1) The Boston Herald has a snarky piece beginning with Obama’s now infamous “above my pay grade” remark.
There are certain sentences that should never appear on the lips of the Leader of the Free World. “That Vladimir Putin, what a great guy!” is one of them. “I did not have sex with that woman” is another.
But on the very top of the list of statements about our nation’s laws that should never be spoken by a guy whose job it is to sit next to the Big, Red Button is “That’s above my pay grade.”
With all due respect, Sen. Obama, being president is above your pay grade. And the voters are starting to figure that out.
The article ends with this:
Leaders don’t pass tough questions to the next “pay grade.” They don’t need five minutes to answer yes-or-no questions about the surge or Russia’s invasion of a democratic neighbor.
Politicians flip-flop on taxes and FISA and the Second Amendment to meet the political needs of the moment. They try to explain away the votes they’ve already cast, like Obama’s extreme pro-abortion voting record. Or they courageously cast 130 non-votes of “present” in the Illinois legislature and pass the buck that way.
That’s not leadership, that’s politics. And Barack Obama is 100 percent pure politician.
Now, the Boston Herald isn’t always so much fun, but hey, might as well enjoy!
Read the rest ->
2) The “above my pay grade” issue seems to only grow. Commentary also has a bit on this. While the discussion on abortion at Commentary reflects a National Right to Life angle, an interesting paragraph focuses, specifically, on Obama dissembling.
But this issue [late-term question Obama answered with the infamous pay grade remark] has now traversed into the matter of public character. Obama accused the National Right to Life Committee of lying because it said that he voted to kill legislation that included a “neutrality clause” he now claims was the sine qua non for his support for pro-life legislation. If the neutrality clause was in the legislation, Obama now says, he would have supported legislation protecting the life of newly born children who had survived an abortion. But National Right to Life has, in Rich’s words, “unearthed documents showing that the Illinois bill was amended to include such a clause, and Obama voted to kill it anyway.” So Obama was, at best, wrong in recalling his own past position. At worst, Obama himself is misrepresenting his position and, in accusing the National Right to Life Committee of lying, is doing so himself.
3) Another fact-free “op-ed” from Modo today. I’ve skimmed it so you don’t have to. In this rather lame piece, Modo has HRC and McCain in a conspiracy to bring THE ONE down. At the last minute a third co-conspirator stops by – Jesse Jackson.
I thought Op-Ed stood for opinion / editorial. How can a fantasy meeting between McCain and Clinton be either? What she’s written is a fairy tale, apropos of nothing and as useful. Blech. I post the link against my better judgment. My advice? Don’t bother reading.
4) At the WSJ today, David Freddoso has an opinion piece. He discusses some of the Chicago-style political machinations of Obama and how he moved through the machine. Interesting if you haven’t followed his book or Chicago politics at all, but definitely a good introduction for those who haven’t.
Democrats don’t like it when you say that Barack Obama won his first election in 1996 by throwing all of his opponents off the ballot on technicalities.
By clearing out the incumbent and the others in his first Democratic primary for state Senate, Mr. Obama did something that was neither illegal nor even uncommon. But Mr. Obama claims to represent something different from old-style politics — especially old-style Chicago politics. And the senator is embarrassed enough by what he did that he misrepresents it in the prologue of his political memoir, “The Audacity of Hope.”
It’s not too long, so enjoy. I’m not too sure how much MSM play Obama’s “early years” have gotten, so it’s nice to see it happen. Even if it IS the WSJ.
5) The WaPo today has an article on how the candidates approach education. Of Obama, it says:
Of the two, Mr. Obama has given the issue more attention. His background as a community organizer and state legislator includes work with neighborhoods on school issues. As a candidate for president, he has delivered several major speeches on education and developed a plan that runs the gamut from birth to college. He places a heavy emphasis on early childhood education, recognizing that if the achievement gap is to be narrowed, work must start before a child enters kindergarten. It is hard to quarrel with other programs he endorses — such as teacher-residency and mentoring initiatives — but he stops short of advocating solutions that many reformers see as essential to real change but which the powerful teachers unions oppose. These include allowing more flexibility in removing ineffective teachers and overhauling a tenure system that rewards those who stay put, no matter how mediocre their performance.
Is this really Obama’s position? Did he advocate the same things as board chair for that Annenberg project in Chicago? How does all his “experience” mesh with his rhetoric now? What would those Annenberg papers say? Interesting that he focuses so much on education while the only relevant experience he has (sans his own schoolboy adventures) is hidden away in, of all places, a library. Irony much?
6) Newsweek takes a look at likely campaign spending and finds Obama is not quite as well set as people seem to think.
That said, a tied race is better news–at this point–for McCain than it is for Obama. Why? Because on Sept. 4, the Republican nominee–who opted into the public financing system–will receive a check from U.S. taxpayers for $84.1 million. Obama won’t. Going forward, this gives McCain two advantages over his Internet-fueled rival from Chicago. For starters, he’s free to spend his entire savings ($21 million) plus his entire August fundraising haul (another $25 million or so) before the Republican convention; that $45 million kitty, which can’t carry over into the general election, dwarfs Obama’s estimated budget for August (about $30 million). That’s why McCain has been clobbering Obama on the airwaves in an array of battleground states.
Secondly, for the final two months of the campaign, McCain will be able to stop detouring from the trail to attend private fundraisers, relying instead on $42 million a month in public funds plus an estimated $130 million from the RNC to see him through. In other words, McCain will have far more money after Sept. 4 than he’s ever had before–and he won’t have to work for it. Obama, meanwhile, will still have to step off the stump for glitzy fundraisers like this week’s $7.8-million bashes in San Francisco if he hopes to continue raising $50 million a month–which is what he’ll need to keep up.
Since I find most reporting about money to be nearly useless (who tells the truth about money?), I’ll wait and see. It could be interesting though.
7) And even the WaPo has a piece on the abortion / Saddleback fallout. While McCain has aggravated some with hints he might choose a pro-choice running mate, Obama’s problems go further. His response at Saddleback has confused more people and left him making explanations and calling some people “liars.”
The narrative of the presidential campaign appeared to be set on the issue of abortion: Sen. Barack Obama was the abortion-rights candidate who was reaching out to foes, seeking common ground and making inroads. Sen. John McCain was the abortion opponent whose reticence about faith and whose battles on campaign finance laws drew suspect glances from would-be supporters.
But both those impressions have been altered since the Rev. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum in California on Saturday.
As a committee chairman in the state Senate in 2003, Obama supported GOP efforts to add language to the act, copied from federal legislation, clarifying that it would have no legal impact on the availability of abortions. Obama then opposed the bill’s final passage. Since then, he has said he would have backed the bill as it was written and approved almost unanimously the year before.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, charged that Obama is trying to have it both ways because the Illinois bill he opposed was virtually identical to the federal law he said he would support.
Obama aides acknowledged yesterday that the wording of the state and federal bills was virtually identical. But, they added, the impact of a state law is different, because detailed abortion procedures and regulations are governed by states. Johnson and others are oversimplifying the situation, aides said.
“They have not been telling the truth,” Obama told the Christian Broadcasting Network in response to a question on the matter. “And I hate to say that people are lying, but here’s a situation where folks are lying.”
It strikes me that McCain’s problem is not so big. Either he will pick a pro-choice VP or he won’t. And he’s used to ticking off the far right. Obama, however, is back to defending former statements, old side-steps and trying to reconcile at least two contradictory positions and/or actions he has previously taken.