Blog coverage

I've written a background article on what is happening in Malaysia, with the continued political battle, on Malaysia Matters. It basically shows that in Malaysia, "politics is about individuals rather than parties" and as a result, the frontal character attacks are the norm. So its little wonder then that the internet & blogs played a central role in their latest election. I'm hoping to be a part on a political trip back over there this summer, stay tuned.

Also, I took a trip over to Israel earlier this year, and Democratic Jews were very nervous about whether Obama would have the appeal that Clinton had for American Jewish voters. It's probably too early to tell, but like Latinos, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Over on Open Left, Matt has blogged that Every Major Senate Democratic Challenger has Announced Support for Network Neutrality. He includes the statements from the candidates, including one that I helped get Warner to put out when he was driving Forward Together:

I find the "gaffe" stories (it seems like there's one every couple of days for each of the candidates, McCain and Obama) pretty useless. I'm not sure how Obama's speech in Berlin is going to go over, or his trip in general. I doubt the GOP has anything that lasts more than a blog-post, that gets the questioning response. Gotcha politics is so boring to play a part in... one thing I'll predict is that if Obama wins, the US Presidential elections will move to being more global.

Here's what I know, the terrain of the '08 election has, issue-wise, wildly shifted. Gone are the days when Iraq was the number one issue with half the voters and Healthcare was a strong second. Here are the days when "Economic Security" is the dominant issue and Gas Prices and Job Security are at the top. Iraq is last elections issue. Neither Obama or McCain has fully adjusted to the new terrain. McCain has been more out-front and aggressive in defining himself with it, Obama has been holding back to date. That mirrors the Congress, where Democrats are content with the current dynamics and want to holdout for '09 to address the issue, and Republicans are looking for an issue to move the polls with for '08. If this remains the 'economic security' positions of the parties going into the '08 election, we are not going to win some races we should have, and the GE is going to be very close.

Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, malaysia, net neutrality (all tags)



Re: Blog coverage

Then I guess it's a good thing that Obama is getting the foreign policy out of the way now so he can focus on domestic issues in the fall, isn't it?

by Angry White Democrat 2008-07-24 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

No, because then he'll just be doing something else wrong, didn't you get the memo?

by Dog Chains 2008-07-24 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

I agree with you on "gaffe" and "gotcha" politics.  It seems childish to me.

by TomP 2008-07-24 12:57PM | 0 recs

It was McCain who opened his mouth first.

by RandyMI 2008-07-24 01:03PM | 0 recs
Yes, but I think

it is a game media and some bloggers play that most people just ignore.  The Village talks to itself.

by TomP 2008-07-24 01:34PM | 0 recs
It's getting out there

My dad in Michigan mentioned it to me last night. McCain is in danger of creating an image of a tired old man.

by RandyMI 2008-07-24 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: It's getting out there

Then I guess it's worth talking about.

by TomP 2008-07-24 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

"Gaffe" politics isn't useless, if you can construct a narrative out of it.  People are starting to talk about whether McCain is "confused" now, including whether he is mentally fit to be president.

by rfahey22 2008-07-24 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage
It's important to make the distinction between gaffes. gives two definitions:
  1.  A clumsy social error; a faux pas: "The excursion had in his eyes been a monstrous gaffe, a breach of sensibility and good taste" (Mary McCarthy).
   2. A blatant mistake or misjudgment.

Obsessing over the first is useless and wastes everyone's time. Obsessing over the second is very important. In FOX News's crosstabs for their poll, it showed that a big number of voters feel Obama has shifted positions, but very few feel the same way about McCain. We have to change this, and I don't think it's too late to do so. Not by a long shot. And the only way to do it is to focus not only on the legitimate gaffes, but also the numerous contradictory statements and deliberate reversals of policy (and denials of the reversals).
by vcalzone 2008-07-24 01:40PM | 0 recs
McCain needs a nap

Seriously, he needs a few days off the road. I don't like giivng advice to the other side, but the past week has been horrible and they keep digging their hole deeper deeper. Charlie Black is no James Baker, but he is a grownup, and surely he sees this.

by RandyMI 2008-07-24 01:05PM | 0 recs
Too bad Sen. Obama...

can't connect with those Latinos.  Look halfway down the page to the part that says; Poll: Latinos favor Obama by big margin.

by tonedevil 2008-07-24 01:08PM | 0 recs
Obama strategy

Actually, I think Obama fully knows the economy is the number one issue. This is why he is getting his foreign policy credentials out of the way now. This fall it will be all about the economy all the time.

Think about it though: Foreign policy is McCain's issue and he has had a shitty weak where that has been all he has had to talk about it. I think his poll numbers are peaking now because he hasn't even started to address the economy in a meaningful way. Once he is forced to, it'll be downhill from there.

I think the Obama team is kicking butt in strategy. Most voters aren't paying super close attention yet but they'll keep seeing the images from the trip. Obama in a helicopter with Petraeus. Obama being greeted warmly by foreign leaders. He has proven his Commander-in-Chief credibility and can know move on ...

by Lolis 2008-07-24 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama strategy

McCain has made a solid base hit with his push on drilling. There needs to be a substantial effort at voter education on Obama's part once he gets home. Fortunately, at that point, it will be pretty damn hard to question his foreign policy skillz again.

by vcalzone 2008-07-24 01:42PM | 0 recs
I don't think a base hit...

more like a base on balls.  

by tonedevil 2008-07-24 02:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

It's very possible the Dems could gain just 1-2 Senate seats, lose 13-15 House seats (maybe even lose the House) and a net of -1 on Governors.

Energy could be the Willie Horton of 2008.

by esconded 2008-07-24 01:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

No, (while there are no gaurantees here) I really don't think the House will flip.  The NRCC has no money, incumbments and challengers have no money, and they are relying on Self-Funders in may districts.

The Senate could top at 2 additional seats (Warner and Udall-NM), but it's more likely to be four, adding Shaheen and the other Udall-CO.

I don't know about the Govs., though.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-07-24 01:52PM | 0 recs
That will not happen

A four-seat gain is our floor in the Senate and there is just no scenario for a net loss in the House. A net of one governor is very possible since there is only one seat where a changeover is likely, anyway.

by RandyMI 2008-07-24 02:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

If you look at esconded's comments over time, s/he is either a really pessimistic person or a concern troll.

It's always, "maybe I watch too much OReilly," "maybe I read too much Mickey Kaus...." and then escondiddy delivers the sad news that Obama is finished and so is the Democratic Party's chances for all time.

by shmalegre 2008-07-24 02:11PM | 0 recs

Are we talking about the gaffes, hypocrisy or, in many cases, flat out lies from the McCain campaign? Just this afternoon McCain criticized Obama for making speeches outside the US even though he did the very same thing in Canada. And how about that fundraiser thrown by the Ambassedor to Canada? We're not going to give the Republicans the same free ride that the MSM have been giving them for nearly a decade.

by RandyMI 2008-07-24 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

I think it's fair to say that Jerome has been shipped off to the remote foreign desk of the blogosphere.  His comments on domestic politics are now completely irrational and do nothing anymore to promote Democratic candidates or ideas.  A shame really because I remember when he co-authored a decent book.  

by zadura 2008-07-24 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

I gotta disagree. If he's trying to spread enmity, he's doing one heck of a job of hiding it. He doesn't talk ill of Obama, he doesn't do anything.

He has the right to not be crazy about Obama, and I think he's at least trying to be nice to us. The fact is, though, he doesn't have to. He could just speak his mind all the time and make it hard to come here, he could also just leave and not come back.

This election is too important to squander the insight of Jerome. If he says there might be an issue with this, he'd be in a position to know.

by vcalzone 2008-07-24 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

I believe it's time to coin the phrase 'Jerumped the Shark.'

by verite 2008-07-24 04:28PM | 0 recs
I agree

I agree entirely with Jerome on this. The election is about the economy. For a month now Obama has said very little about the economy or energy prices. He's talked about culture issues and foreign policy.

Now, he had to do that and he's done a great job of it. But now he needs to turn to the economy and energy prices.

On energy, he needs to:

A) Run ads showing McCain himself mocking offshore drilling as a sham.
B) Tout his call for a crackdown on oil speculators; really demonize the oil industry and oil traders
C) Push heavily for domestic alternative energy; the public is actually very supportive of that

He's done a nice job of framing foreign policy as Bush-McCain. Now he needs to call this the Bush-McCain recession.

Next week is when it begins.

by elrod 2008-07-24 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree

This is why he did the trip. It may not give him a boost in the polls but it will help him get to a more equal footing with McCain on foreign policy. It's also why he did it in July instead of September. Next week he pivots to domestic issues where we have the higher ground and he may even choose his veep.

by RandyMI 2008-07-24 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Blog coverage

Obama is just getting set up in FL(remember there was no reason for a ground game there in the Primary)
McCain's vision of oil platforms off the coast is NOT going to be a winner there.
(not to mention his SS is a disaster moment)

Having the leader of Iraq agree with him and having 200,000 in Germany will reduce the GOP to ads like the one with him and Fidel..

The economy is in the tubes because of 8 years of Cheney/Bush GOP....Obama will tie this to McCain like all those cool knots I had to learn in Navy boot camp 40 years ago.

by nogo postal 2008-07-24 07:05PM | 0 recs
by nogo postal 2008-07-24 07:13PM | 0 recs


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