Archive for the ‘Face the Nation’ Category

Live Analysis of the Final Presidential Debate

October 15, 2008

Alright, we’re moments away from the beginning of the debate.  As always, I’ll be watching CNN, who will have a focus group (undecided voters in Ohio) with a tracking rating of how people like what they’re hearing (broken up by men and women).  WordPress just added an option to add polls, so I’ll see if I can get that working after the debate is over and post a poll about who won.

Tonight’s debate will be moderated by Bob Schieffer (CBS’s Face the Nation).

We’re about 2 minutes away.

Schieffer: Why is your plan better than your opponents?

McCain: Thanks to everybody, my prayers go out to Nancy Reagan.  “Americans are hurting and angry.”  They’re innocent victims of greed.  “They have every reason to be angry.”  We have to have a short term fix and long term fixes.  Short term fix: Fannie and Freddie cause the sub-prime lending situation, that caused the housing market to collapse.  We need to reverse the decline in home ownership.  People need to know that they can stay in there homes.  Let’s take $300 billion of the $750 billion and buy mortgages so that people can stay in their homes.  What about people who could already afford to stay in their homes?  It’ll drive home value down if there are abandoned houses.  I didn’t like the answer (because I’m staunchly against any of the bailout), but it’ll go over well with voters, and the focus group liked it.

Obama: I think this’ll take some time to work itself out.  We need an economic package for the middle class.  The fundamentals of the economy were weak before this crisis (it depends what you’re defining fundamentals of the economy as).  Tax cut for people making less than $200,000.  Buying mortgages could be a bailout to banks, so I disagree with McCain there, but we do need to help homeowners.  Need to fix energy and health care.

McCain: Obama had an encounter with a plumber, Joe (somebody) Wurzelbacher.  Joe wants to buy the business that he’s worked in, and  he looked at Obama’s plan, and he saw that he’d be put in a higher tax bracket, and that’d cause him to not be able to employ people.  Joe, I’ll not only help you buy that business and keep your taxes low, and provide a way for you to provide health care to your employees.  You want to increase people’s taxes, like Joe the plumber’s.  And he’s right there – he’ll kill small businesses if he raises taxes.  The  focus group liked that.

Obama: McCain wants to give tax breaks to some of the wealthiest companies, including oil companies.  I want to give tax cuts to 95% of Americans.  Income tax, capital gains tax.  THAT’S A LIE ABOUT CAPITAL GAINS!!!  He wants to take capital gains taxes back to levels before Clinton lowered them!  I want to give small businesses tax breaks.  He lies here – 11.5% of Americans don’t even PAY income taxes, because they don’t make enough money!

McCain: Obama says, “We need to spread the wealth around.”  “I want Joe the plumber to spread the wealth around.”  Why would you want to raise taxes?

Obama: I want to cut taxes for 95% of Americans.  Not true!  I want to cut taxes for Joe the plumber before he was able to make $250,000.  I want to give families with kids going to college a break.  I’d prefer that nobody pay taxes, but we have to pay for the core of the economy to remain strong.

McCain: Companies will go overseas if we raise our business tax rates.  “Of all times in America, we need to cut taxes and encourage business, not spread the wealth around.”  Great answer – McCain actually did better with the focus group there than McCain, and that surprised me.

Schieffer: Talking about reducing the budget deficit.  Won’t some of the programs you’re proposing have to be trimmed or eliminated?

Obama: If the $750 billion works as it’s supposed to, taxpayers will get their money back.  I have been a strong proponent of pay-as-you-go.  Some of the cuts we’ll need are subsidies to insurance companies.  “It’s just a giveaway.”  I’ll go through the federal budget line-by-line, and eliminate what’s unnecessary.  We need to invest in the American people.  We need to prevent diseases when they’re young, so they won’t spend as much Medicare money.  The same with college – they’ll drive up the economy.  He’s getting very high ratings right now – he’s appealing to the average American people.

McCain: Back to home-ownership.  During the depression, we bought homes and home values went back up.  This was a plan that Senator Clinton proposed.  We need to become energy independent.  I need an across-the-board spending freeze.  I oppose subsidies for ethanol.  Sorry – got interrupted there.  I will veto earmarks.  Senator Obama put in an earmark for a projector in a planetarium in his hometown.

Obama: An across-the-board spending freeze is a hatchet, and we need a scalpel.  Senator McCain talks about earmarks, but they account for 0.5% of the federal budget.  Eliminating them will help, but it won’t solve the problem.  When President Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus, and now we have a deficit.  Pursuing Bush-esque budgets will worsen the situation, and McCain voted for Bush’s budgets, 4 out of 5 times.

McCain: I will give a new direction to this economy.  I’m not President Bush.  If he wanted to oppose him, he should’ve run 4 years ago.  Mayor Bloomberg just put in a spending freeze in New York, so it can be done.  I’ll eliminate spending.  Obama voted for the last 2 budgets that Bush proposed (the only 2 that came up since he’s been in office!).  I have fought against spending and special interest.  When have you stood up to your party?  He’s getting good ratings, and I really think that he’s appealing to American people.

Obama: The first major bill I voted on was against tort reform.  I support charter schools.  I support clean coal technology.  I have a history of reaching across the aisle.  If I mistaken your policies for President Bush’s policies, it’s because on the core economic issues, taxes, spending, etc…, you’ve been a supporter of President Bush.  You’re been against him on stuff like torture, and I commend that, but for the majority, you want 8 more years of the same thing.

McCain: It’s been clear that I’ve disagreed with Bush and my party: climate change, opposition to earmarks, torture, conduct of the War in Iraq, Medicare prescription drugs, HMO patients’ bill of rights.  I have stood up to my party’s leadership.

Schieffer: Both of you promised to take the high road, but both campaigns have turned nasty.

McCain: This has been a very tough campaign.  If Obama had responded to my request to do town hall meetings, like he originally said, the tone of this campaign could’ve been better.  The tone of this campaign has taken a nasty turn.  I apologize for some of the negativity that has come out of my campaign.  I hope OBama will repudiate the remarks made by Congressman John Lewis.  Obama didn’t keep his word about taking public financing.  He’s getting high ratings from men here, but average ratings from women.

Obama: 2/3 of the American people think McCain’s running a negative campaign, versus 1/3 of the American people thinking that of mine.  100% of your ads have been negative (BULL CRAP!).  There’s nothing wrong with having a vigorous debate like we’re having now, but not having town hall meetings doesn’t justify the ads that have come out from your campaign and 527s.  I don’t mind being attacked for 3 weeks, but we can’t afford 4 more years of failed economic policies.  He’s actually getting negative ratings from women, and average from men here.  He’s really attacking McCain during a question about negativity in campaigns, and I think he’s really making himself look bad here.

McCain: If you turn on the television, every other ad was an attack ad on my health care policy, saying that I oppose federal funding for stem cells.  I don’t.  Obama is spending unprecedented amounts of money in negative attack ads on me.  Of course we’re talking about Joe the plumber and restoring jobs to America.  That’s what my campaign is all about.  Again, I didn’t hear a repudiation of Congressman Lewis.

Obama: Lewis, made a statement with what he was troubled with hearing some of the rallies that your running mate was holding.  People were yelling “terrorist” and “kill him,” and your running mate didn’t stop them.  I do think that he gave a good comparison between what’s happening now and the civil right’s movement.  What the Americans want is for us to focus on the challenges that we have now.  We have serious differences on health care.  When people bring up me being with terrorists, that’s not the issues.

McCain: Whenever you have big rallies, you’ll have fringe people, and that’s not appropriate.  But for the majority of people, they’re not saying anything negative.  These people are the most patriotic people in this nation (veterans and wives of veterans).  There’ve been thingsat your rallies that I’m not happy with either.  I have always repudiated out of line statements, and I will continue to do that, but we cannot stand for the things that have been going on.  I haven’t.

Schieffer: Do you take issue with that?

Obama: What I think is most important is that we recognize that in order to solve 2 wars, a financial crisis, creating jobs, then we all need to be able to work together.  “We need to disagree without being disagreeable.  What we can’t do is try to characterize each other as bad people.”

McCain: We need to know the full extent of Obama’s relationships with Ayers and ACORN.  If there’s nothing there, I don’t care about it, but we need to know what all went on there.

Obama: Mr. Ayers has become the centerpiece of McCain’s campaign.  Bill Ayers is a professor in Chicago.  40 years ago, he engaged in despicable acts.  “I have … condemned those acts.”  I served on a school board with him 10 years ago.  “Mr. Ayers is not involved in my campaign … and he will not advise me in the White House.”  ACORN: Apparently, they were paying people to get people registered to vote.  The only thing I did with them was represent them with some thing in Illinois – I didn’t catch it all.  I associate with Warren Buffet on economics.  On foreign policy, it’s Joe Biden or Dick Lugar, or General Jim Jones.  “Those are the people who have shaped my ideas and will be surrounding me in the White House.”

McCain: While you and Ayers were on that board, you gave money to ACORN, and you launched your campaign from Ayers living room.  In 2001, he said he’d wished he’d have bombed more.  We need to know all the details here.  And my (not McCain) view is that with Ayers – it’s no big deal if Obama’s honest.  With ACORN, there are some serious problems there – ACORN has supported Obama, and Obama has supported ACORN, and ACORN has shown to have some serious legal problems.

Schieffer: Why is your running mate better than his?

Obama: He’s been there a while – he knows what he’s doing, especially when it comes to foreign policy.  Biden has never forgotten where he came from.  He fights for the little guy.  He has always been fighting for working families.  “After 8 years of failed policies [we] will have to reprioritize … give tax cuts to small businesses … and individuals who are struggling.”  We need to become energy independent, and make sure that our kids afford can go to college.  Biden has always been on the right side of the issues.

McCain: Palin is a reformer.  She took on the old governor, who was part of her party.  She’s given money back to taxpayers and cut the size of the government.  “She is a reformer through and through, and it’s time that we have that breath of fresh air and sweep out” the old politics of Washington.  “She understand special needs families, and understands that autism is on the rise.”  She has united people all over America, and I’m proud of her.

Schieffer: Is she qualified to be President?

Obama: That’ll be up to the American people to decide.  Her work on special needs kids has been commendable.  He didn’t answer the question!  If we have an across-the-board spending freeze, special needs kids will suffer.

McCain (on Biden): Biden is experienced, but he’s had some bad foreign policy ideas, such as dividing Iraq into different countries, and we’ve seen Iraq become united as one country.  Every time Obama says we need to spend more.  Why can’t we have transparency of these government organizations.

Schieffer: Energy and climate control.  Presidents have said that we need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.  Give us a number of how much you believe we can reduce foreign oil during your first term.

McCain: We can eliminate our dependence on Middle East countries and Venezuela.  Canadian oil is fine.  We need nuclear power plants, and that’ll be how we eliminate those 2 sources of foreign oil.  We need wind, tide, solar, gas, clean coal.  He’s getting huge ratings, and for good reason – it’s a good energy plan.  Especially the nuclear part!!!!

Obama: In 10 years, we can reduce our dependence so we don’t have to import oil from the Middle East or Venezuela.  “Nothing is more important than us borrowing … money from China and sending it to Venezuela.”  We need to expand domestic production, by telling oil companies, “Use them or lose them” in terms of oil fields being leased here in the U.S.  We need to drill offshore, but that won’t solve the problem.  We need wind, solar, biofuel.  We need efficient cars built here in America, not in Japan.  And he’s got good ideas too, but I WISH he would’ve said he wants nuclear power – nuclear power is safe (we use it on subs) and VERY efficient.  NAFTA didn’t have enforceable environmental agreements, and we should’ve included those.  When it comes to South Korea, we have an agreement with them, and they’re sending more cars here than we are to them.  That’s not free trade.

McCain: “Obama said, ‘We will look at offshore drilling.’  Did you catch that?  ‘Look at.'”  We need to do more than look at it, we need to do it.  AGREED!  Our businesses are paying money into Columbia, but because of previous agreements, they’re getting their goods into here for free.  We need a free trade agreement with Columbia, which Obama has opposed.  Obama hasn’t even travelled down there, and he doesn’t understand Columbia.

Obama: I understand it.  Labor leaders have been persecuted, and we need to stand for human rights.  Workers who are trying to organize for rights shouldn’t be persecuted, and that’s why I supported a free trade agreement with Peru.  When I talked about automakers, they’re getting hammered right now, not only because of gas prices, but with the financial crisis.  People can’t get car loans, so we need to get loan guarantees.  We need more efficient cars and cars of the future.  That’ll help create new jobs.  He’s getting VERY high ratings – he’s maxed out with women, and men are rating him high too.

McCain: Obama doesn’t want a free trade agreement with our best ally in the region, but wants to sit down with Hugo Chavez without preconditions.  Jobs and businesses will be created if we open up those markets.  Obama wants to restrict trade and raise taxes, and the last President who did that was Hoover.  We went from a deep recession to a depression.  I won’t let that happen.

Schieffer: Would you first lower health care costs, instead of providing more health care?

Obama: We need to do both.  My plan will allow you to keep your plan if you have health insurance.  We will lower costs so that cost savings are brought back to you.  If you don’t have insurance, you can buy into the same kind of federal pool that federal employees enjoy.  Insurance companies won’t be able to discriminate against people with preconditions.  Drugs will be lower, and we need to look at preventative care.  This will require more money up front, but will lower costs in the long run.  VERY high ratings at the end there.

McCain: Premiums and copays are going up, and health care costs are going up and inflicting pain on Americans.  We need walk in clinics and community health care centers.  We need nutrition and physical fitness programs in schools to keep kids healthy.  I want to give all American families a $5,000 tax credit.  Under Obama’s plan, if you have employees and they have kids, if you don’t have a health care plan, Obama will fine you.  I still haven’t heard what that fine will be.

Obama: Your fine will be $0.  I exempt small businesses for the requirement that large businesses have to provide health care.  Well, Senator Obama, what do you consider a small business???  The average family is paying higher premiums because of the uninsured.  I’ll give small businesses a 50% credit so they can afford it.  If not, you can buy into the plan I have.  McCain will give you the tax credit, but what will happen to older folks who can’t afford the health care plan?  McCain will tax the health care benefits you have from your employer, the first time in history this has ever happened.  Insurers right now are restricted statewide.  Those rules would be stripped away, and you’d see companies excluding people.

McCain: People like Joe are rich, because Obama said about him that we need to “spread the wealth,” so he’s rich enough that he would be fined.  Under my plan, people will be able to go across the country, giving them the chance to choose their futures.  “Senator Government–Senator Obama wants government to do the job.”  Senator Obama and the Democrats have been in charge the last 2 years, and things have gotten worse.

Obama: Under McCain’s plan, there’s a strong risk that you will lose your health care from your employer.  All I want to do is lower costs.

Schieffer: Could either of you nominate a Supreme Court Justice who disagrees with your view on Roe v. Wade.

McCain: I have never had a litmus test.  I think the Court decided incorrectly there, but I’m a Federalist – it should be left up to the states.  We need to nominate people based on qualifications, not if I agree with their ideology.  There should be no litmus test.  These nominees should be picked based on qualifications, who adhere to the Constitution, not people who legislate from the bench.  (But people who stick to the Constitution would oppose Roe v. Wade).  I’ll have no litmus test.

Obama: I’d agree that we shouldn’t have a litmus test.  Fairness and justice should be given to the American people.  It’s very likely that one of us will be making 1 or more appointments, and Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance.  I support the decision in Roe v. Wade.  I believe that women are in the best position to make this decision.  The Constitution has privacy built into it that shouldn’t be subject to state referendum or popular vote.  “I will look for those judges who have an outstanding record … intellect.”  McCain and I disagreed when the S.C. made it harder for some woman to bring suit for equal pay for women.  The Court said that she waited too long.  If a woman is being treated unfairly, the Court needs to stand up if nobody will.

McCain: You can’t waive the statute of limitation 20 to 30 years.  Senator Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide medical attention to babies who were not successfully aborted (essentially passive infanticide).  Then he voted present on the floor.  He did the same with partial birth abortion.  Men are liking this, but women not so much.

Obama: That’s not true.  There was a bill put forward that said that you need life saving treatment that would undermine Roe v. Wade, but there was a law alreay on the books.  On partial birth abortion: I’m supportive of a ban on late term abortions as long as there’s an exception for the safety of the woman’s life.    Both men and women are rating him a bit above average now.  Surely there is some common ground, when both sides can come together and prevent unintended pregnancies.  Communicate that sex shouldn’t be engaged in carelessly.  Adoption choices should be out there.  Those things are now in the Democratic platform, for the first time ever.

McCain: “Health of the mother” has been stretched to mean almost anything (such as mental health in some cases).  Cindy and I are adoptive parents.  We need to promote adoption and protect the rights of the unborn.

Schieffer: A question about education and national security – I missed what all it was.

Obama: No nation has had a bad economy and a good military.  Education is a huge part of this.  We need better pay for teachers.  We need college to be more affordable.  We’ll offer an exchange of community/military service with money for college.  We can’t do this just in schools.  Parents need to show responsibility too – encourage thirst for knowledge.  And he’s absolutely right here.  It starts at home.  People rated him as high as they could.

McCain: Choice and competition among schools are some of the key elements – New York and New Orleans – where we find bad teachers another line of work.  We need to give parents a choice in sending kids to good schools.  Charter schools are one option.

Schieffer: Should the federal government play a larger role?

Obama: The states need to be in control, but the federal government needs to step in and help struggling local school districts.  Bush did this with No Child Left Behind, “but unfortunately, he left the money behind.”  That was a good line.  McCain and I agree on charter schools.  I think we need to encourage competition between schools.  Bad teachers need to be replaced.  “Our kids need to have the best future.”  We disagree on vouchers, and we disagree on college accessibility.  McCain doesn’t have programs that help college groups.  (That’s because he’ll simplify the tax code to make finding tax credits for college easier to find).

McCain: Vouchers need to be provided, because parents WANT vouchers.  They wanted to chose the schools where their children go (this was in Washington, D.C.).  As far as NCLB, it had its flaws and problems, but it’s the first time we looked at this from the national perspective.  Head Start is a great program.  It’s not doing what it should do, so we need to reform it and fund it.  We can’t just give more money, we need to reform it too.  We need transparency, rewards, and funding.  We’ll find and spend money to find the cause of autism, but to have a situation that the most expensive education is in America means that we also need reform.  We can’t throw money at a problem without reform.  Vouchers work.

Obama: On vouchers in D.C.  The D.C. school system is in terrible shape.  The superintendent there is doing a great job (McCain interjected that she supports vouchers).  There’s not proof that vouchers solve the problem.  We need a President who will tackle this head on.

McCain: Obama said that because there’s not enough vouchers, we shouldn’t have any.  That’s wrong.

Schieffer: Closing statements.

McCain: Thank you.  We need a new direction.  “We cannot be satisfied with what we’ve been doing for the last 8 years.”  I’ve been a reformer.  I’ve opposed my party.  I’ve been a good steward of your tax dollars.  We need to make health care and education affordable to all.  We need to stop this wild spending.  All of these promises made tonight will be made based on whether you trust us or not.  I ask you to examine both my record as well as my proposals for this country.  I’ve put my country first.  “It’s been a great honor of my life, and I’ve been proud to serve, and I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to serve again.  I’ll be honored, and humbled.”

Obama: Washington has been unwilling to address the problems.  We cannot adopt the policies of the last 8 years.  We need change.  You’ve invited me into your homes.  “Our brighter days are still ahead, but we have to invest in the American people.”  College needs to be more affordable.  Wages need to be higher, and we need to grow the middle class.  “It’s not gonna be easy.  It’s not gonna be quick.”  Republicans and Democrats will have to come together.  “If you give me the … honor of being President, I will work tireously and  honorably to ensure the future of our children.”

Bob Schieffer: As my mother would say: “Go vote now.  It’ll make you feel big and strong.”

McCain/Obama: Thank you (to each other).

Alright, overall, I think this was BY FAR the best debate we had.  I commend Bob Schieffer.  He was by far the best moderator we had.

Overall, I think McCain won this won.  This is the first time I’ve called a debate (other than the VP debate, where I called Biden the winner), and I think McCain won.  He was VERY strong toward the beginning.  I think Obama was weak at the beginning, but picked it up toward the end, but overall, I think that McCain was the winner.

Again, I think McCain was definitely stronger here.  I think Obama was too weak.  This was definitely the debate McCain needed, but I’m not sure that it’ll be enough for him to recover.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Obama and McCain Respond to Takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

September 7, 2008

Well, I already talked about the Federal takeover of Fannie and Freddie, and since then, I was able to find statements from the Presidential candidates.  We’ll start with Barack Obama:

Originally, this was all we had from Obama:

I have been and will continue to monitor this situation closely, and I’ll evaluate whatever plan is put forth by this administration with the following three benchmarks:

First, any action we take must be focused not on the whims of lobbyists and special interests worried about their bonuses and hourly fees, but on whether it will strengthen our economy and help struggling homeowners who are also being hit by lost jobs, stagnant wages and spiralling costs for everything from gas to groceries.

Second, we must protect taxpayers, not bail out the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is a challenging situation, and there are some community and regional banks, including those serving low-income communities, that we need to carefully address. But we must not allow government intervention to protect investors and speculators who relied on the government to reap massive profits.

Finally, we must ensure that any plan clarifies the true public and private status of our housing policies. We need to make clear that in our market system, investors must not be allowed to believe that, unlike working families, they can simply invest in a “heads they win, tails they don’t lose” context.

Then Obama’s blog somebody posted a slightly different press release, which basically said the same thing with a few differences:

Today Senator Obama released the following statement on the U.S. Treasury Plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

Given the substantial role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in our housing system, I believe that some form of intervention is necessary to prevent a larger and deeper crisis throughout our entire economy. I will be reviewing the details of the Treasury plan and monitoring its impact to determine whether it achieves the key benchmarks I believe are necessary to address this crisis.

First, this plan must not focus on the whims of lobbyists and special interests worried about their bonuses and hourly fees, but instead on strengthening our economy and helping struggling homeowners who are also being hit by lost jobs, stagnant wages and spiraling costs of everything from gas to groceries. Second, the plan must protect taxpayers, not bail out the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Third, once we ride out the current crisis, the plan must move toward clarifying the true public and private status of our housing policies. In our market system, investors must not be allowed to believe that they can invest in a “heads they win, tails they don’t lose” situation.

And then we have John McCain, who made this statement on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer:

SCHIEFFER: And thank you for saying that.

Let’s talk a little bit about the big news of the day.

Sen. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

SCHIEFFER: Both the Post and The New York Times report that the administration is preparing to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two guarantors of mortgages, in some sort of a conservorship***(as spoken). Basically what they’re going to do is dismiss the officers, the government will take over. There’s no way you can say this is not going to cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. Do you think this is a good idea, Senator McCain?

Sen. McCAIN: I think it has to be done, Bob. I think that we’ve got to keep people in their homes. There’s got to be restructuring, there’s got to be reorganization and there’s got to be some confidence that we’ve stopped this downward spiral. It’s hard, it’s tough, but it’s also the classic example of why we need change in Washington. It’s an example of cronyism, special interest, lobbyists, a quasi-governmental organization where the executives were making hundreds of–hundred and some million dollars a year while things were going downhill, going to hell in a handbasket. This is–this is the kind of cronyism and corruption that has made people so justifiably angered. I did have a long conversation with Secretary Paulson, a man I admire and respect, and he did say that when the housing market starts back up–and it will, it will in America–then the taxpayers are going to be the first to be paid off. They’re the ones that are going to be reimbursed when the values of the homes start–hit bottom and start back up and they start getting more money back in. And that has to be a vital part of it. And again, this is a system that cries out for reform.

SCHIEFFER: You’re talking about–they’re going to have some more regulation. Is that what you’re saying? More control?

Sen. McCAIN: More regulation, more oversight, more transparency, more of everything. And frankly, a dramatic reduction in what they do. You know, they are originally designed to provide a chance for middle income people to have an affordable home loan mortgage, and it grew into this sprawling, massive bureaucracy rife with corruption, cronyism, special interests, lobbyists and a relationship with Congress. Congress passed these laws that allowed these massive loopholes to be there. And so obviously, it’s got not only to be fixed, but it’s a system. It’s an example and a symptom of a system where we’re so close to the special interests that somehow–in Washington, we’re so close that somehow the average American is totally disregarded.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Let’s take a break here.

Sen. McCAIN: Sure.

OK, so who do I agree with more?  Neither really.  Obama seems to have formed less of an opinion than McCain, and McCain seems to have pretty much taken this from the takeover.  McCain talks about “a dramatic reduction in what [Fannie and Freddie] do,” which is pretty much what the takeover plan states.

Like I said before, I don’t think that the takeover was a good idea.  I don’t think that “reduc[ing] what they do” is a good idea either.  As of now, I want the government to do their plan with the company, and get out of the companies (since they obviously won’t take my idea of doing nothing with the companies).  I see no need for the government to start dictating how much these (now formerly) PRIVATE companies do.

So, I’m kinda disappointed in McCain, but I’m not really surprised.  This follows his stance on the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, in that he wants bailouts to help the people (at least he’s not doing it to help the company), but that government involvement is only going to hurt more people more in the long run.

Done Analyzing,

Ranting Republican
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Hillary Clinton Brags About How She’s the Candidate for “White Americans” … Oops!

May 12, 2008

In an interview with USAToday, Hillary Clinton had a little slip of the tongue, when she essentially said that she’s the “white folks” candidate.  In fact, after recent highly racist comments were made, this picture even surfaced:

OK, so obviously I’m joking.  What actually happend is Clinton misspoke, and the media has blown it somewhat out of proportion (the media, blowing things out of proportion to enhance ratings!  NEVER!).  During an interview with USAToday, Clinton said the following: “I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on. … There was just an AP article posted that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There’s a pattern emerging here.”

Wow, that was extremely poorly worded.  I mean, this was worse than the “guns and religion” quote from Obama.

But, John Edwards came to Clinton’s rescue.  When he was interviewed on CBS’s Face the Nation, he told Bob Schieffer, “I know how hard it is to get up and go out there every day, speak to the media, speak to crowds, when people are urging you to get out of the race.  I mean, it’s a very hard place to be in.  But she’s shown a lot of strength about that. … She’s in a very tough, very competitive race that’s been going on a long, long time.  And you know, she didn’t probably — I’m sure she feels like she didn’t choose her words very well there.”

David Axelrod, an Obama campaign strategist responded by saying, “The words weren’t well chosen, but the thesis was wrong” (for the life of me, I can’t figure out what he meant.  Did he mean to say “and the thesis was wrong”?  The “but” is really throwing me off, because that would imply that he somewhat agrees with her – anyway…).

Clinton has come back to defend her statement, saying, “These are the people you have to win if you’re a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election.  Everybody knows that.”  And that’s true.  Like it or not, that’s most of America.  This is something that the Democrats aren’t getting.  Not only do they need to reach white average Americans, they kinda need a white MALE candidate to win.  America won’t vote for a black man, and America won’t vote for a woman.  That’s just a fact of the current society.  I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it’s true.

So, if I were Clinton, I would keep bragging about being “dem white folks’ candidate,” because she won’t win without them (not that she’ll win at all).  I just don’t think Obama will reach out to enough of America, and  too much of America hates Clinton (and rightfully so).

So who wins?  John McCain!  And he will hardly have to campaign (hey, it gives me more free time too).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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John Edwards: “The math is very, very hard” for Hillary Clinton

May 11, 2008

This morning, John Edwards appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.  Here’s a transcript of the show:

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Barack Obama now leads in the number of delegates. He’s overtaken Hillary Clinton in the number of superdelegates, and now he has the largest percentage of the popular vote. So when we spoke with former Democratic candidate John Edwards late yesterday, we asked if he saw any way for Senator Clinton to get the nomination now.

Mr. JOHN EDWARDS (Former Democratic Presidential Candidate; Democrat, North Carolina): I think it’s very hard, Bob. I mean, I think, actually, as I’ve been watching her campaign the last few weeks, I think she’s become a stronger and stronger candidate. She’s been making a pretty compelling case for her candidacy. The problem is, I think you can no longer make a compelling case for the math. The math is very, very hard for her.

Well, of course she made a compelling case.  She pulled all the guns out.  She played every card she had, and it made Obama look terrible.  But she still didn’t have enough time to come back and win.  Take the analogy of a fighter plane and a ship.  She kept firing more at the ship as she tried to pull up, and although she may miss the boat and not kill it now (letting Obama be the nominee), she’ll still crash in the water, and all the damage she did to the boat (Obama) will sink it eventually (he’ll lose against McCain).

SCHIEFFER: Well, you ended your campaign because you said it was–it was simply not going to be possible for you to get the nomination, and you felt it was better to end the process sooner rather than later. I remember you said that you were–you didn’t–you did not think it was being helpful to the party. Are you ready to give her that advice?

Mr. EDWARDS: It’s a hard judgment to make, Bob. You know, in my case, I–basically, there were two things going on. One was I had concluded I could stay in the race, keep getting significant number of votes, keep accumulating delegates, but the overwhelming likelihood was I would not be the nominee. And I also believe that if I got out of the race, it would accelerate the process of one person pulling away. Well, I was obviously dead wrong about that. I think it’s a judgment that she has to make, and I think she’s in a very, very tough place.

Translation: Yes.  I helped the party, she should too.

SCHIEFFER: It does seem that she has taken this campaign–and there’s no way else to put it—no way else–other way to put it–than to kind of a different place, suggesting that she is the candidate of white people, hard-working white people, I think was the phrase she used. Here’s the sound bite that everybody’s talking about.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON: (From audiotape) There was just an AP article posted that found how Senator Obama’s support among working–hard-working Americans, white Americans is weakening again, and how the, you know, whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.

SCHIEFFER: Do you find it interesting, senator, that she did not make that argument before the North Carolina primary, where you had a large African-American vote, but now she seems to be making it? And isn’t she really arguing that white people won’t vote for Barack Obama?

Mr. EDWARDS: You know, I think what’s going on, Bob, is she’s in a very tough, very competitive race that’s been going on a long, long time and, you know, she didn’t probably–I’m sure she feels like she didn’t choose her words very well there. And I think the difficult place that she’s in, is she’s not just in a tough race now. And I have to tell you, I’m different than a lot of people. I actually admire some of the strength and fortitude that she’s shown. I know how hard it is to get up and go out there every day, speak to the media, speak to crowds, when people are urging you to get out of the race. I mean, it’s a very hard place to be in. But she’s shown a lot of strength about that. But I think the one thing that she has to be careful about–and she doesn’t need my advice, she knows this full well–is she has to be careful about, going forward, is that if she makes the case for herself, which she’s entitled–completely entitled to do, she has to be really careful that she’s not damaging our prospects–the Democratic Party and our cause–for the fall.

Everybody slips up and misspeaks.  But opponents will still use that against you, and the Democrats will use McCain’s slip-ups against him, so it’s not really an excuse.

SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think she has?

Mr. EDWARDS: Well, no more than there being a tough, competitive race that’s gone on a long time. What I think is, at the end of the day, when this is over–and I think it is likely, certainly at this point, that Senator Obama will be the nominee–that the Democrats will unite, we’ll all be behind our nominee and we’ll be out there campaigning our hearts out. And if Senator Clinton doesn’t get the nomination, I am absolutely certain that she and President Clinton will be out there campaigning for Senator Obama.

He didn’t answer the question.  Translation: Yes.  She screwed us over, and now we’ll lose.

SCHIEFFER: You sort of danced around the question when you were on some of the morning shows on Friday about whether or not you’re ready to endorse anybody. I’m not going to try to keep on with this. Are you going to endorse anybody at this point?

Mr. EDWARDS: I might. I don’t think it’s a big deal, to be honest with you. I think voters are the ones who are speaking in this process. My feeling all along, in addition to what we talked about earlier and me getting out earlier, I hoped would accelerate us having an earlier nominee. But my feeling is also that I think that my endorsement or anybody else’s endorsement has not particularly helped with the divide. And I think that actually endorsements sometimes make the divide worse. And what’s important here is not me or who I’m for or who I’d vote for or who I support. What’s important is that we get united as a party behind our nominee, that we’re successful in November. Because the people that I care the most about, you know, the lowincome families in this country, working families, people who are having a hard time, those men and women who are putting their lives on the line in Iraq, they’re the ones that matter in this, not some particular candidate or some strategic position that somebody’s taken.

Oh, Mr. Edwards, it’s a VERY big deal.  Whoever you endorse will get most of your delegates.  And if that’s Clinton, she’s back in this.

SCHIEFFER: You this week are launching a plan to cut poverty in half. That is your–is your goal within the next 10 years. Among the things you’re going to try to do is increase child care, you want to extend income tax credits, you want more unemployment insurance, you want to raise the minimum wage. Have you been able to get any of the candidates to sign on to this plan that you plan to launch this week?

Mr. EDWARDS: Yeah. Actually, as a matter of fact, I’ve been–that’s been one of the most encouraging things that’s happened. When I–at the time I got out of the race, I spoke to Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. I did not speak to Senator McCain at that point. But both of them committed to do a number of things to make poverty central to the campaign, both in the nomination and also in the general election; and also to make ending poverty in America central to their presidency. I’ve had a number of conversations with each of them since that time. They reinforced that position. I believe they believe it. By the way, I don’t know that they need to be pushed by me. Obviously, this is a central cause in my life. But the two of them care deeply about this, independent of me, and I think that they are committed to the cause. And as to John McCain, I actually spoke to Senator McCain on April the 4th, the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, and because Martin Luther–Martin Luther III asked me to speak to him about possibly having a Cabinet-level position to fight poverty in this country, and I got a very positive response. He didn’t commit to the Cabinet-level position, but he did commit to doing something about this cause. So I actually feel pretty encouraged about this.

Limit frivolous lawsuits – that’d cut down on poverty!  But that’d also put you out of a job.

SCHIEFFER: Well, it’s certainly a worthy goal. But how much would something like this, what you’re talking about, cost, senator?

Mr. EDWARDS: Well, some of the things don’t cost anything and some of them do have costs associated with them. I mean, raising the minimum wage, which is one of the things that we talked about doing both at the state and national level, does–certainly doesn’t have any direct costs. And in fact–in fact, in places where the minimum wage has been raised, I think most studies show that the economy has improved in those places. And I would add to that, Bob—and it depends on, in answer to your question specifically, is it depends on how much you expand the earned income tax credit, which is what you just spoke about.

SCHIEFFER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. EDWARDS: How much we expand the availability of child care. You know, there are gradations in how much of this we do. But I would say, and I think this is an important thing for the country, that if we care about middle-class families, working families in this country, and having sustainable, long-term economic growth, that when–in American history, when we have been lifting millions of Americans out of poverty and putting them in the middle class and broadening that middle class and strengthening the middle class, that’s when we–when we’ve been able to sustain long-term economic growth. And there’s absolutely no reason to believe that’s not true now. I think it is.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, senator, it’s nice to have you back on television again, back to–nice to have you on FACE THE NATION. Hope we’ll see you another time down the trail. Thank you.

Mr. EDWARDS: Thanks so much for having me.

SCHIEFFER: And we’ll be back in one minute with Senator Clinton’s campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe.

So, it was a pretty standard interview for John Edwards.  Subtly hinting that Clinton should quit, and not endorsing anybody.

I don’t think he ever will endorse anybody, at least not before we’re 99.99% sure who will win.  If he does endorse somebody, it could give them the win, and that would further divide the party and make people angry against Edwards in the future (2016 election!!!).

Done Reporting,

Ranting Republican
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