Obama's "Silent Majority" and the Risks of Being "Too Presidential"

A Left Anchor Original

The LA Times takes up the increasingly spreading meme that Obama is "presumptuous" and "arrogant."  Talking to world leaders, planning a transition to the White House, putting his campaign logo on the tail of his plane -- just who does this guy think he is?

Fox News host Sean Hannity told viewers last week how "presumptuous" Obama had become. Proof: The candidate told congressional Democrats that the world had been waiting for his hopeful message and that to some he had become a symbol of a "return to our best traditions."

There's more...

Obama Shifts? Rhetoric vs. Policy, Strategy vs. Tactics

Cross posted at The Left Anchor.

The following post is cannibalized from a comment I made at TPZoo.  It seems to me that some Obama supporters might be going a bit overboard with their declarations that Obama has made "massive" shifts to the center (I feel his biggest shifts are on FISA and NAFTA, the second of which doesn't surprise me, and the first of which would probably pass no matter what he did).  As for foreign policy, here is my take on Obama's Iraq position:

There are two basic elements to military action: strategy and tactics. Strategy is the long term plan aimed at achieving a given goal. Obama has very clearly stated that his strategy is to remove troops at roughly two brigades per month until all troops are out. This will achieve the goal of removing us from the Iraq quagmire. What is important to note here is that specific tactics for achieving this strategy do not fall under Obama's domain. He doesn't have the military training to be making those decisions. Presidents in general don't make those types of low-level decisions. That would be micromanaging, which is just generally a poor way to run things.

There's more...

The Next Secretary of Labor (And the Evils of Elaine Chao)

Cross-posted from The Left Anchor

We have previously profiled Sen. Joe Biden (Sec. of State) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (Sec. of Defense) individually.  We're changing the format of the series, however, so consider this a reboot.  Each profile will offer a short primer on the responsibilities of the office and how the current appointee has approached those responsibilities.  We will then offer brief profiles of the top two or three contenders for the post.  We'll be posting new profiles every Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of the summer, so mark your calenders and tell your friends.  We intend to create the most detailed look at the cabinet positions and their potential candidates available in one location.

Overview:  The Secretary of Labor is considered one of the top cabinet positions.  It was formerly known as the Secretary of Labor and Commerce, but the two divisions were separated in 1913 under President William Howard Taft.  Here is a succinct description of the office:

There's more...

Vice Presidential Profile: Hillary Clinton (Sen-NY)

This is the twelfth and final entry in our series of profiles regarding Barack Obama's most likely candidates for the vice presidential nomination.  You can view our previous entires here.  Come back next week as we take a detailed look at the possible candidates for an Obama cabinet.  Your favorite candidates that did not appear in our two week long series here, may very well show up in our cabinet profiles.  Tomorrow I will boil down all that we have learned and make my predictions.  Don't forget to vote in our poll.

Hillary Clinton: former first lady and current senator from New York.  Is she on Obama's short list?  Frankly, none of us know, but given how close she managed to keep this primary season, and the fervency of her supporters, no list of possible vice presidential candidates is complete without her.  George Stephanopoulos described an Obama/Clinton pairing as "a dream ticket."  But many Obama supporters consider it a nightmare.  Before we render judgment, let's look at the strengths she brings to an Obama campaign, as well as those qualities which cause us deep concern.

More below the fold...

There's more...

Vice Presidential Profiles: Hillary Clinton (Sen-NY)

This is the twelfth and final entry in our series of profiles regarding Barack Obama's most likely candidates for the vice presidential nomination.  You can view our previous entires here.  Come back next week as we take a detailed look at the possible candidates for an Obama cabinet.  Your favorite candidates that did not appear in our two week long series here, may very well show up in our cabinet profiles.  Tomorrow I will boil down all that we have learned and make my predictions.  Don't forget to vote in our poll.

Hillary Clinton: former first lady and current senator from New York.  Is she on Obama's short list?  Frankly, none of us know, but given how close she managed to keep this primary season, and the fervency of her supporters, no list of possible vice presidential candidates is complete without her.  George Stephanopoulos described an Obama/Clinton pairing as "a dream ticket."  But many Obama supporters consider it a nightmare.  Before we render judgment, let's look at the strengths she brings to an Obama campaign, as well as those qualities which cause us deep concern.

There's more...

Vice Presidential Profile: Claire McCaskill (Sen-MO)

This is the eighth entry in our series profiling Barack Obama's most likely vice presidential candidates.  We've previously profiled Ted Strickland, John Edwards, Tim Kaine, Kathleen Sebelius, Jim Webb, Wesley Clark, and Ed Rendell.  You can view our previous profiles here.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's name has been bandied about this primary season as a potential vice presidential candidate.  As a Democratic senator from an important swing state, her value to an Obama ticket is easy to imagine.  Even more so when one considers that a female VP nod may do much to appease certain Clinton supporters who felt sexism played a large role in this election.  However, the question ultimately becomes, does the immediate narrative stand up to sustained scrutiny?

There's more...

Vice Presidential Profiles: John Edwards

This is the sixth in our series of profiles of Barack Obama's most likely vice presidential candidates.  We will be profiling Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell later this evening.  Our previous profiles can be viewed here.

No introduction necessary.  John Edwards has had an overwhelming impact on this primary season, dragging the two top contenders left-ward on everything from health care to labor to poverty awareness.  Without his presence, Obama and Clinton would currently be offering very different platforms.  Given the magnitude of his influence on the primaries, and his continued popularity among party activists, many believe John Edwards would make an excellent addition to an Obama ticket.

There's more below the fold...

There's more...

Vice Presidential Profile: Ted Strickland (Gov-OH)

This is the second in our week long series profiling the most likely vice presidential candidates.  Yesterday we looked at Virginia Senator Jim Webb; tomorrow (Wednesday, May 21st) we will be profiling Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

A man bound to be on the short list for Obama's vice president is Ohio governor Ted Strickland.  Not only is Strickland the governor of one of the most important swing states, but Ohio is also a state whose demographics don't immediately favor Obama.  Certainly Sen. Obama will pick up the lion's share of Clinton supporters in the state, but he's going to have to fight tooth and nail for conservative Democrats and independents against the so-called maverick, John McCain.

There's more...

Salon: If Things Were Different Hillary Would Be Winning (A Good Laugh)

And if a frog had wings it wouldn't bump its ass a-hoppin'.

Seriously, this is just ridiculous.  Over at Salon, Sean Wilentz puts forth the basic argument is that if we could change the rules in mid-election, Hillary would be ahead.  But you can't change the rules in mid-election, and had the rules been different in the beginning, there's no telling how each campaign would have laid out their strategy.  

There's more...

Third Parties and Local Elections

Via The Left Anchor (pay us a visit):

A day or two ago, Raylan Givens looked at the difficulties third parties face on the national stage.  Namely, that third parties tend to capitalize on the discontent of average voters, and that discontent seldom lasts for more than one or two election cycles.  Which begs the question, is there a place for third parties in the American system?

I'd argue that yes, there is a place for third parties in the American political system, but that those opportunities do not exist on the national stage, but rather, in local elections.  Local elections are rarely as partisan as their national counterparts.  For instance, my hometown has had the same mayor for more than a decade, but I honestly couldn't tell you whether he is a Democrat or a Republican.  What does that mean for third parties?

Basically, third parties will find their greatest opportunities for success at the local level.  Moreover, despite Ralph Nader's perennial candidacies, third parties are best served by elections to local offices.  That is where their enormous deficit in funds ceases to prove a barrier to their election to office.  As third parties gain more seats in local elections, they can build their brand nationwide.  I'd argue that Nader's candidacy on behalf of the Green Party in 2000 was ultimately detrimental to that parties growth.  By suffering national defeats, third parties appear to be worthless to the American voter.  If Nader can't score the 5% vote that is necessary to qualify for federal matching funds, then that turns voters off to third parties at both the national and local levels.

It's no coincidence that the Green Party has not chosen Ralph Nader to represent them since 2000.  Due to his history advocating for consumer rights, Nader automatically draws attention to whatever party he represents.  But when he fails to accomplish even the modest goal of drawing five percent of the vote, he draws attention to the ineffectiveness of the party he fronts.  The best way for third parties to advance in this current atmosphere is for them to pursue school board seats, city council seats and mayoral positions.  With the proper focus on localized development, third parties can validate themselves in the American consciousness.  Moreover, a third party candidate, even if successful in a bid for the White House would prove ineffective due to their lack of support among the Congress, which will continue to be dominated by the two ruling parties.

So, whether on the right or on the left, third parties should seek to make their gains at the local level.  In the meantime, we're stuck with the two parties we have.

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads