Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Senator McCain, could Rudy be your VP?

Okay, so I'm not as melancholy as I was watching President Bush's last State of the Union last night. Now I'm just plain scared. There was a time, oh, six months ago, when I could have seen John McCain as our Republican nominee in the general election; electability when faced with Hillary Clinton was so important and I thought he could probably do it. Then, other candidates surfaced and did really well...Rudy was out front there for a long time and McCain faded far, far away.

Tonight we see McCain pulling yet another victory over Mitt Romney, and Rudy pulling a poor third with a drop out in the near, near future. Rumor has it that he will support McCain as early as tomorrow. I watched McCain's speech and he touched on security and strict constructionist judges...good, but what else? I guess a lot of what I don't like that much about him can be construed in a different way. Maybe I'll take some of that psychology I learned and start "framing" things differently and I will soon become a hard core McCain supporter.

McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, and the Gang of Fourteen...instead of looking at these past positions as moving away from conservative ideals I will start looking at them as "reaching across the aisle." If McCain has a good working relationship with these democrats perhaps it will be tougher for the dems to fight him on policy once he moves into the White House. As much as I was a fan of George it is clear, there are those that LIVE TO HATE HIM, and it drove them in their votes, their policies and their point of view while serving in Washington.

It is ironic because as I listened to Senator McCain tonight I found myself being uncomfortable with one of the same things I first fought when I listened to W...his speaking style. Where George was a plain spoken cowboy McCain is grandpa reading me a bedtime story. (Nothing seemy here, I swear...) I start wondering if I can listen to the guy for four years, during good times and bad, and I have to hope that as I got used to George I will, if necessary, get used to John McCain.

I heard a very interesting thing on Rush Limbaugh's show today...a gentleman called in who had a friend that was a blogger and considered himself a conservative, and explained his support for McCain this way: Because of McCain's age he will only seek one term. Because he will only seek one term, he will not do ANYTHING with an eye to a future election for himself. He will get things done, take no prisoners, (no pun toward the Hanoi Hilton...) and just plain move things on through. This will leave his VP in a firm position to be the nominee four years later so we do not have to fear another democrat for some time to come.

Rush said he'd not heard this before, but it clearly interested him. When the caller said that he too had thought about it quite a bit but hey, McCain has come out for term limits so this might make sense...Rush LAUGHED.....Sure, he said, McCain has supported term limits, BUT HOW MANY YEARS HAS HE BEEN A SENATOR? This is the problem with John McCain...he says the right things when it matters, but does he really believe it? If this IS true, who could be a VP pick for McCain if he takes this win on through Super Tuesday? Rudy? Thompson? It was just announced that Rudy will bow out tomorrow and endorse McCain...Who would the conservatives that are so far bucking the McCain trend want to see as a VP if the McCain train keeps on rolling through the St. Paul convention?

Another interesting thing off Rush's show today...(I do listen to everyone a bit, today was just a great Rush day...) Rush was mentioned prominently in Carol Devine-Molin's blog, American Daily, where she asked, "Who is Rush Limbaugh..." and asked why is he trying to tear apart the Republican party? It is clear, if you listen to him, that he disfavors McCain and thinks a little more highly of Romney...but while he has a huge audience, of which I have been a regular member for many years, he is still free to give his opinion! He is not a "spokesman" for Republicans or conservatives...he just happens to BE a conservative, albeit a prominent one. Devine-Molin missplaced her comment that Rush should enjoy free speech...well he sure should, he's a private citizen!

Who's Rush Limbaugh? He is a dedicated commentator, conservative, and private citizen who enjoys sharing his opinions, researching political stories and the future political landscape, and telling us what he thinks of the past, present and future, with respect to the politics within our country. He is funny, human, sarcastic and self-depracating, and he is not responsible for the rise or fall of any particular political candidate. Rush takes pride in the fact that his audience is full of people smart enought to think for themselves, and he will never take them for granted.

And...I'll be listening tomorrow to see what he has to say about his home state's pick for the GOP candidate...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dear Mr. President....

Dear W,
Pardon my familiarity, but I feel as though I know you so well. You are family. You see, in 2000 I was a reluctant voter, but I just could not ever, EVER, send a democrat to the White House. I was a recent law school graduate and you seemed, well, to have the right ideas, but you had a hard time expressing them in a way that I felt would reach as many people as possible. I had friends who just couldn't listen to you...You had my vote, but I was ambivalent about your ability to do the job, to be meaningful, to be a President for the ages.

We coasted on into 2001 and I had no problems with you. I had just had a baby girl, the youngest of five in our family, and my life was gravy. You were superfluous, but I was glad, in a non-aware way, that you were there. On September 11, 2001, my world changed. I awoke to my husband urging me to wake up and turn on the tv...he and our middle-school aged daughter had watched earlier the reports showing the first World Trade Center Tower burning, after a plane had hit it. While they watched, a second plane hit the second tower, live. By the time my husband woke me he had taken our daughter to meet her school bus which took her to a private school some 25 miles away, across a large suspension bridge, into another city. I watched in disbelief and after a bit, my phone rang. It was a good friend, a woman who did child care for my infant daughter, and had taken care of our two older daughters, one who had just boarded a bus to cross a bridge to what now seemed a far-away place.

"Are you going to let her go to school?", she asked. I had to think. "Yes," I said...rationalizing that in the grand scope of things, the suspension bridge my daughter had to cross was small potatoes for terrorists who were now going after American icons...the trade towers, the Pentagon...I had to believe my daughter would be safe. She was, and in very much a minority, became a supporter of yours and your administration's position in fighting terrorists where we find them.

Later, I watched footage of you at that elementary school in Florida. I cannot even imagine what went through your mind at the time, but as a leader, you moved forward, fought with your Secret Service detail and returned home to Washington, DC to perform your job....to be our President. I turned on my tv every day looking for reassuring words in a new, dangerous world.

In the years since I have looked at you as a beloved family member. I lost my own father two months before the September 11 attacks, and I have always maintained that it would have killed him; I am glad he moved on before witnessing this event. As a family member, I have loved you, supported you, funded you, voted for you, but I have not always agreed with you. Yet, in those disagreements, I have found understanding, acknowledgement of the basis of your beliefs.

As a taxpayer, well, I can't forget that the money we send to DC is moved toward certain programs, some of which I believe in and some that I don't. Again, even in those that I do not agree with, I understand your compassion and why it is there. Your plan to expose other societies to democracy is admirable, and those that embrace it will be our allies for decades to come. Anyone's failure to see that is shortsided and smarter than everyone else in the room, and I cannot support them. Pell grants for school kids? Interesting...have to see the plan to see if I support it, but maybe it works. Just worried about what it costs. Our education in my area certainly needs help. Vetoing earmarks? GO FOR IT.....Please...I wish you'd been tougher in this area in the past years.

It was lovely seeing Laura and the girls there this evening. I was to watch your speech at an organized event that I have attended the last three years, and due to weather it was cancelled, and I watched at home. BIG mistake. I'm a Mom. I'm a somewhat emotional Mom. When you began your speech, though I knew this long ago, I realized it was the last time I will ever watch you give a State of the Union speech. Was this your best speech? Probably not. You're on your way out, you know it, and while I will never doubt your desire to "get'er done" before you walk out the door there is a finite amount of time until you and Laura retire to the ranch and enjoy more private life...BUT, it hit me when you started. I will never see this again. I sobbed. I hid it fairly well from the rest of the folks in the room, but I have to tell you, I will miss you.

See, like a family member, while we have had our disagreements, you have been my leader, MY PRESIDENT, in some of the most important times in our history. I looked to you to see what kind of world my children will grow up in, and for the most part, I was reassured. There is so much uncertainty in our future. Hillary? Oh, I guess as a woman I feel compelled to apologize for her absolute heinous attitude and posturing during this, AND EVERY OTHER, State of the Union Speech. I don't know what gets into that woman, but I can't stand the thought of watching her in a joint session listening to a speech much less standing where you were....Oh....the nausea.

I will deal with my uncertainty. I will find the right candidate and I will move on. I never thought I'd ever find another President I trusted as much as Ronald Reagan, and you surprised me. You're different, but you earned my trust. I will miss you, but I will persevere. That's what American's do, don't we? Go, have a beautiful wedding with beautiful Jenna, do what you can to keep our country secure, (can we say, FISA?) and while I will bid you a bittersweet farewell after your term, I want you to know that you changed me. You made me believe again, and you reinforced my commitment to family and country.

You will always be that George, family.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

President McCain?

Can I get used to saying that? Y'know, I was a reluctant Bush voter in 2000 but I was pleasantly surprised. I have been saying all along, and I'm certainly not alone, that this is such a historically odd election season that all the old rules go out the window. One rule that hasn't been thrown out yet, and may not be until after Super Tuesday, is that the Republican winner in SC goes on to be the party's nominee for the general election.

McCain is giving, at this time, a fairly decent acceptance speech for his win in SC, and I know he dearly wants the old adage about SC to be true, but is it? Keep watching, we simply don't know. While it is true that McCain will probably get a bounce out of this Romney still has strong support in many parts of the country, Rudy is still holding out for a strong showing in FL, and I don't think we know yet what will happen with Huckabee. I think we have seen the last of Fred Thompson, but if the rumors are true that if he's out he'll support McCain he might be able to sway staunch conservatives over to McCain's path by being an influence on McCain's balance of his campaign.

Hillary took another win in NV, even with the culinary worker's union standing behind Obama. It is starting to look clearer now that whoever the Republicans send up, he HAS to be able to beat Hillary. There is nothing more frightening for conservatives than four more years of Clintons and possible Hillary health care.

President McCain...has a nice ring for some I'm sure. I am not convinced yet. I do think Cindy McCain would make a lovely first lady...she has great taste and is beautiful but not showy. While looks and image aren't everything I have to tell you that with women especially, first physical impressions can make or break an image. But, the REAL important thing here is delegates. Start counting...the big count will be February 5.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mitt's a Winner!!! Who's next???

Here we go again...so let's see, one for Huckabee, one for McCain, one for Romney...is it possible Thompson could take South Carolina and Rudy will win in Florida? This is great folks, a real live campaign season with no clear winner and we need to keep this going...all you Super Tuesday folks are really going to have the attention of the nation, and I suspect after that we will finally have a clear frontrunner, or at least a couple that stand out from the rest of the pack.

Now I will tell you right now, I am a Republican but I do not have a candidate right now. If anyone cares, I'll tell you a few things about them all that I think about at this point, so here goes

Rudy...loved you being strong in New York and your stand on being tough on terrorism and standing by America in her darkest days. If you can translate that into a national security policy and convince our allies that the United States will do what it needs to protect itself you're starting to reel me in. Stick with strict constructionist judges because I know that's the true extent of what a President can do on the issue of abortion and you will pull me in further. You told me in DC in November you'd do it...remind me.

Fred. Oh Fred...I saw you debating your compadres in South Carolina and you did a great job! You got me all excited about your positions and gave me hope that you would break out and show people who you were and what you are all about. Do you still have a shot? Sure...this particular cycle favors you because it seems that everyone gets a win and it will be awhile before the national frontfunner emerges, so keep it going and keep talking! Lower taxes, close the borders, strong national defense policy and fighting terrorism and the endorsement from the Right to Lifers and you really parallel my personal policies, but you've got to push, push, push!

Mitt. A fantastic success at most of what you have tried, with the possible exception of Massachusett's health care plan you enacted which might be a good thing. If you get in...don't do that again. As a businessman you know private enterprise should be handling our health insurance issues and our people will benefit most from that, not government health care. You're a family man, a pro life guy (and I have no problem with you having changed your mind on that over the years...it happens to a lot of us) and if you will listen to conservatives and swing this country back toward Reaganism you can take this thing. Congratulations on your win tonight.

Senator McCain, a brave, funny, wry war hero. A lifetime public servant. John, you could have had me, but the Gang of 14 and McCain/Feingold sent me running. Do NOT mess with my first amendment rights. And, you know what? I understand why you thought you needed to do it, because money can corrupt absolutely but in our system, it is also part of how we exercise our free speech rights and so I'd go with transparency. Take what you want from whomever you want but let everyone know you've done it. I will exercise my First Amendment right if you are the nominee...you may get my reluctant vote in the end, but you won't get a penny from me, since I don't think you want it anyway. Oh, the corruption...

Governor Huckabee. I've seen you speak in person and you are inspiring. Your personal accomplishments are many and I believe they have changed you and perhaps made you more bold and I like hearing what you have to say. Your record, however, is a bit more troubling; it's just not as conservative as I would need it to be come November. Then there's this tape I heard today on Michael Medved's show...what's this speech you gave where you said that maybe it was time we changed the Constitution to match God's plan? Whoa...I just jumped off any wagon train that was trailing behind you. Our founders were overwhelmingly God fearing men who absolutely knew the tyranny that came with State sponsored religion, and changing our Constitution to match what YOU think God wants would be just that...what about Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc....when do they get a turn to change the Constitution into what they think God wants? This was an extremely careless and ridiculous thing to say for a presidential candidate. Baptist Minister? Yeah, go ahead and say it, but then go back to being one, don't try to be my President.

Did I leave anyone out? Oh yes, Ron Paul. Mr. Paul, I actually do believe in some of your ideas, like abolishing the Department of Education...there are a lot of beautiful huge buildings in DC that would make great condos...so the libertarian part of me likes your policies in some areas. Your national security policy is the most naive I have ever heard. It's far too important. Your folks are excited, and great at fundraising...the only question I have is, where will the money go once you're out?

So, this is where I stand today...be on the lookout for video posts as this thing heats up. We're on to South Carolina!!!! And, don't worry about me trying to keep up, you know, I have just had so many opportunities in this country, (sniff, sniff...) and I just don't want to see it slide backward...(thanks Hil...will be looking for some more great material from you over the next few weeks...)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Billary is alive and well in NH

Ladies, ladies, help me out here. It has just been reported that Hillary has taken the ladies' vote in New Hampshire, married and single. She's also taken the older citizen vote, so I am also worried about our older generation...

I have anecdotal evidence that there are many women out there that will "vote for Hillary because I think it's about time that we have a woman President." Oh...what a wrong answer. Gender is NOT a requirement for public office. Either way! Can we get back to issues please...?

Now some of you actually choose your candidate based on their positions and what they will try to do once elected and I respect you, even if I don't agree with you. It's the rest of you, the puppy dogs that trail behind someone you think is smarter than you that told you it's time for a woman to be President...PLEASE...take a look at that woman!

Okay, she teared up in New Hampshire. She's human. I'm glad I finally have empirical evidence of that fact. Of course campaigning is hard, it's demanding, tiring, and she has every right to feel exhausted and spent and let a little of that out. Maybe that's what some NH voters were waiting for...a sign of life and not just a cord coming out of her that's plugged into the nearest wall. But, being human is not ENOUGH! McCain's human, Romney's human, Obama's human, so let's get beyond what they all have in common, and start looking at what's separating them, what makes each of them different.

So, here's where we get to it...being a woman is not a qualification for the Presidency. Of course she can run, she now has some public service behind her, but that doesn't mean she will be the best person, person, to be elected to the Presidency in this country. Can we move away from this gender thing? It's like Nancy Pelosi standing on the House floor hugging her grandkids and telling us all how the glass ceiling had finally been removed. It's been gone for a long time, it just takes the electorate wanting the right PERSON, regardless of gender, race, or religion to be elected and a certain person being THAT person at THAT time. Let's not forget, Barack Obama is the first black male to ever make it this far with this level of popularity and support, Mitt Romney's the first Mormon, and to some, race and religion arejust as important as gender, although I don't believe any of these factors are as important as ideas, policy, record and ability to perform under pressure.

Whoever you vote for, and I'm not going to tell you who to vote for because I have no horse in this race yet, except to tell you I will be looking at the Republicans...I can't imagine a Democrat in this race that would ever get my vote. (If I wanted socialism I'd just move to Sweden....) All I ask is that you become informed. Know who you are voting for and why. Don't vote for someone because your husband/wife/dad/mom/boss voted for them. This election is way to important. We are at war and our economy needs work. Please, go back to school, just this once, for something really, really crucial.

On to Nevada, Michigan, Oy....this is going to be a long year!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year and what about Iowa?

Happy new year and a shot of Nyquil to each and every one of you. Apologies for being away...the flu and holidays hit at the same time.

We just took our collective trip through Iowa and find Huckabee and Obama leading the pack on to New Hampshire. Does it mean anything? Nope. It's simply the first shot heard 'round the world and this thing is way too much of a free for all to be called. I expect this could be true until the conventions, but we'll see....

One interesting thing that came out of this to me was Fred Thompson basically tying McCain for third when his presence has been little seen or heard by cable or mainstream news agencies. Some I have watched are complaining they can't get Fred to come on. Contrast that to Mitt Romney's ten million dollar push that netted him a distant second to Huckabee and it just goes to prove to me how wild this thing is and will probably will continue to be.

What about that Hillary? Have to tell you guys, I have never been fond of the woman and I can not think of a worse first woman president for this country. I can't stand to hear her TALK. It's actually her voice, her cadence, her pitch. She's monotone and scripted. I don't feel as though she's a REAL person, but someone who has been programmed and plugged in. I know that is not actually the case, and people that are close to her say she is a caring, loving mother but to people who she is not personal with I find her wooden and impersonal. I was thrilled she dragged in at third.

So, that's my first of the year boost and now we're on to New Hampshire. I will be back more often now that the race is on...and I hope you are all having a great new year.