Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Perfect Palin Metaphor: She's a Post Turtle

Just got this email from a local Obama supporter. It pretty well sums it up.

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher who was injured while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle."
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain.

"You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with."

Have a great day and see you at the polls on November 4th.

Mickeleh's Take: Pass it on.

"We Have Some Results For You"

Mickeleh's Take: Brilliant. Daisy-girl, I think you're in second place now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Spin Surrogates: Biden kills, Palin is MIA

Presidential debates are the only sporting event where the post-game show counts for more than the game. It's the coverage that reminds people what they need to remember. Obama sent his V.P. Biden was on fire.

Sen. Joe Biden Surrogate and Spinmeister Extraordinaire.

In the debate last night McCain praised his V.P. "I'm happy to say that I've got a partner that's a good maverick along with me now." But said V.P. was not available for spin duty. (Maybe she was on Letterman last night.)
Gov. Sarah Palin. Nowhere to be seen last night.

Mickeleh's Take: It's not that Palin wasn't up to the job. It's just that those master showmen in the McCain camp are trying to build suspense for the Vice Presidential Debate next week.

The Debate: Pictures trump Words.

As the Fonz used to say, "I was wr-wr-wr-wr..." 

I was mildly disappointed by Sen. Obama's performance in the debate last night. Yes, Obama landed a few: mocking McCain for his "bomb Iran" ditty; unleashing a flurry of "You were wrong about..." jabs on Iraq; tying McCain to Bush.

But I was looking to him for more harder hits against Sen. McCain and fewer "John is absolutely right" interjections. I worried that McCain's theme line of "You just don't understand..." would resonate with the viewers. Whle I thought that Obama carried the early rounds, McCain came on stronger and stronger as the debate wore on.

In affect, it looked to me like the smart guy vs. the strong guy. And I feared the public would opt for the strong guy.

But then I saw this tweet fly by on Twitter's mesmerizing new election site
knowalott ... he didn't look obama in the eye. not once. he wouldn't look him in the eye, and as a southern boy, I can't accept that.
Hmm... I remembered what my college chum, Jeffrey Bell, once told me about the Nixon-Kennedy debates. Jeff had been attending school in Switzerland. In 1960 their only access to the debates was by radio. He said everyone at his school was sure that Nixon had won. They were astonished to read in the news that for TV viewers, Kennedy had won. Pictures trumped words.

Debate Clip circulated by Democrats

What did last night's pictures show?

At one podium: an old man, showing contempt and disrespect by not deigning to look at his rival. An old man whose troweled-on pasty-white makeup and botox combined to make him less lifelike than a Disneyland audioanimatronic robot. An old man whose fixed smile conveyed intense disdain. An old man who responded to his opponent with a dismissive chuckle. Chris Matthews boiled it down to "troll-like" and "grouchy."

At the other podium: a young man, poised, informed, centered, calm, courteous, and focused.

Early polling and focus groups say Obama won.
CBS/Knowledge Networks polled 500 uncommitted voters. 39% Obama, 24% McCain, 37% tie.
CNN/Opinion Research Corp polled 524 adult Americans who watched the debate: 51% Obama, 38% McCain.
Focus groups conducted by Frank Luntz (Republican) and Stan Greenberg (Democrat) also gave the nod to Obama.

Mickeleh's Take: Gore lost his first debate when the only things people could remember were his eye-rolling and the heavy sighs. This year, the lasting impression will be McCain's contempuous affect. Wanna bet that tonight's SNL sketch cements the McCain affect as in our memories.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Groucho on Palin

Watching Part II of the Palin Couric interview, one of Groucho's lines from "Duck Soup" popped into my head:
"Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you, he really is an idiot."
Mickeleh's Take: Quick John, do another one of your batshit crazy stunts and maybe people will stop talking about your idiot trophy running mate for a sec. I know, go to Washington and scuttle the bailout. And, um, tell everyone you're just too righteous to debate while you're at it.
In case you missed it, here's Pt II of Palin-Couric

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Olbermann: Never Lie to Letterman

Joe Scarborough, this morning, in one of those moments that have habituated me to watch his show barefoot, lest I destroy my TV by hurling a shoe through the screen, excoriated Letterman for daring to spice up his McCain rant by including a feed from the Katie Couric interview with John McCain. Neither Joe nor anyone on his panel (not even Mika) bothered to mention what had set Dave off and motivated him to show the feed: Sen. McCain and his campaign had not only canceled at the last minute, but had also blatantly lied to Letterman. He wasn't rushing off to the airport at all. But heading to another CBS studio for an interview with Couric.

In case you haven't seen it yet, I've included a clip from last night's Letterman show in a previous post.

Tonight, Keith Olbermann set the record straight. (He was not only a witness, but a participant, having jumped in as a last minute replacement for the mendacious senator.)

Letterman would probably have been a tougher interviewer than Katie. Except that McCain chose to duck Letterman, perhaps as a warm-up for ducking tomorrow's debate. If McCain does chicken out of facing Obama, I trust he'll be clobbered for it at least as hard as the clobbering Letterman gave him last night.

The moral Keith drew: Never lie to David Letterman.

Mickeleh's Take: Never wake up to Joe Scarborough.

McCain's Willful Suspension of Credibility

The great talent of the McCain campaign is throwing stunts to dominate the news cycle whenever Obama is gaining momentum. They write the songs that make the whole world sing. But stunt-based hits chart only briefly. And with each shot the public and press build resistance.

Where the Palin bubble lasted more than two weeks, yesterday's dramatic announcement that Sen. McCain would suspend his campaign drew raucus skepticism within minutes. Suddenly the McCain campaign wanted to suspend the first presidential debate... and possibly reschedule it by canceling the vice presidential debate. How convenient.

McCain's stunt succeeded in overshadowing news coverage of a devastating critique of his foreign policy by Sen. Biden. Watch this and you'll understand why McCain has every reason to duck an open debate on foreign policy and national security.

The day did not end well for John McCain. While the public may be used to McCain's lying, David Letterman was mighty pissed when McCain lied to him personally. Letterman has a big megaphone for expressing his annoyance.

For a more complete and coherent rundown of McCain's day, see Arutisha.

Mickeleh's Take: By his series of reckless stunts, McCain may gain ink and airtime, but he is also demonstrating how willing he is to ditch his credibility as a reliable leader in times of crises. By asking for an extension on the first debate he is turning tail rather than showing us a profile in courage.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Casting Idea for Gov. Palin.

How about if we just put Gov. Sarah Palin into a road company of "Annie Get Your Gun" and be done with her? Also starring Todd (First Dude) Palin as Frank Butler, Sen. John McCain as Buffalo Bill.

Mickeleh's Take: In a minor rewrite, we could give one of Frank Butler's songs to special guest star Levi Johnson: "The Girl that I Marry."

Banners for President Palin

Help yourself. Take one. Collect 'em all. Please use liberally.

More banners...

Monday, September 15, 2008

THIS is the Change We Need: Toughest Obama Commercial Yet.

Slated to run on national cable and in battleground states. Also slated for a lot of free showings on cable news shows, followed by talking heads. Can't wait for Keith and Rachel to weigh in on this one.

Mickeleh's Take: I thought the last two were on the right track. This one pulls into the station and unloads a can of whup ass. McCain earned this one. As for the rest of us: let's get out there and canvass. Do you know how your neighbors are voting?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Obama Ads: Back on Track

One of the most pernicious fallacies perpetuated by media coverage and polling is that a presidential campaign is a form of job interview. Do the candidates care about people like me? What have they done? What do they know? Are they strong, resolute, compassionate?

All that's important, but it leaves out something more important: We're not hiring an individual. We're installing a team, a party, a governing philosophy. The outcome of an election is most important to people who want jobs or contracts with the government. It's all those department heads that actually do the governing and regulating. It's the corporations they contract with and write laws to favor that actually do the screwing us over.

Yes, the president makes the call on the big issues—but usually picking from a range of staff-prepared options.

That's why I love the approach of these two recent Obama ads that talk about McCain's staffing choices.

His Administration

It's Over

Mickeleh's Take: Talking about lobbyists too hip for the room? I hope not. Because this is the real issue. McCain-Palin would like us to believe that we can throw the bums out by electing them. Who are they kidding. They are the bums. And this year they have nothing to peddle but lies, distortions, attacks, and smears. I've had enough.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Helping McCain Use a Computer

Yesterday, Obama released an ad that reminded us that McCain still doesn't use a computer and can't send email.

Magically, as though their strings are all pulled by the same puppet master, the usual suspects in the right wing blogosphere lit up in outrage. Their claim: McCain can't use a computer because of war injuries. (Did you know, by the way, that he was a POW? Never talks about it, so you might have missed the news.)

Here's some news that John McCain and the right wing attack dogs may have missed: Computers have had adaptive devices and software since before John McCain was first elected to the Senate. Computers are accessible to folks with disabilities far more limiting than McCain's.

Voice recognition and dictation software is now rated at 99% accuracy. (Which is better than my typing skills.)

Two solutions worth looking into are Dragon Naturally Speaking and IBM ViaVoice

John, I know you can't read this yourself, given your current skillset, but maybe someone will notice it and pass the word along. Welcome to the computer age. Seriously.

Mickeleh's Take: McCain supporters, if you have any positive energies at all, please channel some toward helping your audience learn about accessibility options for people with disabilities.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

John McCain Taking Campaign Cues from Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan?

Enduring images in my memory: Pat Nixon standing silently, gazing adoringly at Dick when campaigned; Nancy Reagan doing the same for Ronnie.

Based on the news clips, it looks John McCain has been going to school on Pat and Nancy. He's learning to beam his admiration at Sarah Palin, who takes on the traditional Republican campaign task of lying through her teeth.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Joe Biden: "The Silence of the Republicans"

Here's what Joe Biden heard at the Republican convention. And what he didn't hear.

Mickeleh's Take: Please sir, I want more.