PUMA PAC is definitely not full of racists

I know, I know.  PUMA diary.  But you have seriously got to see this "movie" some particularly crazy PUMAs have made of the "whitey tape".  Hint: it features a man in blackface portraying Michelle Obama, ebonics and the grand dragon of the black KKK.

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Drop Dead Gorgeous!!!

► This morning in Willmington.

► Smokin'!!

► "I'm Sasha Obama, and I approve this convention!"

► The latest attack ad, using Sam Cooke's "don't know much about.."

► Denver

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Michelle Obama For First Lady 2008!

I'm really looking forward to Michelle Obama's speech tonight.

I'll admit, I was annoyed by Joe Biden's crack about his wife Jill being "drop dead gorgeous" and his stupid frat-boy-humor joke about her PhD intelligence being "a problem". That's the best he can do when introducing (for the first time on the national stage) his highly educated, highly accomplished, life partner and mother/step mother to his children? This Dem ticket and Obama's official VP announcement represents the absolute end of the dream of millions of women that we would finally see the first woman President... and we're talking about how hot Jill Biden is?

Can we please, as Democrats, make a pact to celebrate the fact the this ticket contains 2 highly intelligent, educated and accomplished women instead of reducing them to their physical appearance? Yes, they are both quite beautiful, but there is so much more to these 2 incredible women.

To be honest, I am finding it easier to get myself excited about Michelle Obama right now than Barack Obama, so I am going with that for now. Hey, it all leads to the same place! I'd be thrilled to see her and her daughters (and perhaps her own mother?) take up residence in the White House in 2009.

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Here's to supporting a strong, confident woman, lawyer, mother who (like the majority of Democrat women in this country) knows the difficulty of juggling a family and her professional life (as well as her husband's career). Michelle Obama is the intellectual equal of her husband, a woman with her own fulfilling career, her own aspirations. She is putting all of that aside to support Barack Obama's run for President. We should all be grateful and show our respect and support by keeping her resume and accomplishments front and center. She is not merely an attractive accessory to her husband, if we let her be she can be so much more than that.

She's drop dead inspiring. Let your strong voice ring out loud and clear tonight Michelle!

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7 Days To Denver

I was watching one of the Sunday shows yesterday and a Villager whose name escapes me now began to make the case that John McCain's "celebrity" ad campaign is brilliant (my word, maybe not his) because it pre-emptively blunts the impact of Barack's acceptance speech in front of 75,000 people next week -- what's 75,000 people in a stadium for the biggest celebrity in the world?

But the reason the McCain campaign may end up regretting that campaign -- the same reason they may end up regretting whining that Barack Obama "refuses" to debate McCain -- is that it lowers expectations of Barack to a level where it's impossible not to exceed them. The meme that Barack Obama is substance-less is perhaps exactly the sort of thing the Obama campaign wants people to think of Barack going into next week's convention, because the bounce he gets out of it will be, I suspect, directly proportional to the extent to which he exceeds people's expectations.

First up in the expectations game: Michelle Obama who will be headlining Monday night.

The New York Times previews next week:

One of the first images prime-time viewers will see of the Democratic National Convention next week is that of Michelle Obama, who will begin the four-day introduction of her husband, and her family, on her terms.

Like everything else at the orchestrated gala, that is by design.

Democrats face a number of imperatives at their convention, none trickier than making more voters comfortable with the prospect of putting a candidate with a most unusual background -- the son of a black Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother, who grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia -- and his family in the White House. No one, his advisers believe, makes the case better for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois than his wife, who will expand her profile by delivering one of the marquee speeches carried by television networks.

I've seen Michelle once -- at the UCLA event with Oprah and Caroline Kennedy and Michelle was really the star of the show. I had no idea how great a speaker she was; she really blew the place away, as I expect she'll blow away the millions of people watching on Monday. Her aim will be to pass the first lady in your living room test and I have no doubt that she will more than pass. Michelle has largely been laying low from national media and I think next Monday is why. It's her coming out party and just as last year Hillary Clinton exceeded expectations of those whose only knowledge of her post-2000 was a caricature propagated by the right, those who only have the caricature of Michelle Obama to go by will be taken aback when they come face to face with the real thing.

As a sidenote, I'm here in CT at my parents' house and my Republican Dad was listening to Rush and you could just hear the cockiness in his voice when speaking about McCain's performance at the forum Saturday night. Rush said he expected very little out of McCain and the way McCain ultimately did perform has given "his side" a real boost in confidence and I believe it. Unfortunately for them I think it's shortlived. Obama's choice to announce his VP so close to the convention is no doubt designed to avoid what happened to Kerry in 2004 when his VP pick bounce faded pre-convention and then there was really not much convention bounce at all. The Obama campaign clearly is going for a VP pick/convention 1-2 punch bounce. Will they get it? Considering the expectations game now favors Obama (in that he's perceived to be underperforming polling, messaging -- relative to the primaries, and debating -- to the extent that Saturday's forum was the first "debate") I expect that they will.

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Where's the Outrage?

Rush Limbaugh today:    

"We know -- we've been told that Elizabeth Edwards is smarter than John Edwards. That's part of the puff pieces on them that we've seen. Ergo, if Elizabeth Edwards is smarter than John Edwards, is it likely that she thinks she knows better than he does what his speeches ought to contain and what kind of things he ought to be doing strategy-wise in the campaign? If she is smarter than he is, could it have been her decision to keep going with the campaign? In other words, could it be that she doesn't shut up? Now, that's as far as I'm going to go....

   It just seems to me that Edwards might be attracted to a woman whose mouth did something other than talk." Limbaugh went on to say in a subsequent segment: "my theory that I just explained to you about why -- you know, what could have John Edwards' motivations been to have the affair with Rielle Hunter, given his wife is smarter than he is and probably nagging him a lot about doing this, and he found somebody that did something with her mouth other than talk."

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