Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"The Bailout" flops - who's to blame?

This morning - the day after The Big Drop - accusations are flying between my colleagues about who is to blame over the failure of President Bush's (or was it Pelosi's?) bailout plan to pass Congress.

Some - staunch Republicans - blame Pelosi, for angering 12 Republicans (if not more) with her comments railing on the Bush Administration, and its failed policies, as the cause of this mess. As a result of those comments, the logic goes, the measure failed.

Others blame Pelosi, but not for those comments. They blame her for promising to deliver the votes to pass, but failing miserably, even though she (as Speaker and de facto leader of the Democrats) had the power to do so.

Still others wonder why the Republicans - 2/3 of whom voted against the bill - couldn't rally enough support amongst themselves to get the last 25 votes to pass the bill. It should be telling that a Republican minority walked away from a bill sponsored by a Republican Administration, and supported by a lame-duck, unpopular President.

The downside is that the pundits are calling this bad for McCain. But that would imply it's good for Obama, and that's doubtful. It's just bad. Period.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Palin Syndrome

Today on This Week With George Stephanopolous, Paul Begala suggested that Barack Obama's best chance to beat John McCain was to keep focus on not only McCain (as opposed to Palin, where the Dems seem to be spending most of their time) but on the economy: "The goal every day for McCain is to keep it off the economy. Every day that it's not about the economy... is a day that McCain is winning."

More interesting was the Carly Fiorina-Claire McCaskill debate about whether or not consideration of McCain's age is 'ageist'. Fiorina objected strongly to such claims, describing about how busy McCain was, how healthy he was, etc. But what Fiorina can't escape is the fact that John McCain is 72 years old, and the average lifespan of a man in the United States is roughly 76 years. Although McCain's mom is 90-something, she's not running the United States, and she's not under the stress McCain would be as President. Just look at any President's photo on the day he took office, and on the day he left. To a man, they've aged considerably. It may not be fair, but it is important to consider the candidate's age and health, and whether or not his (or her) potential successor would be up to the task of the office if needed. Biden, vanilla as he is, would be. Palin? Not so much.

One last comment: was it me, or did Tina Fey totally nail the Palin impersonation? Wonder what Lorne Michaels will do if McCain/Palin wins?