    I wonder how far he and his campaign will run with this.

  6. #3651
    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Isle of Manna-hata


    They'll run far with it, pianoman. Take it to the bank. Just not, uh, WaMu.

  7. #3652


    Reread the article Kris posted (#3645).

    It's been a roller coaster since the conventions, and I know a lot of people were worried about the other game changer - Sarah Palin. But I think the people who most worried were political junkies (like us), and those who get involved during the primary process. It was seen as a game-changer at the 11th hour.

    But half the people who vote in the general election don't vote in primaries, The real campaign usually begins about a week before the conventions. Except for the Republican base, Palin is becoming a liability to attracting Indies. I'll have more to say about Palin in another post.

    The first debate gives those people people who have been bombarded with ads from both sides, or have not been involved until now, the opportunity to evaluate the candidates side by side. It's a worn phrase, but it's key - which one looks more presidential.

    The developing credit market crisis provided a week-long narrative for both candidates that led right to the debate. Compare the actions of Obama and McCain during the week.

    When Obama held an impromptu news conference after McCain announced his campaign suspension, I was disappointed that he didn't tear into McCain for blind-siding him. But he got in the sound-bite of the week - a president has to be able to handle more than one issue at a time.

    Both candidates brought their week-long demeanor to the debate; Obama was calm and polite, while McCain was edgy and hostile. If there is a strategic plan for all three debates, I would expect Obama to make more specific economic connections between McCain's record and Bush's administration.

  8. #3653

    Default I dont recall Russert ever doing this

    Go Cafferty

    If only Russert et al would have been/would be so brave.

    I love the look on Wolf's face.

  9. #3654
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    PS, just an FYI for everyone.

    McCain does not love this country.

    He wasn't wearinga flag pin for the debate!!!!!

    (Thank God they were both wearing memorial bracelets!!!)

  10. #3655


    More Cafferty on Palin magic here

    Even Wolf seems concerned here

  11. #3656
    Senior Member joe25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Chicago, IL


    If BS was currency, Palin could bailout wallstreet all by herself.

    Hahaha, perfect way to start my day

  12. #3657
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

    Default Radical Community Organizer = All His Fault

    Following up on Rudy Giuliani's condescending attack on Barack Obama / Community Organizers that he displayed in his speech at the Republican Convention a strategy emerges ...

    Neocons / Fox News (using the mouthpiece Stanley Kurtz) are going full bore on the angle the Obama is the cause of the financial crisis due to his involvement with ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which the Right Wingers claim used strong-arm tactics to force banks to give mortgages to folks who could not afford them and did not deserve them. Never mind that ACORN was battling to correct the improper / illegal red-lining tactics that banks used for years, not to mention the actions of predatory lenders who preyed upon the folks that ACORN represented. (Over the years ACORN has had it's share of troublemakers in its ranks, but the goals of the organization -- whose membership numbers over 350,000 -- have been to correct longtime inequities that go against the core principles of America: Equality. From the Left perspective the actions of ACORN are called Reform, from the Right it's Radicalism.)

    In the forefront is a right-ist think tank called the Ethics and Public Policy Center:

    For nearly three decades, EPPC has functioned as the cutting edge of the neoconservative-driven culture war against progressive theology and secularism, and the associated effort to ensure right-wing control of the Republican Party.
    This is class warfare that could really influence a big chunk of swing voters, especially now that the economy is in turmoil and the American people are looking for someone to blame for shrinking accounts, tightening credit and higher prices.

  13. #3658
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

    Default Who will be the first to call it a conspiracy theory?

  14. #3659

  15. #3660


    Looks like Ms Palin will have no problem getting work if the Dems win...

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