Richard Viguerie of Conservatives Betrayed has a pretty interesting contest in which he asks for predictions for third party candidates: who comes in first, second, and so on as well as the total number of votes received.
I find this intellectually fascinating. Is MSM correct when it says that voter turnout will be the highest ever? Will "massive voter dissatisfaction" drive more voters to third parties? Or will the polarization of our nation drive voters to the least pleasant (yet most popular) option of voting for the "lesser evil"? Will the total number of votes for third parties go up or down? Will conservatives rally against B. Hussein Obama or will they turn to a real conservative in Bob Barr? Will Obama’s "hope" rob Nader and McKinney?
Prognosticate correctly and you might just get 15 minutes of fame. Go forth and project!
The Army Times conducted a poll of military personnel. In summary:
|By Duty Status|
|Guard & Reserve||71||21|
A word from academia:
“The military has been perceived as a conservative Republican institution,” said Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke University and a special adviser to the National Security Council from 2005 to 2007.
“A lot of people thought that eight years of frustration with the Bush administration was going to undermine that,” he said. “This evidence suggests that it hasn’t undermined it as much as they thought, at least not yet.”
Indeed not. After all, the total lack of experience (and understanding) of B. Hussein Obama doesn’t bode well for a Democrat takeover.
But the interesting thing about this poll is the answer to this question:
What is the most important issue for you in deciding for whom you will vote for president?
|Character of the candidate:|
|War in Iraq:|
Note: percentages estimated from looking at a graph for anything
other than "Overall", but they are pretty darn close.
Who would have thought that the prosecution of the war would be third on the list of priorities for those charged with carrying the fight to our enemies? Could it be because they know they are winning, and thus other items take precedence? Or could it be because character counts, no matter what the issue? Well, for Whites, Hispanics, and "Other" anyway.
Anyone see any ACORN representatives staking out military bases? No? I wonder why . . .
Senator Biden attempts to portray himself as just an average American who happens to be a senator, a not-too-easy feat given his $3 million home and household income of a quarter million dollars per year.
But the NY Times tells us that there’s even more that isn’t so average about ol’ Joe:
As a secure incumbent who has rarely faced serious competition during 35 years in the Senate, Mr. Biden has been able to dip into his campaign treasury to spend thousands of dollars on home landscaping and some of his Amtrak travel between Wilmington, Del., where he lives, and Washington. And the acquisition of his waterfront property a decade ago involved wealthy businessmen and campaign supporters, some of them bankers with an interest in legislation before the Senate, who bought his old house for top dollar, sold him four acres at cost and lent him $500,000 to build his new home.
There is nothing to suggest Mr. Biden bent any rules in the sale, purchase and financing of his homes. Rather, he appears to have benefited at times from the simple fact of who he is: a United States senator, not just “Amtrak Joe,” the train-riding everyman that the Obama-Biden campaign has deployed to rally middle-class voters.
Perception to voters may be reality, but in many cases voter’s perception is skewed. Badly.
HT to Ben Smith.
From the Jeez-what-was-Obama-thinking files comes a video of VP candidate Joe Biden stumping in Pennsylvania with B. Hussein Obama. Joe isn’t falling down drunk, but he isn’t very presidential (or even vice-presidential) as he stumbles through introductions of his wife and the Obamas.
If Obama makes decisions like this for important issues like who will help him get elected, just think how well he’ll do when it comes to relatively unimportant issues, like how much money to leave in your pocket come tax season.
The myth that anti-Christian fanatics seem to take the most glee in is that she attempted to ban books from the town library while serving as mayor. This has been repeated often, even making a story in Time Magazine and Salon (2), and an email with a list of 90 books that Palin supposedly attempted to ban is shooting around leftist inboxes as we speak. (The list is fake, ripped off from this page.)
All this, according to the Wall Street Journal:
As it turns out, not only was the list a fake, but when the Anchorage Daily News investigated the story, it found no evidence that Palin had ever sought to remove books from the library. [City librarian] Baker (who was then named Emmons) did tell the local paper back in 1996 that Palin asked her, in the Daily News’s words, "about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose." Emmons "flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship."
Kilkenny makes an appearance in the Daily News story, quoting Palin as asking Baker at a City Council meeting, " ‘What would be your response if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?’ " Baker’s response was firm and negative, according to Kilkenny, who acknowledges that Palin did not cite any specific books for removal.
The chairman of the Alaska Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee tells the Daily News that there is no evidence in her files of any censorship at the Wasilla library. As for Baker’s resignation, it appears to be unrelated to the putative censorship.
So not only is the book banning story patently false, but another piece of the "retribution queen" story takes a hit.
Sarah Palin’s favorite meal? "Moose stew," she said, "after a day of snowmachining."
How does she justify hunting moose for the stewpot? "It’s never bothered me," she says. "That caribou has had a good life. It’s been free out there on the tundra, not caged up on a farm with no place to move."
Bumper sticker on the back of Sarah’s parent’s truck: VEGETARIAN—OLD INDIAN WORD FOR "BAD HUNTER
How does she keep in shape: running
She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.
Palinmania is sweeping the nation and nowhere is newfound love for the Sarahcuda more evident than on YouTube, where video tributes to Sarah are going up every day. Some of my favs:
Some of you may be wondering about the picture of Palin on the cover of Vogue. Yes, she was interviewed for Vogue (Feb 2008 issue) and there were pictures, but the cover is a Photoshop fake. Nice job, though.
"I don’t want you to look mean," the editor told the governor when she arrived. "Just don’t smile."
"OK." Palin looked skeptical. "I’ll try." She folded her arms and looked straight into the lens. As the camera clicked, the corners of her mouth began to twitch.
"This is really hard for her," her spokesperson observed from the back of the room. "She is always smiling."
After a dozen or so clicks, the tension was too much. "OK," the editor relented. "Go ahead and smile."
"Thank you!" she answered, releasing the expression like a caged animal. Outside, the dying winter sun briefly lit the mountains with a rosy light and then was gone. "She really is a breath of fresh air," the editor said as the photographer packed up his equipment. "It feels like a new era in Alaska."
And how did the move from mayor to governor happen?
When term limits forced Palin out of the mayorship in 2002, she was appointed chairman of the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission by the Republican powers that be. The position seemed like a dream. With four children to raise and a husband whose blue-collar job pays an hourly wage, the six-figure salary was more than welcome, but it didn’t take her long to become disillusioned by the unethical behavior she witnessed firsthand. "What I saw was so obviously wrong. I was so disappointed and shocked," she says. "Oil and gas revenue account for more than 80 percent of the state’s budget, but Alaskans were never going to trust us if that was how we conducted business." When her complaints were ignored, Palin saw no choice but to resign in protest. The once golden girl was suddenly out of a job.
Palin spent the next year at home, focusing on her children. But if politics is a disease, she had caught it bad. When the gubernatorial election rolled around, she waited for someone within the party to run against a governor whose disapproval ratings make George W. Bush look popular. Switching to the Democratic Party was never an option for Palin, a pro-life, free-market, NRA supporter whose most fervent wish for Alaska is to open up areas of federal wilderness land for oil development. So she stepped up to the plate and ran a campaign composed mostly of friends, family, and small donations made by people who had never before contributed to a political race.
Now that’s a little inspiring, giving up a great primary income for principles.
Palin is also the object of a Newsweek article, although it is hardly complimentary (given the left wing nature of Newsweek, this comes as no surprise). Money quote:
In the battle with Obama and Joe Biden, the McCain campaign will emphasize Palin’s executive responsibilities, her judgment, her instincts, her reformist credentials and her fighting spirit. Aides might encourage her to take the lead on energy issues, emphasizing one policy area she’s very familiar with. They’ll also play up her small-town roots, trying to draw comparisons to Harry Truman. Palin herself made two references to Truman in her nomination speech. "Long ago, a young former haberdasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency," she said. Then she quoted the writer Westbrook Pegler: "We grow good people in our small towns with honesty, sincerity and dignity." The analogy is strained. Truman served for 10 years in Congress before becoming vice president. But Palin does have similar spunk, and she does come from a small town. For better or worse, she’d bring those small-town values to Washington.
And that about sums up the view from the left — she will be taking redneck, rifle shooting, moose hunting, commercial fishing, oil drilling values to Washington, because she has changed the dynamics of the race to the point where Obama will be playing catchup all the way to November.
Willie Brown of the San Francisco Gate (yep, the lefty rag in California) has this to say about how Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign:
Suddenly, Palin and John McCain are the mavericks and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the status quo, in a year when you don’t want to be seen as defending the status quo.
From taxes to oil drilling, Democrats are now going to have to start explaining their positions.
Whenever you start having to explain things, you’re on defense.
HT to AllahPundit at Hot Air, who also points out a Gallup poll that puts McCain/Palin ahead, outside of the margin of error, even though one third of the polling was conducted before McCain’s acceptance speech. In other words, there’s more post-convention bounce coming, although we all know those don’t last. Still, a McCain bounce on top of this Palin bounce may be significant after all.
According to Nielsen Media Research, Sen. John McCain’s acceptance speech drew the largest commercial TV audience in the history of televised political conventions.
John McCain 38.9 million viewers Barack Hussein Obama 38.3 million viewers Sarah Palin 37.2 million viewers Average for GOP 3 days coverage 34.4 million viewers Average for Dem 4 days coverage 30.2 million viewers Joseph Biden 24.0 million viewers
That’s right, while Sarah and John brought the average viewership for the GOP convention up, Joe Biden actually depressed the viewership average for the Democrats. Rethinking that VP choice there, Obama?
By comparison, 34.9 million U.S. television viewers watched the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics in August and talent show "American Idol", the most watched TV show in the nation, averaged 28.1 million viewers last season.
Maybe Joe would have done better if he had tried singing his speech.
Interestingly, Obama’s historic acceptance speech was only the "fifth most-viewed, non-sports program among African American households in the last 11 years." What do African-Americans think is more important?
- Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary (2001)
- NBC Movie of the Week: The Temptations Part 2 (1998)
- Primetime Special Edition: Whitney Houston (2002)
- Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding Part 2 (1998)
And there you go, a nice snapshot of the American voting citizenry.
[Note: Nielsen, of course, fails to include non-commercial channels like PBS and CSPAN.]
This year’s Rosenmontag fell on 4 February and they celebrated in fine style in Düsseldorf, with a nice paper-maché float as a tribute to US politics:
If someone in America tried to create a float that mocked another country’s election and candidates in such a manner, they wouldn’t be allowed to put it on the streets. Makes you wonder just how free we are, eh?