Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Takes Presidential Debates Hostage

mccain bush hug twn In an unprecedented move, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona, Presidential hopeful) has suspended his campaign and withdrawn from the first scheduled presidential debate citing a need to return to Washington D.C. and work on the "historic" financial crisis (cut him some slack for forgetting about 1929's Great Depression; he wasn't even born until 1936).

A cynic might wonder, "After a 29-year career as a U.S. Senator, why is McCain suddenly getting to work on the economy?" My inside source (i.e. my brain) tells me McCain's decision is based on three major premises.

  1. He will "lose" every debate. The September 26th debate scheduled to take place at the University of Mississippi is supposed to focus on National Security, a topic that the media consistently claims is McCain's strength [Ed. Note: I was a child for ten or twelve (okay, 29) years, but I am not an expert on children.]. However, with the Dow behaving like a Six-Flag's Thrill Ride, the debate would have to include talk about the economy, the topic that polls now show matters most to the electorate. Coincidentally, Obama is hammering McCain on the economy, with a new Washington Post-ABC News national poll suggesting that among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. (Now, remember: A "likely voter" is someone with an actual voting record; thus, all polls of "likely voters" do not count the hoards of new voters that Obama has drawn into the process.)  Knowing that his moment of "strength" will become an hour of liability, McCain is extending the Palin-Cone-of-Silence to his own person, and he's using the debate as leverage to rush through a governmental economic bailout that most Americans do not support.
  2. He is trying to project an image of someone who can help the economy. McCain has made more gaffes and mistaken comments about the economy than he has about Sunnis and Shias and Czechoslovakia and the Iraq-Afghanistan-border-that-most-everyone-else-calls-Iran combined. As per the Washington Post-ABC poll, McCain knows the American people think he's economically inept [Ed. Note: He did marry well, which should count for something. However, as is well-known, Cindy McCain’s assets are kept separate from her husband’s as per a prenuptial agreement. In my most despondent moments, I find glee in a potential campaign ad that might say something like, "McCain's wife won't trust him with her money. Why should you?"]. By presumably putting pressure on Congress to act—although, honestly, with Obama up in national polls across the board and the writing on the wall about who will win a debate between them, the Republicans know a debate will put the nail in the coffin and the Democrats know that Americans will see through McCain's political theater, so who really feels any pressure?—McCain thinks he can recast himself as an economic problem solver. To me, he seems like a political terrorist who is taking the process hostage. As Americans, we have a right to see the candidates debate, and as a sometimes-intelligent human, I want to know that a president can juggle two things at once, especially if one of those things is only standing up and talking about his or her ideas.
  3. He is trying to save money. Part of McCain's "suspension" involves pulling his advertising. Consider this: Obama out-fundraises McCain. By huge margins.  In fact, if Obama wanted to run an ad in every major market every 10 minutes from now until the election, he could probably afford it, and if he couldn't afford it right now he could probably get people to kick in enough money to do it. But he isn't doing that. So, with this fundraising, one has to expect that the week before the election will be an Obama-thon in every contested market, and McCain just doesn't have those resources. According to, as of August 21, 2008, Obama had $77,404,118 cash on hand, while McCain had only $36,370,792. I'm no math guy, but Obama had over double the amount of money then, and he continues to raise money like he has a license to print it. When a few days remain and Obama wants to spread his message (or drown McCain's), he'll have the resources to do it.

Ultimately, the voters will decide what to make of McCain's emergency suspension to deal with this crisis. However, with McCain-Palin's recent track record with the media, I'm pretty sure I have a sense of how this move will play. Swan song, anyone?

[Update: Now, the McCain camp suggests that the Biden-Palin debate be postponed to accomodate McCain's cut-n-run. So, point #4 might be that Palin is having trouble learning the playbook.]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

File Under: Irony (or, likely, racism or sexism)

05_rothschild_lg Today, DNC Platform Committee Person and former Hillraiser Lynn Forester de Rothschild declared that she plans to support Senator John McCain for president in the 2008 general election.


“This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don't like him,” she said of Obama in an interview with CNN’s Joe Johns. “I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”

Forester is the CEO of EL Rothschild, a holding company with businesses around the world. She is married to international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Forester is a member of the DNC’s Democrats Abroad chapter and splits her time living in London and New York.

Who better to have her finger on the pulse of the masses, on Mr. and Ms. American Middle-class Strap-hanger, than a woman who is a CEO of a multinational corporation, who is wife to an entitled international banker from the Rothschild family, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

Rotschilds_arms Oddly, when one searches Google for the "Rothschild Coat of Arms," an image of the actual coat of arms is displayed.  Somehow in all its plenitude, Google has no listing for an Obama coat of arms.

Truly, if anyone has a right to reject elitism is Lady Forester de Rothschild, related by marriage an international banking dynasty dating back to the 18th century and ennobled by Austrian and British governments.

Not that I condone the use of wikipedia, but the reverent entry on Sir Evelyn de Rothschild should help convince the masses that the Rothschilds feel their pain:

Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild (born August 29, 1931) is a British financier and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of England.

The son of Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961) and Yvonne Cahen d'Anvers (1899-1977), he was named after his uncle Evelyn Achille de Rothschild who was killed in action in World War I. Evelyn de Rothschild spent several of his boyhood years in the United States during World War II. He studied economics at Cambridge University but, with no desire to go into the family's banking business, he dropped out before obtaining his degree.

Born into great wealth, Evelyn de Rothschild became one of England's most eligible bachelors, spending his youth travelling, socialising, driving exotic sports cars, enjoying thoroughbred horse racing and playing polo. It was not until age twenty-six that he decided to join N M Rothschild & Sons banking house to be trained in the family's business. In 1961 his father retired as head of the bank and cousin Victor Rothschild took over as Chairman.

Now that's a story that unemployed auto workers can relate to....