November 30, 2006

News of the day

Iowa Governor Vilsack formally announces for the presidency today.

Bill Frist throws in the towel, and not a moment too soon.

Little Newt Gingrich is back like a herpes virus with a unique strategy for becoming the leader of the free world. He hopes to hover around and not announce until very late in the game and hope a slot opens up that he can jump into.

He recently gave a talk at the annual Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner where he... I'm not making this up... advocated "reexamining" the first amendment and banning free speech on the internet and elsewhere when it supposedly aids terrorists, then going on to sharply criticize the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act, which sought to limit the amount of money people can give to political campaigns, because doing so restricted free speech (in the form of big cash). Go figure.

And another golden oldie, Al Gore is back in the news putting my feelings into words perfectly, and in doing so, getting all the chatting class in a lather fretting and freaking out about whether he may run again.

In an interview in GQ, speaking of Bush, Gore said,
To this day, I don’t understand it. And, I think it’s fair to say that he personally does in fact bear a measure of blame for not doing his job at a time when we really needed him to do his job. And now the Woodward book has this episode that has been confirmed by the record that George Tenet, who was much abused by this administration, went over to the White House for the purpose of calling an emergency meeting and warning as clearly as possible about the extremely dangerous situation with Osama bin Laden, and was brushed off!

And I don’t know why—honestly—I mean, I understand how horrible this Congressman Foley situation with the instant messaging is, okay? I understand that. But, why didn’t these kinds of things produce a similar outrage? And you know, I’m even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it’s so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way.

But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country!
Thanks Al. Took the words right out of my mouth.

John Kerry appeared on Larry King (as did Dog the Bounty Hunter in the second half of the show. How's that for a ticket? Maybe Dog would give Kerry some street cred.) and tried to stay relevant. It's truly a shame what the right has done to the guy, both with the swift boating and the recent distortion of his ommission of one word from a lame joke, but the damage is done, and if he were more well liked, he likely could have weathered the storm a bit better. As it is, the guy is all but toast as far as a presidential run is concerned.

Bush continues to babble like someone in dire need of an intervention and got dissed by the puppet president of Iraq who said thanks but no thanks to meeting with Bush in Jordan.

And soon to be senator Jim Webb gave an appropriate amount of respect to Bush as well, refusing to participate in the recieving line to shake the Chimporer's hand and opting not to have his picture taken with Bush.
"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. "No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."

Then Webb, one of the few, and maybe the only congressmen with a son or daughter in serving in Iraq, had what could be described as a rather terse exchange with Junior a bit later.
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
It was later reported that Webb told someone afterwards that it was all he could do to keep from popping Bush in the mouth, though how credible that report is is anyone's guess.

And Colin Powell salvages what credibility he has left after being a dupe of Bush/Cheney and announced that as far as he was concerned, Iraq is indeed in a civil war, thus again freaking out those still clinging to the Bush denial of reality. And former Prez Jimmy Carter thinks it's not quite civil just yet.

And the little goof in charge in Iran issued a 5 page letter to you and I, the American public, in which he made some very valid points while engaging in a bit of deft PR.


At 11/30/2006 1:22 PM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

I like hearing Al Gore. I think he is a pretty straight shooter as far as politicians go. I like that he and Clinton have become vocal about issues because they can be more candid without worrying about their political futures.

Whereas John Kerry on the other hand goes around sounding like a bofoon (sp?) and thinks he has some political capital left to spend. If he really has the interests of Americans and Democrats at heart he should do his best to disappear because he i sa stain on the party. I think the Democrats can create some positive change in the coming years and due to his history of eggheadedness he only draws negative attnetion and criticism to the Democrats agenda.

At 11/30/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Good comment Robbie.

As a small example of why Kerry has a hard time connecting with people, today he was being interviewed by that woman on MSNBC I think who's voice sounds like Tom Waits.... anyway, Kerry dismissed the poll showing him as the least liked by saying, correctly, that it wasn't surprising that it came out that way, since it was taken during the "hurly-burly" of his botched joke.

"hurly burly"?

Actually, someone once tried to report that Kerry once said, "Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?" as an example of his east coast patrician out of touch-ness. (yeesh, sorry about that one.)

In fact, Kerry never said it.

But unfortunately, his "image" has been sufficiently soiled by the right, and he simply will have a hard time getting past it.

He does have a lot to offer, but as a presidential candidate.... not.

At 11/30/2006 3:16 PM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

I wonder how Kerry could be most effective? It seems as if his bad rep keeps him from even being able to push policy in the senate. Maybe a little time out of the spotlight will allow him to be a bigger player again.

You comment on the passing parade blog right? Any idea what happened to it? Seemed to just die. Hope nothing is wrong with jcb.

At 11/30/2006 4:19 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I've been meaning to write Beydler and see how he's doing. The last time I heard from him he was very busy with his various responsibilities at the D/A and I've just assumed that he was caught up with his work and that he hasn't had the time to write anything post election.

I trust he's doing fine and look forward to him cranking up the blog again at some time.

Churning out a blog, especially if you're putting out good and thoughtful work and getting deluged with dim comments in return, can really get to be a grind.

Is Beydler being done for the time being why you finally took the plunge and commented here? ha!

Glad to have you, and hope it wasn't too painful.

At 11/30/2006 4:26 PM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

Actually it wasn't quite connected. Though partially. I had asked jcb to be added to the blogroll on the QC online page. He obliged and it got me more active on there since I was always looking to see my posts on there. So since then I have slowly started to participate in more of the QC area blogs. PP was simply the first one I found.

At 11/30/2006 4:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's cool Robbie, and I'm glad you found your way here. Rational commenters are worth their weight in gold, at least to me.

Feel free to contribute your thoughts anytime. Glad to have you.

At 11/30/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's cool Robbie, and I'm glad you found your way here. Rational commenters are worth their weight in gold, at least to me.

Feel free to contribute your thoughts anytime. Glad to have you.

As a matter of fact, if there's ever any issue that really has you going, or something which you feel strongly about, feel free to submit something by e-mail and I'll gladly consider putting it up.

The same applys for any reader who would like to express their views on a topic or provide more information on something for readers.

Any questions, just contact me by e-mail and we can make it work.

At 11/30/2006 8:11 PM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Who is Vilsack's base?


At 11/30/2006 11:37 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Very good question Carl. Anyone care to take a shot at an answer?

I suppose the obvious is a strong Iowa organization on which he's betting everything. But where to go from there?

I know Vilsack has an amazing and inspiring rags to governor life story which will be powerful.

Beyond that I'm not familiar with his stances.

In reports about his announcement by cable news talking heads Vilsack was routinely described as "a virtual unknown", which of course, probably applies outside of Iowa.

I'm a little perplexed at why he'd decide to run for pres. Any pros out there care to venture a rationale behind Vilsack's candidacy?

At 12/01/2006 1:43 PM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

Remember what happened when it was clear Howard Dean was going to crush the DC-types in the Washington, DC beauty pageant?

All the DC-types and Wes Clark decided to boycott the event, so the media didn't cover it as a contested primary. Dean won and nobody cared.

If Vilsack pulls ahead in Iowa, the other candidates have the option of boycotting Iowa. And if the media decides there's no story b/c it's a done deal then Vilsack doesn't get a bounce for winning.

And it's really hard to imagine Vilsack can put together a campaign in the Granite State, the Silver State or the Palmetto State without gaining the MO in Iowa.

And if Vilsack lures the field into fighting him in Iowa, I assume it will be a close enough race that Vilsack will have to spend all his money.

Vilsack can't match the campaign skills of Edwards. He can't match Edwards or Obama in charisma. I doubt he can match the fundraising prowess of most of the other candidates. Vilsack doesn't bring high name ID or the best media contacts to the table. Vilsack doesn't have an ethnic group to tap into. He doesn't have any special security or foreign policy credentials. If Iowa's economy blossomed on his watch, I didn't hear about it.

Is it possible that Vilsack is running to be the VP nominee? If a Senator wins the nomination, or even a retired general, it might make sense to take a governor from a swing state and a swing region. If Vilsack can deliver Iowa and keep the GOP from making gains in Wisconsin and Minnesota he'd be an asset on the ticket. I think most of the potential nominees would go with Evan Bayh over Vilsack, but maybe the nominee will click better will Vilsack than Bayh.

At 12/01/2006 10:35 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Al Gore, Al Gore , Al Gore the time is now America!

At 12/01/2006 10:59 PM, Blogger Rawk Eyelund said...

If you want a classic "tax and spend" democrat, you can't beat Vilsac.

At 12/02/2006 1:07 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Carl, that well may be the case. After all, many candidates launch doomed presidential bids in hopes of benefit other than winning.

I mean, explain Gary Bauer, for God's sake, or Al Sharpton, or the nuts Duncan Hunter (running now) or Alan Keyes, or Steve Forbes, for that matter.

These could be raising their profile in hopes of making more dough as a speaker or TV pundit, or simply to live large off of donations. (Keyes)

Or simply to promote and get their positions on specific issues covered in the media which they otherwise wouldn't.

They might want to make connections and set up an organization with an eye towards making a stronger effort at a later time, after having put themselves forward as presidential material.

And of course, your reason, which is angling for a VP slot.

But I heard on the news someone saying that Vilsack didn't even win a straw poll in Iowa, and that pretty much makes him irrelevant.

At 12/04/2006 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We already have a classic "tax and spend" Republican, why not a Democrat?

At 12/04/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

At least nationally, the Republicans have been spending far, far more recklessly and irresponsibly than Dems ever did.

With Republicans you get "borrow and spend".

Which is worse? The Republican method of spending money you don't have and borrowing from the Chinese and other nations until your debt is crippling and results in a sharp devaluation of the dollar?

Or pay as you go, making sure you have the income before you spend it?


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