Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Impeach Bush and Cheney while the Democrats are busy with blackmail, extortion and exhortation!
Loading...

Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Impeach Bush and Cheney while the Democrats are busy with blackmail, extortion and exhortation!






Impeach Bush and Cheney while the Democrats are busy with blackmail, extortion and exhortation!


If Tyranny and Oppression Come to this Land, it will be in the Guise of Fighting a Foreign Enemy. –James Madison-


My Patriot Act is the Bill of Rights


I was just following orders_Adolph Eichmann


It is the Absolute Right of the State to Supervise the Formation of Public Opinion –Joseph Goebbels_


March 27, 2008 | Prominent backers of Hillary Clinton sent a multi-million-dollar message to Capitol Hill this week: Watch out, Nancy Pelosi. In a letter to the Speaker of the House that urged her to stay out of the debate over how superdelegates should cast their votes, the 20 major Democratic donors didn't call direct attention to the $23.6 million that they've given to the Democratic Party since 1999, but they reminded her of their "enthusiastic" support over the years.


"We appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the Party and hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters," online copies of the letter read.


Big Backers: The Democratic contributors who wrote Nancy Pelosi have been major donors to the party and its candidates.


Donor Name

Total to Democrats

Total to Clinton

Total to Obama

Total to DCCC


Haim & Cheryl Saban

$10,892,848

$31,600

$0

$1,142,000


Bernard L & Irene Schwartz

$4,245,750

$32,400

$0

$1,082,300


Robert L. Johnson

$1,535,800

$24,800

$4,500

$117,500


Mark & Susie Tompkins Buell

$1,066,625

$79,200

$13,500

$207,550


Steve & Maureen White Rattner

$1,062,144

$31,300

$1,000

$45,500


Jay T. & Tracy M. Snyder

$824,999

$28,200

$0

$27,666


Alan J. & Susan Patricof

$770,918

$39,200

$1,400

$62,841


Hassan & Sheila Nemazee

$523,000

$21,200

$0

$28,000


James R. & Mary K. Pritzker

$492,900

$18,400

$8,200

$12,900


Stanley S. & Sydney R. Shuman

$454,082

$51,300

$1,000

$21,666


Marc & Cathy Lasry

$422,000

$23,900

$0

$100,000


Pradeep R. & Amy J. Rao

$341,850

$46,200

$2,000

$66,000


Sim & Debra S. Farar

$252,450

$38,800

$2,500

$0


Clarence A. & Jacqueline A. Avant

$227,300

$19,200

$15,600

$26,000


Lynn Forester de Rothschild

$218,679

$39,700

$2,000

$39,000


Christopher G. & Irene Korge

$189,600

$18,300

$0

$0


Mark A. & Judith M. Aronchick

$80,300

$9,950

$500

$7,000


Grand Total

$23,601,245

$553,650

$52,200

$2,985,923


A new analysis of March polling data suggests that John McCain's cross-party support surpasses that of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

According to data provided by the Gallup Organization at Politico’s request, in a hypothetical contest between McCain and Obama, McCain wins 17 percent of Democrats and those leaning Democratic, while Obama wins 10 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners.

In a potential contest with Clinton, McCain wins 14 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners while Clinton wins 8 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners.

By way of comparison, exit polls in 2004 reported that George W. Bush won 11 percent of Democrats and John F. Kerry won 6 percent of Republicans.

The new analysis, calculated from a compilation of the Gallup Organization’s daily polls between March 7 and 22, seems to indicate that there are more “McCain Democrats” than the much-ballyhooed “Obama Republicans” - or “Obamacans,” as they are sometimes referred to.

The polls were aggregated at Politico’s request as part of an effort to assess the cross-party appeal of each candidate. The compilation created a larger sample size, allowing pollsters to more accurately decipher voting patterns by party affiliation.

McCain’s potential to win more crossover votes than either of the Democrats, a finding that also surfaces in surveys conducted by Fox News/Opinion Dynamics and in private GOP polls, could upend the political calculus for the November general election.

Equally important, Gallup finds that McCain wins independents against either Democrat - 48 to 23 percent against Clinton, and 40 to 31 percent against Obama.

In 2004, exit polls showed independents cast 26 percent of the vote, splitting their support evenly between Bush and Kerry.

Both the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign are depending upon McCain’s potential appeal to Democrats and independents to compensate for the depleted Republican ranks.

“Democrats currently have a lead in voter identification; it’s axiomatic that you have to look beyond your party’s base to get to 50 percent,” said Frank Donatelli, the deputy chairman of the RNC.


Late February polling by the RNC, passed along to top officials in the McCain campaign, also found that more Democrats said they would vote for McCain than Republicans said they would vote for Obama, according to an RNC operative and a senior adviser to the McCain campaign.

“There will be something in the range of a quarter of Democrats available or accessible to him when the this Democratic contest is over but that doesn’t mean we won’t have to work for them,” said a senior McCain adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

That estimate may prove optimistic, though not wildly.


A Fox News poll released last week also found that McCain wins 18 percent of Democrats while Obama wins 11 percent of Republicans. McCain maintains his advantage among independents in the Fox poll as well.

Clinton, according to the Gallup findings, hemorrhages slightly less Democrats than Obama. But Obama more than compensates for Clinton’s strength among Democrats with his greater capacity to narrow McCain’s advantage among independents. Private polling conducted by Republican strategist Tony Fabrizio reflects the same trend.

“There’s going to be McCain Democrats,” Fabrizio said, adding that it was only a question of whether they will be a small sliver of the political left or a movement toward McCain.

If Obama is the Democratic nominee, the McCain adviser said the campaign will target male and female blue collar white Democrats, a group viewed by Republicans as Obama’s soft spot.

“They already sens that he may be too liberal,” the adviser added. “They tend to also agree with McCain on the war and on social issues and we’ll have to satisfy them that McCain agrees with them on the economy.”

McCain’s appeal to Democrats has some Republican strategists envisioning a Ronald Reagan-like road map for the 2008 race. Today, most of the so-called Reagan Democrats have become independents.


“One similarity between 1980 and 2008 is you have a very tough Democratic primary,” said the RNC’s Donatelli, who served as the political director in the Reagan White House. “After that ended, there were a lot of bruised feelings and Democrats who would not vote for the winner.”

Gallup published results Wednesday that showed evidence supporting a similar scenario for 2008. Twenty-eight percent of Clinton’s supporters say they would vote for McCain if Obama is the Democratic nominee. The data, aggregating the same period of March polling, also showed 19 percent of Obama’s supporters pledging to back McCain if Clinton wins the nomination.

“The bulk of the Democrats you would try to appeal to are not Harvard-educated lawyers who are feminists. They’re working class Democrats that you have more of a shot at getting. And the core of that appeal is social conservatism, right to life, Second Amendment, and obviously national security,” Donatelli said.

Comparing Reagan to McCain, Donatelli said “both of them were and are viewed as mavericks, and a lot of that is character, and a lot of that is the persona of the individual. And it’s issue based too, because you’ve challenged the orthodoxy on occasion.”

Democrats say they must undercut McCain’s maverick image in order to shore up their flank.


“People tend to confuse maverick with moderate,” said Steve Rosenthal, a Democratic leader in mobilizing voters. Rosenthal said Democrats must position McCain as a conservative and introduce them to the “real John McCain” on issues ranging from abortion to the war in Iraq to the environment.


“If Republicans are successful in defining John McCain as a moderate who can work across party lines and is a straight talker, then we will be in a real battle to win Democrats in some of these swing states,” he continued.


“Against McCain,” Rosenthal said, “it’s clear this is going to be an extremely close race. Anybody who thought that Democrats were going to waltz to the White House in 2008 is crazy.”

By David Paul Kuhn
Copyright 2008 POLITICO


Analysis: Electoral battleground could have different hue in '08

Chuck Raasch
Gannett News Service
Mar. 27, 2008 12:34 PM


WASHINGTON - The blue-state, red-state divide in presidential politics could have a different look this fall, depending on who wins the battle for the Democratic nomination.

While Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama continue to fight for their party's nomination, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain has been polling moderately well in some states where GOP presidential candidates have not shown up much in recent campaigns.


And if the Democrats' problems in authenticating primaries in Florida and Michigan persist, the fallout could put perennial battleground Florida more out of their reach, while putting trending-Democrat Michigan back into play for McCain.


With the GOP nomination locked up, the Arizona senator's strategists are looking at states like California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut - little more than electoral mirages for Republicans since at least 1992 - as possible takeovers in 2008.


Obama's advisers say the Illinois senator could win recent Republican strongholds like Virginia and Colorado. New York Sen. Clinton touts Arkansas as a foothold in the South because of her ties there, and her supporters say the female vote could give her states like Ohio that John Kerry narrowly lost in 2004.


One thing is certain. Republicans believe the Electoral College math is far more straightforward with Clinton atop the Democratic ticket than it would be if Obama, who leads in votes and delegates with 10 contests left, were the nominee.


"Barack Obama makes the electoral map less predictable," GOP pollster Whit Ayres said. "It remains to be seen whether he expands or contracts the electoral map for Democrats. Hillary Clinton is a known quantity. You can do a pretty good job of predicting which states she will carry and which she has no hope of carrying."


Much of the red and blue and in between will look familiar in the coming months. Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin and - depending upon whether Gov. Bill Richardson is on the Democratic ticket - New Mexico will almost certainly be battlegrounds again. But each of the three surviving campaigns adds its flavor to the mix.


Since Bill Clinton won it in 1992, California has been a reliable Democratic state. Republicans quadrennially make noise about competing there, and they are again in McCain's camp. But after treating California as little more than a political ATM in recent presidential contests, the candidates could have valid reasons for stumping and advertising in the Golden State come September.


One reason is polls. In a pre-primary survey, California's respected Field Poll had McCain trailing Obama by only 7 percentage points and Clinton by just 2, which is well within the margin of error.


Second, McCain's advisers think he may be able to cut into the strong anti-GOP sentiment among the state's growing Latino population because of his moderate history on immigration reform. Much of the Democrats' rise in California since 1994 can be attributed to Latinos voting overwhelmingly for Democrats in response to former Gov. Pete Wilson's anti-immigration policies and ballot proposition.


Third, McCain's circle of advisers includes people with California roots and experience, including senior adviser Steve Schmidt, who worked for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.



"We are taking a very hard look at (California) for several reasons," another McCain adviser, Charlie Black, said in an interview. "One is McCain's great strength in the Hispanic community. And frankly, a lot of the swing voters in California are suburban voters who never particularly cared for President Bush. But McCain seems more popular among them."


Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo said he's heard such talk from Republicans before and that it won't be clear until September whether it is wishful thinking, a "head feint," or something more real.


But, DiCamillo conceded, "McCain does have more crossover appeal to kind of moderate to conservative Democrats. He does better, or at least his image is better (than other potential GOP candidates) among independents. Clinton is more polarizing and has less crossover appeal than does Obama."


He said about a fifth of the general election voters in California are likely to be unaffiliated, and that "McCain has to win this group."


Similar recalculations are going on about other states.


In Virginia, for example, Obama's strategists were encouraged by his big win over Clinton in the Democratic primary last month and believe a state that is trending Democratic - both its senators and its governor are Democrats - would be fertile ground for Obama in November. While the state retains a substantial more rural, conservative population, Virginia's changing political dynamic is driven by growth in its suburbs of Washington, D.C., which keyed recent victories of Gov. Tim Kaine and Sen. Jim Webb, both Democrats.


Merle Black, an expert in Southern politics at Emory University in Atlanta, said "there has been so much change in northern Virginia that probably either of the two candidates (Clinton or Obama) could make Virginia competitive this fall. On the other hand, if Obama is on the ticket he may run well in northern Virginia but not so well elsewhere in the state."

Maren Hesla, director of voter motivation strategies for Emily's List, a political action committee that has endorsed Clinton, said she believes Clinton could fare well by exploiting a gender gap that Kerry did not have in 2004.


"If she holds onto the gender advantage that Democrats have held (in previous elections), she wins those battleground states" like Missouri and Ohio, Hesla said.


Vice presidential choices could make a difference in swing states.


Former California congressman and current Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox is on some pundits' McCain list, and his California roots might be intriguing for the Arizona senator. DiCamillo said Republicans have carried the state every time they have had a Californian on the ticket since Richard Nixon ran as Dwight Eisenhower's running mate in 1952.


Similarly, former Gov. Tom Ridge might help McCain in Pennsylvania. Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, who helped Clinton win the primary there, would be a general election asset for Clinton in Ohio. And Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, would help in New Mexico while appealing to significant Latino populations in swing states like Florida. He recently endorsed Obama.


While following the seemingly endless 2008 presidential primaries, one is reminded there's a lot online marketers can learn from political campaigns. Like an online purchaser, voters have gone through the various phases of the purchase funnel, narrowing the field from numerous candidates with diverse ideologies in Iowa to a few candidates in Pennsylvania.


Twelve Campaign Tips


Here's a checklist of 12 top campaign factors to use to assess your online marketing:


· Create a campaign plan. Lay out an integrated strategy for reaching a diverse group of voters. Think long term. It's not about one specific primary but rather the aggregate vote from all primaries. Similarly, online marketers must have an ongoing plan to continue to raise their visibility and engage prospects.

· Raise sufficient funds. In politics, this must be done to effectively carry a candidate's election campaign across a broad base of constituents. Both Barack Obama and Ron Paul are notable for their campaigns' online fundraising success relative to their peers. Further, it's important to note that funds raised online consist of a large number of smaller donations from a broad base of contributors.

For online marketers, this translates into getting and justifying a budget. From an analytics perspective, this means determining how much you spent in recent campaigns and how effective they were at driving results. Among the factors to assess are the number of potential prospects reached and the number of prospects converted to donors, as well as total costs, total revenue, and relevant ratios.

· Develop a message and related brand image. And keep them simple. In today's short news cycle, complex ideas are difficult to translate. Online marketers must have a clear message that talks to consumers' needs and possesses consistency in branding.

· Talk to constituents and press the flesh to gather input. In politics, the aim is to see what voters think and how they react to the candidate's message. What's important during this phase is determining voters' needs and how your candidate can meet them. Online marketers must constantly test their offering and message.

· Adjust your message (if necessary). For example, Hillary Clinton had to appear more sensitive in New Hampshire. By contrast, Rudy Giuliani continued to reiterate his September 11 message. Just as candidates must modify their platform to meet the public's needs, online marketers must consider whether to adjust messaging to reach the appropriate audience.

· Differentiate the message based on the target market. For example, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama modified their messaging on NAFTA when they campaigned in Ohio. It's important to think about the specific needs that customers are looking to satisfy.

· Build a base of advocates. In politics, this consists of other elected officials and highly visible people who support the candidate. Online marketers must attract advocates as well. They can use well-known celebrities or enthusiastic customers to promote their brands.

· Debate other candidates. From an online marketing perspective, this is akin to comparison shopping. How does your product stand up to the competition's?

· Listen to what's being said about your campaign, especially in the press. This year's election has consumed the press and garnered lots of media attention. It's critical to ensure that this additional exposure reflects well on your candidate or to perform damage control if needed. Online marketers should assess whether their message is getting through. Has it lost something in translation? Remember, it's not just about what you say about your product but also what others say and how they influence public opinion. To this end, monitor what's being said about your candidate or product in a wide variety of forums, both online and off-.

· Act quickly to turn a crisis into an opportunity. Just as Obama used the flap about his pastor to gain media attention by making a policy speech, it's critical to react promptly and decisively to issues that may sway consumers. Where possible, online marketers should consider alternatives that enable you to create purchase opportunities.

· Watch polling results. As with any good online marketing campaign, candidates must track results and determine where they are is relative to other candidates so they can modify their marketing accordingly.

· Get out the vote on the big day. On election day, campaign work translates to votes cast for your candidate. In online marketing, it's getting prospects to actually purchase product from your firm.

·

Remember just as a campaign isn't made by only one primary, an online marketing program requires long-term vision and ongoing support. Keep tweaking your campaign's various components to ensure it meets your consumers' needs.


Download ClickZ's guide to "Online Presidential Display Ads Leading to the 2008 Primaries," including information on ad formats, media buys, ad impressions, campaign goals, ad creative, measurement, resources, and more!


When a Great Power Goes Mad


Obama Battled for Early Votes as McCain Blitzed Clinton in February -
Obama placed millions of Get Out the Vote ads before the Lone Star primary while McCain took advantage of his lone Republican candidate status with Get Hillary ads.


Clinton Aims for Small Donations in Web Ads, E-mails -
Campaign runs fundraising ads on AOL, CNN.com, Newsweek, NYTimes.com, Slate, and WashingtonPost.com.


Clinton, Obama Neglect Issues in E-mails Sent to Texas Voters -
Democratic primary rivals skip over issues in messages recently sent to El Paso voters. Is it safe to assume everyone on the e-mail lists already made up their minds?


Clinton Web Ads Dry Up as Obama Showers Texas and Ohio with Video Ads -
Senator Barack Obama is promoting early-voting in Texas and Ohio, but Clinton, desperate for primary wins in the states, seems to be steering clear of display ads.


Clinton Is All Talk on Her Web Site, Say Survey Respondents -
A study testing clarity of the presidential candidates' Web sites on issues showed the sites helped, but sometimes harmed when it came to favorability and clarity on issues.


Web Ads May Have Aided Obama's High January Fundraising -
Barack Obama's campaign placed more than 70 million display ads online in January, the majority of which drove supporters to help elect the candidate.


Presidential Site Traffic Spikes on Super Tuesday -
Steadfast conservatives were among the top audience segments of those visiting all of the five Democratic and Republican presidential frontrunners' sites in January.


Newsmax Media Wants Advertisers to Take Aim at Rich Republicans -
The conservative news site has launched a multimedia campaign aimed at advertisers and their agencies.


Online Political Ad Spending Forecasts Lack Clarity, Consistency -
Three reports predicting online political ad revenues in 2008 have been published since December, and they're all over the ballpark.


Political Web Ad Spending Could Hit $110 Million in 2008 -
According to a Lehman Brothers report, presidential election and summer Olympics-related ad spending will be key drivers of an anticipated 24 percent increase in U.S. Web ad spending.


ClickZ News : News and views on topical issues


2008 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2007 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


News Campaign 08 Archives



Obama Battled for Early Votes as McCain Blitzed Clinton in February

Clinton Aims for Small Donations in Web Ads, E-mails

Clinton, Obama Neglect Issues in E-mails Sent to Texas Voters

Clinton Web Ads Dry Up as Obama Showers Texas and Ohio with Video Ads

Clinton Is All Talk on Her Web Site, Say Survey Respondents

Web Ads May Have Aided Obama's High January Fundraising

Presidential Site Traffic Spikes on Super Tuesday

Newsmax Media Wants Advertisers to Take Aim at Rich Republicans

Online Political Ad Spending Forecasts Lack Clarity, Consistency

Political Web Ad Spending Could Hit $110 Million in 2008

Presidential Hopefuls Display Online Ad Maturity

Romney Camp Stakes Out Web Ad Innovations in Primary Run

Hoping for Nevada Win, Obama Targets State Voters in Search Ads

Clinton Pushed for Web Donations Leading to New Hampshire Primary


March 28, 2008 | The loose-lips rogue's gallery includes a mega-billionaire Hollywood dealmaker, a retired Air Force general, a legendary Democratic political consultant, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Kennedy School professor, the former Iowa Democratic chairman, an African-American billionaire businessman, the husband of a popular two-term former Democratic governor and a history-making feminist political icon.


Even without their names (which range from David Geffen to Geraldine Ferraro), any hardcore cable news viewer or insatiable political Web surfer probably recognizes them instantly. They are the Chastised Eight, all campaign surrogates guilty in the court of public opinion of shouting (or writing) fighting words on the fringes of the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton presidential brawl.


Just in the last week, Gen. Tony McPeak, campaigning for Obama, compared Bill Clinton's campaign rhetoric to that of Joe McCarthy. James Carville, an outspoken Hillary partisan, in a pre-Easter attack likened Bill Richardson to Judas for endorsing Obama. And Gordon Fischer, the affable pro-Obama former Iowa chairman, typed the fateful phrase "Monica's blue dress" in a blog post (quickly withdrawn) about the Clintons.


In the echo-chamber politics of the primaries, each of these charges reverberated off the rafters, as both campaigns ramped up the volume. A typical memo from Howard Wolfson, the Clinton communications director, assailed McPeak for his "outrageous and divisive" comments. Of course, McPeak and Fischer were both reacting to Bill Clinton's slighting Obama with his earlier suggestion that a race between Hillary and John McCain would be between two candidates "who loved this country."


Sorting out this back-and-forth would try the patience of the judge in the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills divorce spectacle. The problem is that as the Democratic race enters its second year in a world of cable talkers, radio shouters, blogs, over-stuffed campaign staffs and passionate surrogates for the candidates, it is likely (but definitely not provable) that never before have so many words been spoken about a presidential campaign seven months before the actual election. Small wonder that, amid this torrent of talk, there have been ill-considered sentences that deserve a do-over even more than the Michigan and Florida primaries.


In a high-minded alternate universe, the news media might briefly note the Carville and McPeak comments before returning to in-depth analyses of the economic theories undergirding the Obama and Clinton responses to the subprime mortgage crisis. But in a world of TV ratings, online traffic tallies and fast-vanishing newspaper circulation, trumped-up controversy (surprise) beats ponderous policy.


According to a wide-ranging (and, at press time, unpublished) media-monitoring analysis by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ), Carville and his Judas crack about Richardson were mentioned in 13 percent of all political campaign stories charted so far this week. At the height of Richardson's own ill-fated presidential campaign, the New Mexico governor was lucky to be mentioned in paragraphs that began, "Also on the ballot are..."


But this is not an isolated blip that can be blamed on Carville's fame as a television performer. Earlier this month, Ferraro in an interview with the Daily Breeze (the newspaper of record in Torrance, Calif.) suggested that Obama would not be doing as well in the campaign if he were a "white man" or "a woman of any color." Such motor-mouthed musings on race and gender by the only woman ever nominated by a major party for vice-president were somewhere between foolhardy and indefensible.


But even though Ferraro was a member of the Clinton campaign's oversize finance committee, she was a minor figure in the Hillary campaign who has not held political office in nearly a quarter-century. Still, according to media analysis by the PEJ, Ferraro was a dominant figure in 10 percent of the campaign stories that ran during the week of March 10, which put the attention lavished on the 1984 Democratic veep candidate on statistical par with the coverage of John McCain.


There is a theory -- cleverly articulated by Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger -- that Clinton surrogates like Ferraro and Carville were making shrewd political arguments that would be inappropriate coming from someone on the official Hillary payroll. Maybe. But more plausible is the notion that political partisans are human beings who sometimes get caught up in the heat of the moment.


Samantha Power, an Obama foreign policy advisor who won the Pulitzer Prize for her study of genocide, called Hillary Clinton "a monster" -- and immediately tried to retract those words -- in an interview with the Scotsman newspaper. Like Ferraro and the Daily Breeze, "Scotland's National Newspaper" seems an unlikely media outlet for anyone who is looking to influence, say, Democratic voters in Pennsylvania.


Cable TV deserves much of the blame for fanning the flames of these irrelevant controversies. According to the invaluable content analysis by Project for Excellence in Journalism, the three cable news networks have devoted a stunning two-thirds of their entire news coverage to the presidential campaign this year during key time slots. With a seven-week gap between major primaries, there is an alarming amount of airtime that would otherwise be filled with the mysterious deaths of photogenic blondes.


As Mark Jurkowitz, the associate director of the PEJ, put it, "As the media platform most invested in campaign coverage, cable news seems to abhor a vacuum. And when people aren't voting in primaries, we find that tends to take the form of expansive coverage of potential gaffes, perceived insults and loose-cannon surrogates."


If Carville, McPeak and Fischer did not exist this week, some cable-news producer would have to invent them. Fischer, for instance, is portrayed as a close advisor to Obama, even though the Iowa Democrat admitted in an interview Wednesday that he has had only three short telephone conversations with his favored candidate (including a call on his birthday) since the Jan. 3 caucuses. "I'm going to exempt myself, since I wrote something stupid," Fischer said. "But we've had two full news cycles parsing what Carville said as if it were written by Abraham Lincoln or recorded in the Bible."


Of course, it does not take a video camera or a gossip-monger with a BlackBerry to turn the incendiary comments of a campaign surrogate into a voting issue. In the waning days of the 1884 campaign, Republican nominee James Blaine listened without objection as a New York City minister at a GOP rally denounced the Democrats as the party of "rum, Romanism and rebellion." All it took were some handbills and newspaper stories to inform Irish Catholic voters about Blaine's silence in the face of the slur -- and Democrat Grover Cleveland carried New York state (and with it the Electoral College) by a scant 1,149 votes.


It would be nice to believe that the American electorate has grown more sophisticated in the past 124 years. But you certainly cannot prove it by the latest twists in the Democratic race. The way the news coverage is going, pretty soon we will be arguing over the cosmic meaning of some comments by an alternate delegate from Idaho immortalized on a Facebook page. And by the time we get to the potentially rambunctious Denver convention, the final week in March may be remembered as the good old days of substantive political debate on the issues.


Gallup Daily: Obama Back Into Lead in Democratic Race

· Poll: Obama Leads Clinton Nationally

· Today on the Presidential Campaign Trail

· Pa. Sen. Bob Casey Endorses Obama

· Clinton and Family Leave

· Leahy Says Clinton Should Withdraw

· Dean Says Attacks Getting Too Personal

· McCain Launches General Election Ad

· Correction: Chelsea Clinton Story

· Clinton's Belfast Role Draws Criticism
·
Obama Would Have Left if Wright Stayed

No comments: