Archive for the ‘Debate’ Category

>Early Voting…Tonight’s Debate

October 15, 2008

>Early voting has been going on in several swing states. Why don’t we have this in Alabama? It would allow voting by people who may be unable to vote on November 4.

Absentee and Early Voting

Early voting differs from absentee voting in that voters may visit an election official’s office or, in some states, other satellite voting locations, and cast a vote in person without offering an excuse for not being able to vote on election day.

Early voting generally is conducted on the same voting equipment used in the regular election, as opposed to absentee voting, which is conducted on mail-in paper ballots. The time period for early voting varies from state to state, but most often it is available during a period of 10-14 days before the election, generally ending on the Friday or Saturday immediately preceding the election.

For information on voting absentee in Alabama click AlabamaVotes.gov

Early voting is taking place in several swing states, and of course, early voters are polled just like regular voters. Here are some results, from fivethirtyeight and early voter poll results are listed alongside likely voter poll results:

In New Mexico Early voters Obama + 23% Likely voters Obama +6%

In Ohio Early voters Obama +18% Likely voters Obama +4%

In Georgia Early voters Obama +6% Likely voters McCain + 11%

In Iowa Early voters Obama +34% Likely voters Obama +10%

In North Carolina Early voters Obama +34% Likely voters McCain +5%.

This averages to 23% advantage for Obama.

Interesting observations:

In 2000 and 2004, early voters leaned toward the Republican. Bush had 62% of early voters in 2000 against Gore, and 60% against Kerry in 2004.

In past elections, early voters tended to be older, and more male than female. CW should allow that this favors Republicans, so one would expect McCain to do better among early voters.

Early voters seem to be staunch supporters, so this should not be taken as an indicator of how undecided voters will cast their ballots.

What can be learned is that Obama’s base, his staunch supporters, are turning out. Barring unforeseen events, they should also turn out on election day.

Picture credit CNN Getty Images

The final presidential debate is tonight, from Hofstra University in New York. The candidates will be sitting awful close to each other. Obama better watch out, because McCain has vowed to “whip his you know what.” I’d love to see them get into a scrap. Tune in.

>A Shout Out to Bigots?

October 8, 2008

>The Democrats are up 3-0 in the debate series. Here are the numbers, using a couple of the same polls I used after the first presidential and vice-presidential debates. Fox polls and Drudge polls don’t count, so don’t ask.

CNN Obama 54 McCain 30

CBS Obama 40 Tie 34 McCain 26

Racism?

And that sheriff in Lee County, Florida who used Obama’s middle name yesterday while introducing Sarah Palin may have been in violation of federal law. Story

A complaint sent to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel alleges that Scott violated the Hatch Act because his agency receives federal dollars, and Scott was engaging in political activity while on duty and in uniform. Erica S. Hamrick, senior attorney for the agency, said in an e-mail Tuesday that an investigation was being opened. Neither she nor her office could be reached for further comment Tuesday. …

Some also are questioning whether Scott violated the county code of ethics. The statute says no county government employees are allowed to wear any uniform or clothing that would identify them as such while engaging in a political campaign not sponsored by the county, even if they are off-duty.

Some believe the comment could have had “racial connotations”:

James Muwakkil, founder of the 300-member Fort Myers Coalition for Justice and a life member of the NAACP and ACLU, called for a formal apology. He said that while he supports the sheriff’s right to speak his mind, he criticized him for doing so while in uniform. He felt it was an affront to all county residents who may not share the sheriff’s views. He also felt there were racial connotations.

The entire McCain campaign is teetering toward racism. I know that one racist supporter does not mean the whole campaign is, but in Clearwater yesterday, this happened.

At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”
Story

It’s not a big jump to think of John McCain’s referral to Barack Obama as a disdainful “That one” last night as a shout out to bigots.

Depersonalizing African Americans has long been a tactic of white bigots, and the use of terms such as “boy” or “that one” is easily recognizable.

Recall that John McCain voted against the law that created the national Martin Luther King Holiday in 1983, and in 1987 supported the Arizona Governor’s effort to rescind the Holiday in his state. In speaking to the Arizona Teenage Republican Convention that year about the Governor’s decision “McCain said that he felt (governor) Mecham was correct in rescinding the holiday.” [Washington Post, 1/14/1987; Phoenix Gazette, 4/13/1987].

So it’s no surprise that someone his age could still hold feelings of animosity even if, like George Wallace, he has had a change of heart in his later years. It’s becoming obvious.

>Extra Credit!!!

October 3, 2008

>Sarah Palin’s shout out to the third graders and her promise of extra credit for them if they were watching should get her a lot of votes.

But regarding an actual issue, when speaking of gay relationships, Sarah Palin said, “I am tolerant.”

That is supposed to make us feel better.

But was tolerance enough in 1947 when white bus drivers in North Carolina tolerated black riders as long as they sat at the back of the bus?

No, because tolerance ended when Bayard Rustin and other Reconciliation activists upset things by having blacks sit up front and whites sit in the back.

And when tolerance ended, over a two week period twelve riders had been charged with disorderly conduct or other “crimes”, and resulted in Rustin and others being sentenced to the North Carolina chain gang.

Silver lining: Rustin was released after serving 22 days on good behavior. He travelled to Chapel Hill and spoke at the University of North Carolina and got the ball rolling. Within two years North Carolina had abolished chain gangs. Bayard Rustin had proven that nonviolence could topple a violent system.

Anyway, back to the debate.

Palin: “But I also want to clarify, if there’s any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant… But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.”

Anybody that believes this stand on your head (a favorite expression of my mother). And let’s see how long until the fundies skewer her over this remark.

Joe Biden, on the other hand recognized constitutional protections that gays should have:

“Absolutely. . . . Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple…The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution we should be granted – same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That’s only fair. It’s what the Constitution calls for. And so we do support it.”

Poll results:

CBS: Biden won 46% Palin won 21%

CNN Biden 51% Palin 36%

A reader had these concerns about the debate and about Governor Palin.

1. Why was Sarah Palin’s microphone on before and after the debate so that we could her her comments to Joe Biden and to the moderator but Joe Biden’s microphone was not on?

2. When is someone going to make an issue of Todd Palin’s job with BP?

3. When is someone going to make an issue of her lack of political science, law, or government education? (Like lacking the ability to name a supreme court case?)

4. During the debate she referred to Joe Biden as Joe while he addressed her as Governor Palin. (He said that would be OK).

5. If he would of been as aggressive as she was…he would have been attacked for attacking, being rude to a woman. (The bar was set so low for her that it didn’t matter what she did. Biden, however was held to different standards, and surpassed expectations, according to polls.)

6. At the beginning of the debate there was a shot from the back of the stage that clearly showed her flipping through notes on her podium. (Needs no explanation. I used to cram right before big tests, too, when I didn’t have a thorough understanding of the material.)

After considering the debate I don’t think it will make a difference one way or the other for either candidate. The race is between Obama and McCain, and while Obama’s policies were clearly put forth by Biden, and nothing but generalizations and folksy talk (“Yer darn right”) from Palin, voters feel that Obama can handle the economy, as McCain drops out of the race in Michigan. Maybe I should say, “suspends his campaign.”

>A Smackdown

September 27, 2008

>Well Obama won the debate but I’m probably not the best person to ask because I happen to agree with him on all the issues.

So lets see what others are saying. Independent polls are probably a good place to start. These are not fake polls like Fox’s “text in” polls.

CBS: Obama won 39%, McCain won 25%, Draw 36%

Insider Advantage: Obama won 42%, McCain won 41%, Undecided: 17%

CNN: Obama “did better” 51%, McCain “did better” 38%

All the pundits said that since McCain was having such a bad week and since foreign policy was supposed to be his strong suit, then he needed to win to regain some momentum. they said a tie was as good as a win for Obama.

So all of these really are good poll results for Obama.

CBS gave some more information:

Nearly half of those uncommitted voters who watched the debate said that their image of Obama changed for the better as a result. Just eight percent say their opinion of Obama got worse, and 46 percent reported no change in their opinions. McCain saw less improvement in his image.

Thirty-two percent have improved their image of McCain as a result of the debate, but 21 percent said their views of him are now worse than before.

Why did voters’ image of Obama improve? Many volunteered that they were impressed by his poise and knowledge about the issues, that he was more knowledgeable about the issues than they thought previously. When it came to McCain, those same voters said he “didn’t control himself well under pressure,” that he was “angry and bad-tempered,” and that he “talked too much about the past.”

Obama smacked McCain on Iraq:

And so John likes — John, you like to pretend like the war started in 2007. You talk about the surge. The war started in 2003, and at the time when the war started, you said it was going to be quick and easy. You said we knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. You were wrong.
You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong
. You said that there was no history of violence between Shia and Sunni. And you were wrong. And so my question is of judgment, of whether or not — of whether or not — if the question is who is best-equipped as the next president to make good decisions about how we use our military, how we make sure that we are prepared and ready for the next conflict, then I think we can take a look at our judgment.

A total smackdown on the curmudgeon.

And Spain.

He even said the other day that he would not meet potentially with the prime minister of Spain, because he — you know, he wasn’t sure whether they were aligned with us,” Obama said. “I mean, Spain? Spain is a NATO ally. If we can’t meet with our friends, I don’t know how we’re going to lead the world in terms of dealing with critical issues like terrorism.”

And McCain, it’s Ahmadinejad (in Iran) and Zardari not “Qadari” (in Pakistan).

And why would you say Pakistan was a failed state in 1999? It was a democracy, with a few problems, but no where near the failed state we might experience if the McCain/Palin ticket wins.

And why were you afraid to look at Obama? Could you not look another leader in the eye? Or was it because it’s hard to look someone in the eye when you know they are right and you are wrong?

You are no foreign policy expert John. Your judgement is flawed John. You lied about supporting veterans John.

You would not be a good president, John.

The Dems Debate

June 4, 2007

After watching the Democratic Presidential debate last night I still don’t have a favorite. John Edwards was by far the most effective participant, and I think he helped himself more than any other. Bill Richardson looked much stronger than in the first debate. Joe Biden also presented better this time. The front runners, Barack and Hillary, did nothing to help themselves or hurt themselves.

Oh, and Al Gore, (had he been there) gave the best answers to every question (I can dream, can’t I) and surely is leading the pack now. One could only hope.

At least we got to hear about some other subjects, and not just the war. The second half where audience members asked questions forced the candidates to answer with less scripted responses. At least the democrats are thinking about Darfur and energy and China’s influence over the Sudan and such.

Wolf Blitzer said the next democrat debate would involve google and You Tube. ???

This is one of those busy, busy days: school has started again.

>The Dems Debate

June 4, 2007

>After watching the Democratic Presidential debate last night I still don’t have a favorite. John Edwards was by far the most effective participant, and I think he helped himself more than any other. Bill Richardson looked much stronger than in the first debate. Joe Biden also presented better this time. The front runners, Barack and Hillary, did nothing to help themselves or hurt themselves.

Oh, and Al Gore, (had he been there) gave the best answers to every question (I can dream, can’t I) and surely is leading the pack now. One could only hope.

At least we got to hear about some other subjects, and not just the war. The second half where audience members asked questions forced the candidates to answer with less scripted responses. At least the democrats are thinking about Darfur and energy and China’s influence over the Sudan and such.

Wolf Blitzer said the next democrat debate would involve google and You Tube. ???

This is one of those busy, busy days: school has started again.

Dems Debate and in Birmingham, SHOUT

April 27, 2007

Hillary Clinton couldn’t have had a better night last night. While all of the candidate’s answers were fairly predictable, Senator Clinton seemed most at ease and best prepared. And she looked presidential.

My favorite hopeful Bill Richardson was most disappointing. He stumbled on the question about Alberto Gonzoles and had a puzzled look on his face during many of the camera shots that came his way. Too bad, but I will put money on him having a high level position in the next administration.

Barack Obama had a good night also, but seemed like he was trying to get past something invisible. I guess he is, but with John Edwards not demonstrating much assertiveness Obama assured himself of remaining the greatest challenge to Clinton.

Who thinks Clinton and Obama will both be on the ticket in 2008?

When Dennis Kucinich pulled his “pocket constitution” out of his coat, I couldn’t help think that all representatives (and former representatives like Tom DeLay) should carry one. And look at it every day.

Don’t forget Shout!!!!

Here is the site to read about the various films and see the schedule and purchase tickets. See you there. http://www.bhamshout.com/
Be sure to see “Bulldigger” tonight, the premier of the doculmentary about Patrica Todd and her election to the Alabama legislature. And on Friday, “Semper Fi” the world premier about the life of Jeff Key. In the archives to the left see my post about Jeff Key.

I was concerned that the rain would destroy the roses and the newly blooming peonies, but the survived. It was the 6 inch high sunflowers that suffered the most, but some sturdy stakes will help them to recover.


Peonies

>Dems Debate and in Birmingham, SHOUT

April 27, 2007

>

Hillary Clinton couldn’t have had a better night last night. While all of the candidate’s answers were fairly predictable, Senator Clinton seemed most at ease and best prepared. And she looked presidential.

My favorite hopeful Bill Richardson was most disappointing. He stumbled on the question about Alberto Gonzoles and had a puzzled look on his face during many of the camera shots that came his way. Too bad, but I will put money on him having a high level position in the next administration.

Barack Obama had a good night also, but seemed like he was trying to get past something invisible. I guess he is, but with John Edwards not demonstrating much assertiveness Obama assured himself of remaining the greatest challenge to Clinton.

Who thinks Clinton and Obama will both be on the ticket in 2008?

When Dennis Kucinich pulled his “pocket constitution” out of his coat, I couldn’t help think that all representatives (and former representatives like Tom DeLay) should carry one. And look at it every day.

Don’t forget Shout!!!!

Here is the site to read about the various films and see the schedule and purchase tickets. See you there. http://www.bhamshout.com/
Be sure to see “Bulldigger” tonight, the premier of the doculmentary about Patrica Todd and her election to the Alabama legislature. And on Friday, “Semper Fi” the world premier about the life of Jeff Key. In the archives to the left see my post about Jeff Key.

I was concerned that the rain would destroy the roses and the newly blooming peonies, but the survived. It was the 6 inch high sunflowers that suffered the most, but some sturdy stakes will help them to recover.


Peonies