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Posts Tagged ‘barack obama

All Square

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Rasmussen is reporting, for the second straight day, that the race for the White House is all square at 43% for both Obama and McCain. It’s refreshing to see that neither has a majority, and Obama’s Nixonian move to the center is not only confusing the GOP partisans, but his base as well.

Rasmussen adds: “Just 15% of voters say the nation is heading in the right direction while 79% say it has gotten off on the wrong track.”

Hat tip: Instapundit

Image: justinep via Flickr

UPDATE @ 9:30a: Ann Althouse asks the question: “Were the swooning Obama supporters of yore really in love with him, or were they in love with the idea of themselves in love with loving him?” How quickly the dem partisans turn their crush undying love affair with Barry into a bi-polar, drama-filled middle school-style relationship.


Written by walonline

July 13, 2008 at 9:10 am

Collectivist Presidential Candidates

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The Volokh Conspiracy has a very interesting post on how both parties’ presidential front runners are both collectivist and the meaning behind the collectivist idea should concern us. They quote the Cato Institutes’s David Boaz, who (as summarized by Volokh writer Jonathan Adler):

notes, both candidates discourage the individual pursuit of happiness, particularly if it has anything to do with money. They disparage success in business or economic pursuits, implicitly denigrating those who have done the most to ensure this nation’s prosperity and wealth.

Boaz goes on to say,

They’re wrong. Every human life counts. Your life counts. You have a right to live it as you choose, to follow your bliss. You have a right to seek satisfaction in accomplishment. And if you chase after the almighty dollar, you just might find that you are led, as if by an invisible hand, to do things that improve the lives of others.

Boaz is spot-on. One of the many, many things that is great about this country is that we are able to work for our own (and our families) betterment. The Declaration of Independence was written initially borrowing the concept from John Locke saying “life, liberty, and estate (or property).” Jefferson’s change to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” opened up a set of important human rights to not just property, but other rights such as those included in the Bill of Rights (free speech, etc.). These candidates believe that working personal gain is something that should be frowned upon. The founders would have frowned upon this.

Obama and McCain are two-faced on this front. They themselves are seeking personal gain, as the vast majority of politicians do, by seeking a higher office and more power. The founders were the same way. Politics was a second career for aristocrats, who had enough wealth in their estates to sustain them as they sought power and prestige elsewhere. This makes the collectivist rhetoric used by the candidates needless.

Being a recent college graduate, I am not the least impressed by these comments. Once I get established in my career, I can become more heavily involved in local charities where the community, career and employer will all benefit from my work.

But it will be my choice which charities I serve, not some communal government.

UPDATE May 29 @ 12:25p: Megan McArdle links to Boaz as well, but adds another perspective on Obama’s collectivism. Is he the most hypocritical of the two candidates on the collectivism front? I’d have to see the data as well, but it would make sense.

Written by walonline

May 29, 2008 at 8:24 am

Barry to Nominate Hill for SCOTUS?

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The Washington Post, among other news agencies, believes that Obama giving Clinton a nomination to the Supreme Court would go a long way to unify the party, and allow a better VP choice.

This choice is simply asinine. It would go a long way to show moderates how liberals enjoy having politically active justices on the bench. Granted, Clinton is a lawyer by trade, but having her as Attorney General would be a much less overt way of bringing liberal politics to the bench.

This would do nothing more than play strongly into Republican hands for 2012 with the Democrat President turning the Supreme Court into a political institution as opposed to one that checks the political institutions on the legislative and executive branches.

Matthew Franck, writing at the National Review, via Andrew Sullivan, agrees:

Promising the Democratic Party that he would appoint Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court would put Barack Obama on record as committed to the proposition that the Court is just another political institution like any other. Its vacancies would be viewed as political chips, to be wagered in a presidential campaign without regard to legal or constitutional categories of thought.

We’ll just have to add this to the many different offices Obama could give Hillary and the strategery still to be played out.

Written by walonline

May 22, 2008 at 9:40 am

Or, Is Hill Sabotaging Barry?

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Earlier today, I posted regarding a clip of Obama’s post-primary speech last night. This afternoon, James Pethokoukis posts an analysis from Merrill Lynch’s David Rosenberg, who believes that Clinton may be trying to sabotage Obama ala the 1976 Ford/Reagan primary. Here’s the quote:

[The battle between Clinton and Obama] is highly reminiscent of the intense battle between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan back in 1976 that also went all the way to the convention (Ford ended garnering barely more than 52% of the delegates)—and what happened when all was said and done was a Jimmy Carter victory as the GOP was still in healing mode during the presidential campaign (maybe this is why Hillary wants to take this to the finale—Reagan took the White House in resounding fashion in the next election in 1980).

Of course, we’ll all be hanging around to see what happens. One thing is for sure, it will certainly be entertaining.

Written by walonline

May 21, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Did Barry Offer Veep to Hill?

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John Podhoretz believes that to be the case. He points out the following from Obama’s speech last night:

One of the most formidable candidates ever to run for this office….In her 35 years of public service, Hillary Rodham Clinton has never given up on her fight for the American people…We’ve had our disagreements, but we all admire her courage and her commitment and her perseverence…Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and has changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age and for that we are grateful to her.

Podhoretz thinks Obama used this in a coded fashion to Hillary and supporters of either candidate. Depending on the context, it could also show his weariness at how long this primary has been extended.

If Obama and Clinton ran together on a ticket, I’d give John McCain about a 2% chance of winning the general.

(hat tip: Instapundit)

Written by walonline

May 21, 2008 at 8:25 am

2006 Mid-Term Was For Change, Too

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As many of us may recall, the Democrats won control of both Legislative bodies in the Federal government in the 2006 mid-term elections. They ran on the promise for change. The Republicans did not have much of a leg to stand on, having completely abandoned the fiscal conservative wing of the GOP coalition. In addition, the country’s war weariness was beginning to show. Blog Protein Wisdom has a look at a number of the “changes” that are being pushed through by the Democrat majority:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is about to ram through a war spending bill that will (ultimately) not include troop withdrawal conditions.


The House has opened debate on housing legislation, as a similar Senate proposal is larded with billions of dollars in tax breaks for automakers, airlines, alternative energy producers and other struggling industries, as well as home builders. The Joint Tax Committee estimates there is $25 billion worth of such tax breaks in the next few years, but just $3 billion to homeowners.


A House-Senate conference committee is producing a farm bill that largely preserves tens of billions in direct payments to giant corporate farms, even as food prices soar, the farm economy thrives and Washington faces large budget deficits.

With all this responsible governing, how can we expect Barrack Obama, the candidate running on the same cliche platform of change, to actually be any different from the rest of his fellow legislators? He’ll sure face a large headwind.

Also, its the Republicans that are letting the Democrats get away with this. They’ve become spineless politicians as well. In Britain, they call it the “loyal opposition.” David Cameron and his Conservative Party just pulled off a huge win in local elections last week, which is putting more than a little pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Some would say its been a long time coming.

UPDATE @ noon: I’m moving on a bit of a tangent here, but Megan McArdle has a great point on Gordon Brown, saying, “What made Gordon Brown a great Chancellor of the Exchequer is exactly what makes him an awful PM; the man has the charisma of ground carp.” Good catch. I’ve noticed this idea echoed on the daily BBC podcast I listen to (link at right).

Written by walonline

May 9, 2008 at 11:36 am

Pick Obama Because He’s Taller?

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As opposed to normal popular vote and fundraising numbers–or even how well organized a candidate is–Ann Althouse suggests that Democrat superdelegates should consider all aspects:

Let them consider who is taller if tallness helps the party with the election. And it does, doesn’t it? Picture a debate with McCain and Obama. Literally, picture it, the 2 men standing side by side. Obama’s height will affect voters’ minds whether you like it or not.

This suggestion of small “nudges” is right in line with a book on libertarian paternalism recently reviewed in the Chronicle of Higher Eduction (which I have added to my wishlist). The book, titled Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, looks at the relatively insignificant details that actually can have very significant effects on human behavior. Two examples given in the review are shorter white lines on highways that cause people to slow down, and flies painted on the inside of urinals that give men something to aim at, reducing spillage.

In the same way, simple changes in stature and wear of candidates can change perceptions. This would reflect Obama’s height compared to the relatively short Senator McCain when the election transitions to the general in the next two months.

This looks to be a very interesting topic. Readers, are there any other examples you can think of?

Written by walonline

May 7, 2008 at 10:21 am