Obama Down 2 Percentage Points in Today’s Gallup Poll – 8/26

Today’s Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has placed Barack Obama’s support at 44% and John McCain’s support at 46%.

Defying the typical bounce that candidates usually get during their respective conventions, the Obama Political Machine has managed to loose ground in the daily tracking polls since the convention began yesterday.

It must be a source of absolute frustration for people like David Axelrod, Obama’s Campaign manager and chief strategist. Axelrod, who is firmly entrenched in Chicago’s mire of political shenanagins is seeing his reputation as a political kingmaker severely challenged by his inability to sell Barack Obama to the American public.

The Democratic strategy has become more negative and nasty as each milestone which would normally give a political candidate a bounce has been passed with Obama’s favorability remaining stagnant at best or more specifically declining.

Normally, a candidate would get a bounce in his favorability after winning the primary process. At best, Obama’s popularity after clinching the primary battle increased slightly. The lack of a significant bounce at that time might have been due to lingering resentment over a closely contested race between Hillary Clinton and Obama which appears to be a continuing factor. The fact that Hillary Clinton began to sweep primary after primary after revelations about Obama became public rather late in the primary season could not go unnoticed by the American public. Many people might have felt that they had been deceived by the Obama campaign and a liberal or left leaning news media which was apparently either hiding information about Obama or not thoroughly vetting him as a political candidate and presenting the information to the public in an accurate and unbiased manner.

Frequently, a candidate will get a bounce in popularity after naming his vice presidential running mate. Obama’s popularity has actually declined after announcing Joe Biden as his VP running mate in spite of Biden’s general popularity. Obama’s selection of Biden has apparently made Obama’s inexperience and other weaknesses even more obvious.

Many have viewed last night’s array of speakers including Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Obama as have very little to do with what the convention is all about. Although a tribute to Ted Kennedy in view of his current health problems might be a thoughtful thing to do, it might have been perceived as an excessive reminder that the notion of Obama being a candidate of change could be as much of an illusion as constant comparison between him and John or Robert Kennedy and John Kennedy’s imaginary media created “Camelot”.

Robert Goulet wasn’t really Sir Lancelot and Barack Obama isn’t really John Kennedy. Besides, the entire notion that John Kennedy united the country is as artificial as breast implants. The Kennedy sycophants that have deluged the airways and, more recently, the Internet fail to mention that Kennedy barely won the 1960 election and then possibly only by some adroit manipulation of votes in several Chicago precincts by then Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley, at the request of Kennedy’s father as was widely rumored at the time.

“Known for shrewd party politics, Daley was the prototypical “machine” politician, and his Chicago Democratic Machine, based on control of thousands of patronage positions, was instrumental in bringing a narrow 8,000 vote victory in Illinois for John F. Kennedy in 1960.”

David Axelrod
and the Obama Political Machine certainly have a problem. How do they minimalize a person, Hillary Clinton, who won nearly half of the votes cast in the Democratic primaries without completely alienating a large portion of the Democratic constituency? How do they maintain the support and interest of the radical left wing of the Democratic party as Obama has noticeably maneuvered to a more centrist position trying to capture a majority of independent voters? How do they convince the American public that their candidate is a serious contender when he takes days to establish a position on serious issues like the Russian invasion of Georgia or the Jeremiah Wright controversy and can’t give unequivocal answers to questions when posed at a forum like that at Saddleback?

More thoughts on Michelle Obama’s Speech

Sometimes, it helps to sleep on a issue, to be able to look back with a little more objectivity and not be “caught up” in the moment.

Michelle Obama’s Speech

Something about Michelle Obama’s speech just didn’t … seem quite right. It was obvious that she was singing to the choir. Beyond that, it was apparent that there was a conscious effort to reach beyond the cameras focused on her. Both of those points are understandable.

I suppose the fact that it was a noticeable conscious effort … contrived … obviously contrived. From facial expressions to a hint of a raspy voice at appropriate times … obviously well practiced … well … practiced anyway, and contrived.

Almost sincere, but not quite. Therefore … insincere.

Okay. Frankly, she reminded me of someone who got second place in a high school declamation competition … not very impressive for someone who’s graduated with a law degree … basically sophomoric. But, all lawyers aren’t trial lawyers … and she’s not a trial lawyer. Some lawyers just don’t have any business trying to make their case in front of a jury … or before the public.

I wasn’t impressed last night and I’m even less impressed after sleeping on it.

All the Rhetoric About Military Families …

Tonight, on the first night of the Democratic party’s national convention, Michelle Obama has continued her appeal to the families of people in the military service as well as those service members themselves for votes.

There is no doubt that military families are now under a lot of stress. Since Congress began reaping it’s “peace dividend” in the early 1990’s, the military, as far as it’s human component is concerned, has been downsized and, to a large degree, neglected.

Michelle Obama has made a lot to do over the plight of military dependents, expressing concerns for their situation and pledging that she and her husband will do everything they can to improve their conditions.

One thing that will do more to relieve the current and recent past conditions of military families hasn’t been mentioned by the Obamas or John McCain that I know of. It is also one of the major blunders of the current Bush administration.

During World War II, the combined manpower of the military services was about 11 million active duty personnel. During the Korean Conflict it was about 3.5 million servicemen and women. During the Vietnam era, military manpower peaked at about 3.2 million members. After the official end of the Vietnam war, the military was downsized to about 2 million members and stayed at this size until the end of the first Iraq War. After the first Iraq War, military manpower was downsized to about 1.5 to 1.6 million members. Currently, and during the extent of the current Iraq War, military manpower has stayed in the range of 1.375 to 1.4 million members.

Insufficient manpower is the major cause of the stresses being placed on military families. Active duty members have had to serve as much as 15 months in the war zone with very short reassignments outside of that area. The United States is unable to adequately man two war zones in Iraq and Afganistan, adequately fulfill its other world wide obligations and has been unable to give an adequate or appropriate response to the recent Russian invasion of the country of Georgia.

Although President Bush called for a significant increase in the number of combat brigades in his last State of the Union speech, review of current manpower statistics show no response to that call for increasing military manpower with an actual decline for several months in the number of active duty personnel after the speech.

I have a daughter whose spouse is currently serving on active duty. One of his major complaints is the lack of adequate personnel to get jobs done, feeling like he is having to do the work of three people.

One of the things that I have noticed living in a community that has had a large military presence over the years, is the fact that, upon talking to various people, many jobs that were once filled by active duty personnel, during my time of military service, are now filled by civilian employees or civilian contractors. My daughter and her husband have noted that these people are frequently uncaring and unresponsive to the needs of the active duty personnel. There is no substitute for having an onbase position filled by a person who can understand and sympathize with the needs of the active duty member and his family and no one can appreciate those needs better than another active duty person or a member of a dependent family.

All of the sophisticated weaponry is no better than the individuals who man and maintain them and the wellbeing of these people should be the number one priority of the government. Adequate manpower can improve the perception of wellbeing among active duty personnel and their families and no amount of improved benefits or improved living conditions will be adequate if the active duty personnel are understaffed. All of the rhetoric and even some fulfilled promises will be to no avail if the working conditions of the military personnel are compromised and made difficult or impossible by a manpower shortage.

The first thing that any administration has to do to improve the conditions of military personnel and their families is to re-establish a reasonable size in manpower to the military, one that will address all of the current needs as well as an adequate number to provide an adequate buffer for unanticipated emergencies.

After all, this is the purpose of having a military force. Having a military which is understaffed and undermanned defies the logic of having a standing military force in the first place.

The United States should, at least return to its manpower of the 1980’s of about 2 million active duty personnel, and, with the current world threats as well as trying to conduct two wars, Congress and the executive branch should strongly consider enlarging the military to even greater numbers.

The lack of NATO support both in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the current reluctance of its members to stand up to Russia should show that it is only wishful thinking if not a grave and serious blunder to count on others to fulfill our shortfalls in manpower. This only emboldens and encourages adversaries of the United States like Russia is currently showing herself to be.

Michelle Obama’s Speech

There was nothing new, generally a repetition of the family stories that everyone has heard ad infinitum.

She did point out Obama’s support for getting people off of welfare and back to work which contradicted what Obama said at the Saddleback Question and Answer session several weekends ago. Obama stated at that time that he was opposed to Clinton’s initiative to get people off of welfare and back to work. He did admit that he was wrong in opposing that initiative.

If anything she’s learned to be more careful in what she says, obviously trying to correct the impression that she has given many people about her true feelings regarding America.

Her speech obviously was directed toward the Democratic party’s rank and file. As Juan Williams said in his analysis of her speech, she’s having to re-invent herself, trying to correct a lot of the impressions she’s already made on the American people. She has also obviously been told to quit talking down America, something she’s trying very hard not to show since she shown time and again that praising America inherently sticks in her craw.

And, finally, I have to keep telling my mother, “No, I don’t think she dips snuff. I think those are her teeth.”

Joe Biden chosen as Barrack Obama’s Cheney

Fox News has reported that Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joe Biden of Delaware to be his vice presidential running mate. This is confirmed on CNN.

Apparently,Barack Obama has finally admitted his weaknesses in experience, foreign policy and foreign affairs by choosing Joe Biden as his running mate.

Many Democrats and pundits on the left have frequently accused President George Bush of simply being a surrogate or puppet for Dick Cheney. Now they have found that they are already going to have to defend the selection of Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s running mate which is seen by many as an admission on Obama’s part regarding his deficiencies both in experience as well as foreign affairs.

Who better to choose for the position of vice president than the person, Joe Biden, who pointed out Obama’s obvious weaknesses so succinctly several months ago in a debate.

With Michelle Obama nearly calling the presidency her’s and Barack’s joint venture several weeks while speaking before military spouses at Norfolk, VA and her scheduled to be a prominent speaker at the upcoming Democratic convention, a person has to wonder whether the presidency will be occupied by one person or a triumvirate.

Looking at that threesome, one has to wonder who the actual lightweight in the group actually is. It’s definitely not Joe Biden and Michelle Obama seems very able to handle herself. So who does that leave?

Now, answer me this. When Barack Obama gets that call at 3:00 in the morning, is he going to roll over and ask Michelle what she thinks … or Joe what he thinks … or Michelle and Joe what they think? Politics certainly does make strange bedfellows.

Barack Obama Afraid to Debate

It seems to be official now that there won’t be a debate in North Carolina and possibly not in Indiana. It seems that Obama’s organization, after his poor showing in Philadelphia last week don’t want the candidate to have to think on his feet any more.

The reasoning is stated to be that the candidate does better talking one on one with voters. Right. If you stick your big foot in your mouth then not so many people are aware of it. Also, it’s presumed to be easier to stick to well rehearsed talking points and hopefully with one on one it might be easier to waffle on difficult questions … if they’re asked.

So, how is Barack going to do as president when he has to meet with foreign leaders to discuss and negotiate delicate and important matters regarding foreign policy? Is he going to be able to stick to his prepared talking points? What if his speech writer forgets to put down, “Hi, my name is Barack.” Oops!

Does anyone get the feeling that Harvard Law School needs to ramp up its curriculum in the area of “Debate”? We’ve already get the impression that they may do okay in the area of “Declamation”. Barack can deliver a prepared speech. but, “Debate” … not so good.

Apparently, Barack doesn’t like to … or can’t … answer questions that aren’t on his talking points list. He calls it “sticking to the issues”. For some reason, he feels that the public wanting to know more about his life and associations isn’t an issue. Well, it is.

When a person says, “Believe what I say. Trust me.”, then the reasonable next question should be, “why?” The person should not only be prepared to answer the question, why, but also willing to answer the question. The answers should be able to withstand close scrutiny.

For many people, more often than not, Barack’s answers just don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Barack’s battle cry is “change”. Well, change to what? He talks about getting rid of the special interests in Washington. Well, whose special interests? Apparently, everyone’s except his. And, Barack definitely has his own special interests. Every endorsement he has received from every senator and representative in Washington is connected to special interests. To think that they aren’t going to cash in their chips if he gets elected is … being extremely naive and simple … to put it nicely.

Barack says, “I’m a constitutional lawyer. I know the constitution.” Well, “constitutional” lawyers are going to be arguing both sides of the second amendment case now before the Supreme Court. Barack’s wife seems to base her impression of who should have constitutional second amendment rights based more on Wyatt Earp movies than the Constitution. Apparently she feels that application of the law has more to do with the distance between houses and law enforcement based on miles rather than minutes. Apparently, her experiences have been so restricted to Chicago that she can’t comprehend that a 20 mile response trip in the country can be quicker than a 2 mile trip in the city. Somehow, according to her, and presumably him, people in areas with a less dense population should have more constitutional rights than people in cities. I always thought the Constitution applied equally to all Americans.

Why reference Michelle Obama rather than Barack? It’s simple. I’ve actually heard more of her impressions of the second amendment than I have of Barack’s. Frankly, he’s been elusive … other than, “Trust me. I know the Constitution.”

There’s a lot about Barack Obama that the American people simply don’t know.

Barack doesn’t like the exposure that debating creates. Barack fears the exposure potential of debating. What is he going to do when he has to debate John McCain? Is he going to continue to argue that a John McCain presidency is just a third George Bush term after saying that John McCain would make a better president that George Bush? I think he shot that argument in the foot himself.

He may be able to put off Hillary Clinton during the rest of the Democratic primary process. Whether or not this decision will hurt him is yet to be seen. Apparently his political machine has decided that the risk of debating is greater than not debating. They may be right … or not.

Shouldn’t a great orator also have the mental agility to be a great debater? Just as fundamental, if not more so, shouldn’t the president of the United States have that mental agility?

Barack Obama’s Minister

Written 3/13/2008:

How long has Barack Obama been a member of the Trinity Church of Christ? Didn’t Barack Obama say it was through his church and its minister that he developed his relationship with Christ? Didn’t he also say it was through his relationship with this church and its minister that he developed his understanding of himself as a black man?

It’s apparent after listening to sound bites of Jeremiah Wright preaching his version of Christianity from the pulpit of Trinity Church of Christ that everyone really should stand back and ask a few questions about what Barack Obama really believes and what kind of relationship he has with Christ?

Jeremiah Wright, with his race baiting and hate-mongering as well as his vulgarity while ministering to his congregation, is unlike anything I have ever witnessed within the supposed sanctity of a church. It does appear obvious that his congregation seems to love his hate filled harangues. Jeremiah Wright makes Jim Baker and Jimmy Swiggert look like untainted heavenly angels. I don’t recall them ever preaching anything so hatefilled unless it was about the devil … or the IRS. Jeremiah Wright is so full of hatred for his fellow man and woman that the notion of him have consensual sex with another person even if illicit seems beyond comprehension. He only hates white people though, so that’s all right.

For some reason, I always thought that ordained ministers were to be held to a higher standard. I suppose it’s possible that the Church of Christ has very different standards which they consider “higher”. It really appears that they have no standards at all. Barack Obama may be successful in deluding people into thinking that he doesn’t share his minister’s (and mentor’s) beliefs, but I am curious as to how the chruch of Christ organization will do the same.

And, yes, Jeremiah Wright has been Barack Obama’s mentor as well as his minister in Chicago, a very long association dating back to the early 1980’s. I would be surprised if it weren’t Jeremiah Wright who assisted Barack Obama in getting his acceptance into Harvard Law School through some affirmative action process. After all, it’s never been my impression that being a B student in high school was Harvard material. Maybe he did better in college.

I’m just curious as to how a person can unify the country who is, by his own admission, so grossly preoccupied with race and his own racial identity and who finally found the answer to his racial identity in a hate filled buffoon like Jeremiah Wright.

Did Abraham Lincoln have someone like Jeremiah Wright in mind when he seemed to distance himself from organized religion?

Somehow, Barack Obama simply saying he doesn’t agree with everything Jeremiah Wright says, doesn’t quit relieve my concerns about his beliefs. He doesn’t exactly specify what part of Jeremiah Wright’s antics and pronouncements he doesn’t agree with. And, quite frankly, I find it hard to believe that Barack Obama has had such a long relationship with JeremiahWright if he isn’t in universal agreement with him. To put it another way, how can a person of good faith sit in church every Sunday and listen to the person talking to the congregation and not believe in what the speaker is saying … and do it for 20 plus years.

Based on what I’ve heard come from Jeremiah Wright’s mouth, the notion that Michelle Obama’s statement about her feelings regarding the United States of America has more of the ring of literal truth, especially when taken in the context of her thesis at Princeton.

I presume that we are now supposed to believe that Barack Obama has markedly different feelings from both his wife and his minister. Reverend Wright openly hates white people. Obama’s wife openly distrusts white people. Barack Obama sleeps with one every night and seeks his salvation through the ministrations of the other. Yet, he claims he is untouched by their influence. Interesting.

So, if Barack Obama is elected president of the United States we will have a first lady who is openly contemptable of a large part of the population of this country and a president who will have his spiritual needs fulfilled by a man like Jeremiah Wright. Very interesting indeed. I suppose that’s what he means by “change”.