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Sounding the General Election Bell


President George W. Bush speaks as First Lady Laura Bush listens during a reception at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel, on May 15, 2008. (Bloomberg News)

By Dan Balz
Never underestimate the power of the presidency or a sage, old voice to affect the course of politics.

From Israel on Thursday, President Bush opened the general election campaign with remarks that were widely seen as accusing, without naming, Barack Obama and Democrats of appeasing terrorists. From Washington on Friday, former Democratic National Committee chairman Robert S. Strauss gently but firmly handed Hillary Clinton her walking papers.

More than anything said so far by John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, Bush's comments honoring the 60th anniversary of the founding of Israel signaled what the principle Republican attack line will be in the campaign against Obama, the likely Democratic nominee.

At a time when Bush's approval rating is at its lowest point ever in Washington Post-ABC News polls, at a time when public dissatisfaction with the direction of the country is at its highest point in 15 years, at a time when the Iraq war is deeply unpopular and at a time when economic anxieties continue to rise, national security and the terrorism remain the Republicans' strongest card against Obama.

The Illinois senator has faced this criticism even in the Democratic nomination battle. Clinton has repeatedly challenged his foreign policy views as naive or misguided, particularly his position that he is prepared to meet without conditions with leaders of rogue nations, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But nothing carries the power of the president's words, especially when they are so unexpected and in such an incongruous setting. "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush told members of the Israeli Knesset. "We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

White House officials tried again Friday to walk back from the remarks. Ed Gillespie told reporters traveling with the president that he and others were surprised that the remarks were seen as an attack on Obama. "We did not anticipate that it would be taken that way," he said.

When a reporter asked, "You weren't happy with the fact that it was seen as a swipe against Obama, Gillespie replied, "Again, I'm not happy or unhappy." He added that what the White House is most concerned about is the vehement reaction among Democratic congressional leaders, saying he was "not sure what it is that they take exception to, or where they see a difference from what the president said."

Gillespie's explanations came far too late to defuse what may be remembered as the most unexpected salvo of the general election, a moment when Democratic leaders coalesced around Obama to defend him (and themselves) against what they perceived as outrageous criticism from the president.

Obama responded Friday noon at a town hall meeting in South Dakota by denouncing the president and accusing McCain of being in the president's hip pocket when it comes to foreign policy.

Obama charged Bush and McCain with making "dishonest, divisive attacks" on him and other Democrats. "That's exactly the kind of appalling attack that's divided our country and that alienates us from the world," he said. "That's why we need change in Washington. That's part of the reason I'm running for president of the United States."

At the same time, he said he welcomed and would win a debate with McCain and the Republicans over foreign policy "because George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for."

Obama ought to be prepared for this debate, because it is central to McCain's hopes of winning the White House. Put aside the issue of Swiftboating tactics, which Democrats will claim about such criticism. The real question is how Obama will demonstrate that he is ready and able to protect the country, that he has the judgment, toughness, and the vision to be commander in chief.

Clinton has called those credentials into question; McCain will be far more relentless in doing so. Obama will need more than counterpunching and calls for civility if he intends to win that argument.

What was also notable about the reaction to the Bush comments was that no one in the party thought to suggest that the president was in any way talking about both Clinton and Obama. The New York senator was an afterthought in the reactions of her Democratic colleagues. Perhaps that was because they felt she needed no protection against such charges. More likely it was because they no longer see her as a viable candidate for the nomination.

Clinton is determined to continue on her campaign until the primaries end in little more than two weeks. Many of her supporters, particularly her female supporters, hate the idea that she is somehow being pushed out of the race before she is ready to leave. That is something Obama and other Democrats must be attuned to in the days ahead.

Enter Bob Strauss -- "Mr. Democrat" -- and his op-ed piece in Friday's Washington Post. Strauss has not taken sides in the nomination battle and he doesn't often step into the middle of intraparty politics, but he speaks with a powerful voice still, and he let Clinton know that she risks great damage to the party if she does not handle the coming days properly.

"Having put our party back together after the 1972 convention, I know that every week of delay tempts a hardening of irreconcilable differences," he wrote. "If we are to win for American, the Democratic Party has to unite now." As if that were not clear enough, another line put an exclamation point behind his views: "The [nomination] process has been played, and it has been played out."

So in 24 hours, due to Bush and Strauss, the general election bell has sounded, as has the closing bell on the Democratic nomination race. Battle joined for Obama and McCain, for Democrats and Republicans, and a kindly warning to Clinton to use care as she carries on.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 16, 2008; 1:04 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Dan Balz's Take , Hillary Rodham Clinton , John McCain  
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Next: Obama Fires Back at Bush, McCain

Comments

The following Wash. Post. column by Froomkin discusses who the president might have been alluding to in his speech:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/05/16/BL2008051602115.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: Jonathan Koomey | May 16, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The GOP lends a particular air of optimism and forethought regarding its anti-terrorisn work in its choice of a motto: "Change That You Deserve":


From: Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/change-that-you-deserve.html

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Change That You Deserve

From the Chicago Tribune:

"The slogan unveiled this week by House Republicans - "Change you deserve" - is already a trademark used by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to market its antidepressant Effexor XR."

Black Screen.

Fade into:

Scene of a thin grey haired man standing in a green field. Behind him we can see the sun is rising.

"I got the change I deserved with GOP"

Cut to a small child, in a sun dress, who looks up at him and smiles.

"I was tired, listless. I had lost interest in my usual activities--creating false attacks, acting as if I had been unfairly attacked about issues created out of whole cloth, drawing specious historical parallels, fawning over ideologically bankrupt manufactured father figures. Sure, I sent emails claiming that Obama was a Muslim, but somehow...it had lost the spark, the enjoyment of everyday life."

Cut to a child who rides by on a bicycle, and throws a newspaper on the front porch.

"That's when I found GOP."

Cut to man rowing in a scull across a still river. He turns to the camera, smiles.

"In clinical studies, GOP has been found to increase aggressiveness in the absence of actual provocation in 8 out of 10 users. In most users, the desire to gleefully attack returns in 1 week. Full enthusiasm for invented ideas in two. "

Cut to image of porch swing.

"With GOP, my attention to minor distractions fully returned, until I was again building them into major accusations of flawed character. Once again, my intense focus on pins, buttons, sentences fragments and remote relationships as absolute indications of personal virtue and ability was at its peak. For an entire weekend, I could one again choose the right moment to accuse a candidate of treason without cause--when I was ready, when the time felt right".

Cut to a series of blurred images: long, stringy haired teens in torn jeans and ironic 80's t-shirts lounging by the Washington Monument; picture of John Kerry in a Swift Boat during Vietnam;
Eiffel Tower. Plate of Arugula. During these images, rapid voiceover in female voice:

"GOP may cause monosyllabism, inability to consider two differing concepts at the same time, memory loss or inaccurate recall of recently and repeatedly presented intelligence information, focus on size of automobiles or koro, sequential nicknaming, knowing mischaracterization, hooting. If you have a desire to read the collected works of Ann Coulter that lasts longer than four hours, this may be a sign of a dangerous condition and you should contact your physician immediately."

Cut back to man standing in field. American flag waving in the distance behind him, below a risen sun. A woman walks up beside him, puts her arm around him, and smiles.

Man:

"So get the change that you deserve. Talk to your Doctor about GOP. Soon, you'll be walking by the homeless on the street again and saying "Let them get a job!"

Or better yet--let them get GOP."

Woman smiles.

Fade.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/change-that-you-deserve.html


Posted by: Robert Hewson | May 16, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The New York senator is not an afterthought.

It's in your mind. Not in the minds of the voters.

Keep that front and center.

If Obama wins the nomination, McCain wins the White House. You can count on it.

And boy won't you press guys be surprised then.

Posted by: Lesley | May 16, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

This article and comments, fails to mention comments made by Mr. Warren Buffett today. I think those comments have more weight than this crap.

That's because most of the real money has not surfaced as yet. Edwards, Richardson and a few others are really peons in the scope of things.

Maybe Uncle John will be baptized at Uncle Jeb's cement pond one day. Who knows for sure just what the future has instore for Americans, discounting wholesale lies for dubious objectives. For now, deviants are still in control of our country.

Posted by: Mark W. | May 16, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the media to cover one of the bigger stories in this campaign: The emergence of a substantial independent voting group and the youth vote phenomenon. These are Barack's "bottom up" underpinnings. The press just seems to skim off the top of issues obsessing about race, or gender, or parties.

Posted by: tara | May 16, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

tired of Obama calling everyone who opposes him a racist. He needs to answer some questions if he wants the most important job in the world.

Mainstream Media: We Demand Barack Obama Be Vetted. Who is Barack Obama?

Mainstream media has failed the United States of America.
The media favoritism for Barack Obama and the lack of investigative journalism and simple truth reporting on Barack Obama is disturbing millions of Americans. It appears there are two realities: the Mainstream Media Barack Obama and the World Wide Web Barack Obama. The internet is on fire with mass amounts of articles, videos, blogs, photographs, and commentary that expose a very different version of Barack Obama than that which is mysteriously depicted in MSM on a continual basis. This contrast is forcing many Americans to ask: Who Is Barack Obama? MSM: We demand Barack Obama be vetted. Vetting a potential American president to inform voters is ethical journalism's responsibility---it is your role, and this trust between the News and the People has been betrayed.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents--Americans ask: Who Is Barack Obama?

wiki: Vetting: Broadly, vetting is a process of examination and evaluation. Specifically, vetting often refers to performing a background check on someone before offering them employment.

Americans have many questions about Barack Obama that are not being answered. It has become a communal mission to try "to get the truth out about Barack Obama." Actually, if the news had covered Obama as business as usual, I doubt most people would have even looked him up so much. Here is a conglomeration of Barack Obama concerns which can easily be found ALL OVER the internet. I am not going to include every American concern, nor am I going to go into extreme detail, and I am not going to provide every link to every website because there are far too many. We Americans expect that responsible and ethical journalists with integrity will explore and verify or debunk these concerns and report on the truth. We Want The News. We demand Barack Obama be vetted. I want to give you an insider's look at what people are feverishly discussing about Barack Obama on the internet. Look up almost any thread on any political forum and you will see the questions being asked. Here is an example of a plea for investigation that is commonly found on the Internet, look at the images, and then read the posts: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2003860/posts So many Americans have been forced to start blogs in an attempt to compensate for Obama biased news. There are plenty of YouTube videos made by Americans sharing this precise sentiment, and it deserves notice. Ignoring it is making it worse.

Also, of note: there has been extensive web scrubbing and mysterious disappearances of posts, blogs, and articles concerning Barack Obama and his ties. Also, established Obama dissent blogs are being hacked, and information is being destroyed. It has been rumored that bloggers, commentators, and pretty much anyone who attempt to question Barack Obama, including journalists, is immediately threatened or warned in some fashion. Actually, there are even stories of super delegates and caucus goers being threatened if they do not go for Barack Obama. Furthermore, anytime anyone questions Barack Obama and his associates, his affiliations, his judgment, or his entire HISTORY, someone jumps out and screams: McCarthyism! or Lies! or Racism! or Negativity! It is all a scheme toward censorship and oppression. That needs to stop. Right now. This is America and Americans have every right to know who their potential American President is. How dare anyone think otherwise? In light of this, copy and save the body of this article for future reference in case this article disappears from the internet.

Now, here is more on the Barack Obama internet firestorm:
http://investigatebarackobama.blogspot.com/

Posted by: joey | May 16, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I am impressed, the more I follow US elections, the more I have the impression you got stuck 30 years ago. Never thought to discover such a poor America.
And now I discover why South-East Asia is that ahead.

Posted by: Gio | May 16, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Battle joined for Obama and McCain, for Democrats and Republicans, and a kindly warning to Clinton to use care as she carries on."

Really, the smug self importance it takes to type that sentence should be proof positive to all decent Americans these insufferable, elitist celebrity media people are completely out of control. They believe they've decided our primary for us. How long do we have to wait to find out who Dan Balz and Bob Strauss decide our President is? I hope it's soon, the suspense is killing me.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"Barack Obama simply does not have enough experience to be President.

Posted by: phil6 | May 16, 2008 4:29 PM "

Well that's not what the rules say for one thing. For another, senate experience is not presidential experience. That's for certain. With that said, all three candidates qualify equally.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If terrorism/national security is the republican party's/John McCain's strongest suit again Barrack Obama, as staunchly advocated above by Dan Balz, than the party and McCain are in extraordinarily deep du du. Consider that; (1) these are the guys who took their eye off the terrorism ball in Afghanistan to invade Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism and in the bargain created a haven for the Al Quaeda brand of terrorism whle simultaneously strenghten-ing Iran and causing real national secur-ity problems; (2)these are the guys who stretched our military to the breaking point with their Iraq adventure, weakening our national security enormously,(3) these are the guys who with their go it alone, in your face ultra secret foreign policy, complete with rendition, secret bases, an unremitting policy of torture and of course the unilateral invasion of a small, relatively helpless country (Iraq) have made our country despised through much of the world, none of which aids our national security and specifically makes Americans taken prisoner less safe;(4)these are the guys who espouse the same 'in your face' policies and practices on our own military forces, being too cheap to provide them with suitable weapons, armor bomb proof humvees, medical treatment and of late educational benefits, all of which weakens our national security and (4)these are the guys who by their overall foreign policy, again with an emphasis on the unwarranted Iraq invasion, have made us much less safe than we were 7 years ago. Sorry Dan, but if it's national security, McCain and the rest of his republican know nothings want to discuss or throw at Obama, then in the words of that moron of a president we're stuck with - - - bring it on baby.

Posted by: Stanley J. Suser | May 16, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

And even after he has shown himself to be a poor debater and an equally poor extemporaneous speaker, people STILL take him seriously.

WHY?

Posted by: Hillary Simply the Best | May 16, 2008 4:00 PM

*************************

Hillary after the gas tax holidays, Hillary will soon propose the ban of mathematics in schools. To get more Kentuckians to college :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I have lived among your type for years and have listened to the part that we did not make the laws. So we do not have to obey them because they are they white man's laws. I am not blinded by your ability to speak in public, for I have seen your soul and know it for what it is and it is pure "evil".

Look a the whole world and ask this question. Where is there one muslim nation, that treats even their own with respect.


Posted by: Dick H. | May 16, 2008 3:10 PM

*********************
Kevin James - is that you?

You lived among Obama's "type" for years? Really? I see nothing in your post to suggest you have lived among anything that didn't crawl out of a sewer - like you. No wonder Dumbya got a second term with idiots like you to pull the lever.

Posted by: when Fox News viewers drink... | May 16, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

And even after he has shown himself to be a poor debater and an equally poor extemporaneous speaker, people STILL take him seriously.

WHY?

Posted by: Hillary Simply the Best | May 16, 2008 4:00 PM

*************************

Hillary will soon propose the ban of mathematics from schools classes. This will help to have more college students :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama simply does not have enough experience to be President.

Posted by: phil6 | May 16, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

And even after he has shown himself to be a poor debater and an equally poor extemporaneous speaker, people STILL take him seriously.

WHY?

Posted by: Hillary Simply the Best | May 16, 2008 4:00 PM

*************************

Chelsea, is that you?

Posted by: When feminists drink.... | May 16, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious, who the hell is Bob Strauss and who gives a crap what Dan Balz says? Neither is in any position to decide this matter and the fact they think they are only speaks to the all too common overblown self importance of rich old men.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"not only has the islamic terrorist group Hamas endorsed Obama, but the anti-semetic wackos in this forum have endorsed him too ... i'm waiting for the Aryan nations to endorse Obama too ... should be any day now. The evil in this world wants to put the weak-kneed guy in charge.

I'm voting for McCain. Bomb, bomb, bomb the mullahs!

Posted by: aaron | May 16, 2008 3:51 PM"

Obama hasn't endorsed terrorism. He's endorsed common sense and rationality. There's a difference. Your quote is exactly why we currently have poor standing with foreigners. We need another leader to restore our credibility. Obama's on the right track. That's why McCain is starting to see the light and make moves towards Obama's direction on the issue. Looks like I prefer the authentic one on the issue. I trust we'll have reasonable results to bring our people home. That's all they have are insults, because they're weak in simply talking about their stances on the issues. Obama stands out all the more. I hope you will join the team =) We'd do this country a great service together.

Posted by: Obama2008 | May 16, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

George Washington could not tell a lie.
Richard Nixon could not tell the truth.

And Hillary Clinton cannot tell the difference!

Posted by: Gio | May 16, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

aaron, ignorant ppl like you should be hanged in public!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Hillary Simply the Best
So if it is McCain or Bush, he is willing but for Hillary....he has no time?
----------------------------------------

Guess you missed the first 25 democratic debates?

Posted by: ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead | May 16, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama STANDS on the world stage toe to toe with Bush and McCain.

He BEATS his chest and challenges them to a foreign policy debate "anytime anyplace".

So if it is McCain or Bush, he is willing but for Hillary....he has no time?

Even some of his supporters say it would be a "risk" to debate her one on one. Particularly after his disaster at the PA debate.

How can ANYONE believe he will "magically" learn to speak extemporaneously after he is the nominee when he bumbles and fumbles now?

Obama really is a "pig in a poke". We are asked to take him on faith.

And even after he has shown himself to be a poor debater and an equally poor extemporaneous speaker, people STILL take him seriously.

WHY?

Posted by: Hillary Simply the Best | May 16, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Bush is the ultimate appeaser. He just gave 500,000 metric tons of food to Kim Jong Il (axis of evil member), to keep him happy. What's your next present to Kim Jong Il, George? Czechoslovakia?

Posted by: tom | May 16, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

not only has the islamic terrorist group Hamas endorsed Obama, but the anti-semetic wackos in this forum have endorsed him too ... i'm waiting for the Aryan nations to endorse Obama too ... should be any day now. The evil in this world wants to put the weak-kneed guy in charge.

I'm voting for McCain. Bomb, bomb, bomb the mullahs!

Posted by: aaron | May 16, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

How dare anyone can say Obama and Dems is appeasers?

Posted by: rationalthinker | May 16, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Unlike Dan Balz, I don't think this is a significant challenge to Obama. The counter argument is very simple. Just as Reagan negotiiated with the Soviet Union and Nixon with China, conversing with one's enemies does not equal appeasement.

Posted by: JeremyG | May 16, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The "Appeaser" attack is a ploy to deflect attention from Bush's humiliation at the feet of The King of Saudi Arabia. What a stunning foreign policy blunder!

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 16, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to joining with my fellow Republican citizens whom see past the constant televised lies and vetoes on this illegit war, and McCain's flip-flopping on the war when he so for "x" amount of years! I look forward to voting among those of you against this prolonged issue. Beyond parties, We People will make it known on that issue.

I'd like to hope Bush's statement was not an attack on Obama, because he is in NO position to do so. Other than that, I hope his speech was uplifting to those people. As for McCain on the war issue, flip-flopping. There's no time for "?" and games on this war. I'll vote where I believe we'll have sincere results. Make it a SIGNIFICANT Task to Bring Our People Home: Not Now, but RIGHT NOW. Make it happen! Snap snap! Get to it! It's been way too long. The moment they were taking breaks over there while our people are working day in and day out, was the moment we should've got our plan together to pull them out! Get them OUT Now!

Posted by: Obama2008 | May 16, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obma,

Who is it that you plan to protect? Those that hate America as much as you do or those that are in harms way. Those that protect your right to speak as you do.
Every time your lips move I hear Lord Chamberlands speach after returning from his meeting with Hitler.

I have lived among your type for years and have listened to the part that we did not make the laws. So we do not have to obey them because they are they white man's laws. I am not blinded by your ability to speak in public, for I have seen your soul and know it for what it is and it is pure "evil".

Look a the whole world and ask this question. Where is there one muslim nation, that treats even their own with respect.

Posted by: Dick H. | May 16, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I leave you guys on this thread for just a bit, and look what happens?! For the record, NM Moderate, I probably won't even vote for McCain -- I know I won't vote for Hillary -- it will probably be another third party candidate for me again.

Posted by: JakeD | May 16, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by Mark at 5/13/2008 11:20 AM and is filed under Superdelegate duress

There is this nagging question to which I have still not been able to find a satisfactory answer: Why are the superdelegates being allowed to declare their votes prior to the time that they actually are authorized to vote?
---------------------------------------

Super delegates can say whatever they want whenever they want. It's called free speech. However, their vote isn't official cast until the convention. So, it possible for them to say one thing, and vote another.

In terms of it influencing voters I don't think the effect is that great. Most folks don't even understand the process and are under the impression that popular vote is what decides the democratic nominee. As a test, just ask a few people you meet to explain how the super delegate votes function.

Posted by: ding-dong-the-witch-is-dead | May 16, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

If you want the Democratic Primary Delegates awared the same way as the general election, then accept that Senator Clinton wrapped up the race by winning Penn.

Posted by: Muddy | May 16, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

From today's WaPo: McCain is the last politician who should be attacking Obama. Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News's "World News Tonight" program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange:

I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

I guess mccain was for Negotiating with terrorists before he was against it. What say you, Jake D?

Posted by: NM Moderate | May 16, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Why Aren't we Complaining about Superdelegate Voter Abuse?
Posted by Mark at 5/13/2008 11:20 AM and is filed under Superdelegate duress

There is this nagging question to which I have still not been able to find a satisfactory answer: Why are the superdelegates being allowed to declare their votes prior to the time that they actually are authorized to vote?

Has this happened before in previous primaries? I don't remember it being this blatant, if it did. Apparently not, according to CNN.com.

The reason I ask is, isn't this "voter abuse" in the sense that since the superdelegates are the "Electoral College" of the DNC, should they be allowed to influence the primary process long before it is over?

Shouldn't Howard Dean be saying "We want the people to be able to vote uninfluenced by the superdelegates, so any superdelegate who declares their vote prior to the time they are authorized to vote, will be penalized by being removed as a superdelegate and a substitute superdelegate will be appointed."

I am more than a little amazed that we accept this manipulation by the superdelegates as if it is standard operating procedure. Is it? If it is, it is time to change it for the sake of the voters.

So, Florida and Michigan voters can't jump the primary schedule and be counted, but superdelegates are encouraged to jump the primary schedule and openly try to influence the electorate? This is the very definition of "unequal rules of engagement." The electorate gets bullied by the superdelegates, without any penalty to the superdelegates? This is democracy?

Posted by: greenfun | May 16, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The poll results are out and it is another knockout blow for chimpee.

AP-Ipsos polling question: Was it wrong for Preisdent Bush to criticise Democratic candidate Barak Obama as an appeaser?
Yes - 72%
No - 24%
No Opinion - 4%

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You mean the "principal" attack line, not the "principle" attack line.

Posted by: Fred E. Republican | May 16, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, this whole thing is pretty typical of the Obama campaign, i.e. you take something someone said (maybe not related to you at all), you pretend that it is a personal attack on you (Obama) and out of bounds. Then you sling mud and pretend your hand was forced.

I understand a bunch of insecure teenagers falling for this schtick after all they see anything anyone says as being critical of them. But what is this guy going to do if he is President, turn every discussion into a personal attack?

Posted by: DCDave | May 16, 2008 2:12 PM

******************************
Yes, better to have some right-wing radio retard like Kevin James embarrass everyone trying to defend Dumbya's comments. John McCain must be so happy. I know that right winger are insecure, but what was with the shrieking by that idiot on Hardball? Even Matthews was startled.

Posted by: JakeD is on his third martini at the golf course... | May 16, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

DCDave, what you say is true, but you know who created that tactic? Rove. He had Bush pretend Ann Richards attacked him, and had him play the victim of the non-existent "attacks". Obviously, it worked. Axelrod has apparently learned the lesson of Rove's success well, and Obama will campaign via the Rove rule book.

McCain better be ready to call Obama's bluff when they pull this stunt, because Hillary didn't know what hit her.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Romney/ Huckabee for the Presidency.

The Senate for Senators-we are still stuck with(For NOW). ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 16, 2008 1:35 PM

Posted by: This is Rat-duh's brains on drugs... | May 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I bet JakeD's mama still drives him around. If he were paying $4/gallon for gas, i'd bet he won't be so quick to support Bush.

Posted by: Playa | May 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, this whole thing is pretty typical of the Obama campaign, i.e. you take something someone said (maybe not related to you at all), you pretend that it is a personal attack on you (Obama) and out of bounds. Then you sling mud and pretend your hand was forced.

I understand a bunch of insecure teenagers falling for this schtick after all they see anything anyone says as being critical of them. But what is this guy going to do if he is President, turn every discussion into a personal attack?

Posted by: DCDave | May 16, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It's the only game they've got. they can't claim to be better at running the government, or at foreign policy, or at responding to natural disasters, or at securing our borders, or at being the morality party. All they know how to do is accuse everyone else of being anti-American, terrorist-loving appeasers who hate America! Their problem is that 75% of American thinks that they're lying, untrustworthy blowhards and they are going to be handed an election year defeat of biblical proportions. Cast out of The Garden for worshiping false idols.

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 16, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Poor ole JakeD. Its hard not to feel a bit sorry for him.
Won't someone please take pity on this poor guy and help him get a life?

Posted by: charles laffiteau | May 16, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Bush has a long history now of making these "Some people say, believe, think_____" (insert asinine caricature position) type statements. If they really want to avoid confusion then he should start putting names to who is making such statements and taking such positions. Who for example was the "American Senator" quoted in reference to the Nazi tanks? Put up or shut up with the strawman arguments. They are starting to sound a lot like Senator McCarthy's book of names.

Possibly these statements are coming from God speaking to him in his head again.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

playa said- "the criticism is not what Bush said, BUT THAT HE SAID IT ON FOREIGN SOIL ABOUT THE FUTURE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!! get your head with its tiny brain out of your @#$!"

Um, did Bush mention Obama at all? Did he mention anyone specifically, even Carter, at all? Read the actual quote, if you can read. That's the problem with you insane Obama cultists- you have lost your ability to read, hear, reason or think. You just parrot the drivel you hear from the Obama campaign and add a dose of venom, as you just did. The very idea that the possibility that someone who draws supporters like you can get the Democratic nomination should scare the daylights out of all of us who actually care about this country.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | May 16, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's more like a Knockout Bell.

Republicans down for the count!

Posted by: Randy | May 16, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The World Jewish Congress controlles the world. The question is how we get it back.

Posted by: pubichaironmycokecan | May 16, 2008 1:36 PM
----

I do my part by checking the "Lost and Found" box at the local cinema every Friday. Maybe someday it will turn up there.

Posted by: Random | May 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Why does Bush talk to Terrorists then? Is it because his Nazi loving Grandpa?

Posted by: Kent | May 16, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

jpl:

It was hillarious!!! Try checking on-line ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 16, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

dyinglikeflies...the criticism is not what Bush said, BUT THAT HE SAID IT ON FOREIGN SOIL ABOUT THE FUTURE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!! get your head with its tiny brain out of your @#$!

Posted by: Playa | May 16, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Carter just talk to Hamas and get NOTHING out of them in return? HELLO? Bush is generally an idiot, but what he said about such meetings is completely right. And the Obama reaction is totally phony. It's an orchestrated over-reaction to prove HE is the Democratic candidate and therefore, in true narcisist-Obama mode, he takes umbrage.

Next he'll have his surrogates calling Bush a racist. That's what they do- every time you call Obama out for some stupid position he takes, his people (not him, he "transcends race") call you a racist.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | May 16, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Eight reasons to vote for McCain:
1. His wife won't make public her tax records, even though McCain has used her money before.
2. He wants to keep troops in Iraq for another 100 years.
3. He wears a diaper.
4. He's older than countries like Israel and India.
5. His wife invested over $2 million dollars in Sudan.
6. he wears a diaper.
7. He is senile and constantly gets his facts wrong.
8. He was for negotiating with Hamas before he was against it.

Posted by: Playa | May 16, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I did miss Colbert...no cable.

*gasp*

*choke*

*cough*

Posted by: jpl | May 16, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The World Jewish Congress controlles the world. The question is how we get it back.

Posted by: pubichaironmycokecan | May 16, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Not so Fast, there Mr. Balz.

Maybe, just Maybe, some of us are NOT so sold on Juan.

Maybe, we feel that Babysitting Iraqis is not as much a Priority as having a Businessman-or Two, in the White House.

That Maybe, we don't want a Capitulator. That Maybe, we STILL DO NOT AGREE TO AMNESTY!

OK, so Juan McSame/Amnesty announced his Goals. Pretty darn Pie in the Sky, and expecting too many people we do NOT Control to do.

One thing is for CERTAIN! Hillary Clinton, Barack Hussein, and John McCain ARE, and have Been, ACTING SENATORS. The Very People who SHOULD have already approved FUNDING for Federal Agents to begin Screening the Millions of Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers all across this Nation. FINING Employers of ANY Un-Documented Worker Illegally Employed in Direct Violation of Federal W-4, and W-2 Employment verification of Eligibility Requirements!

The Job they are trying to get, Cannot arrange said Funding, and without it, the President CANNOT do his Job of Enforcing those Laws-As Bushie has NOT been able to do!

Now, granted, Bushie did not WANT to, but THAT seems to be a COMMON Problem now doesn't it?!

Mitt Romney has sworn HE WOULD! Mike Huckabee has Too!

Want REAL Change? Look for people who have NOT been avoiding doing what they will continue to avoid doing!

All three Congressional Contenders for the Presidency, are MORE OF THE SAME!

Issues? See Mittster's at mittromney.com

They have not changed. THEY do/did not need to!

Romney/ Huckabee for the Presidency.

The Senate for Senators-we are still stuck with(For NOW). ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 16, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

You and McCain may think America's future is a joke, but its time for that kind of Republican thinking to end.

We've got a lot of work to do on rebuilding america, and we will election someone who can handle that. McCain is a joke of his former self - he is not someone who is up to the task.

Posted by: Franky | May 16, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

jpl:

You must have missed "The Colbert Report" last night?

Posted by: JakeD | May 16, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Better than a secret Nazi Muslim President."

You have a bright future ahead of you...as a comedic scriptwriter in Hollywood.

:)

Posted by: jpl | May 16, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Kent:

Better than a secret Nazi Muslim President.

Posted by: JakeD | May 16, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Considering we have a Nazi wannabe as President, and the Manchurian candidate as the next Republican in line, I would have to agree that the Repubican's are done.

Posted by: Kent | May 16, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

That's not an exclamation point! THESE ("!!!!!") are exclamation points. Good thing the New York Jets weren't forced off the field after the 3rd quarter ...

HANG IN THERE, HILLARY!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 16, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The end has come for the Republican extremists party.

Posted by: Franky | May 16, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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