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The Post's Michael D. Shear reflects on roughly 21 months of covering the McCain campaign and Republican presidential politics. (Video by Ed O'Keefe / washingtonpost.com)

Posted at 8:46 AM ET on Nov 3, 2008  | Category:  Video Report
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This nation is on the verge of something historic - the election of a smart, competent black man as President of the United States. If is fair to say the entire world is watching. It is also fair to say the vast majority is rooting for a Republican defeat. If you don’t believe me you clearly don’t read anything.

How did we get to this place and time? How did a freshman Senator inspire millions of voters to finance his unlikely campaign? Why is he leading in the polls? How did this happen?

Well, I’ll tell you how it happened for me.

I was one of those who had doubts about the Iraq war. I did not believe that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States. Not that Saddam was a good guy ( he wasn’t) however there are lots of bad guys in the world who are not an imminent threat to us whom we don’t attack. We were already flying over his country everyday. There was a tight embargo. Unless he had nuclear weapons how big a threat could he be?

The Administration then lied to us about Saddam and his weaponry.. Further, it sent out a duped Colin Powell to convince us. Bush knew we would believe Colin. So the United States of America, beacon of liberty, attacked a third world country, destroyed its hapless military, made rubble of its infrastructure and occupied it.

Later the lies came out. There were no dangerous weapons. Just fudged intelligence.

The Dems swept into control of Congress in 2006. Bush’s veto could override a 51-49 majority in the Senate so the war went on. Notwithstanding every indication that the majority of Americans didn’t want this war to continue, it went on anyway with no end date. I watched as we tortured prisoners, suspended Habeas Corpus and shredded the Constitution. I watched as Bush politicized the Justice Department and placed incompetent political hacks in high office. Then came the financial collapse.

So here we are. Tens of millions of us have made this journey starting a different places for different reasons; a journey which began with a distaste and disgust with Bush to a point where we may take our country back. Tens of millions have worked hard, made whatever donations we could afford and are already voting in many states.

The whole world is rooting for us to succeed. The whole world needs an America they can look up to again.

MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!

Posted by: toritto | November 3, 2008 11:43 AM

With respect, you picked a beautiful but not so bright VP. Not the America I have known for all my years. There were plenty of super smart women whom were more qualified. Put your pecker in your pants me. To the real American women I have met, you all know Palin has set you back many years. And yes, she broke the glass ceiling big time. Ever watch the show, Dumb and Dummer. I rest my point.

Posted by: justada56 | November 3, 2008 11:43 AM

Yepper, you did it in Iraq big time. You lost so many young patriotic men and women for a cause that had nothing to do with 911. What about your children?

Posted by: justada56 | November 3, 2008 11:36 AM

"How can anyone who is not a millionaire cheer John McCain, who has said he wants to extend the tax breaks for the wealthiest instead of returning the tax for them to what it was during the Clinton administration, as Obama proposes?"
BettyW1

Betty, I know ten thousand or more coal miners in West Virginia this morning who are waking up to read the Spectator and none are millionaires, yet all are questioning any support they may have had for Obama.
Bill Clinton said in 1988 that removing the cap on social secutity taxes was "regressive...no one wants to." THAT'S Exactly what Obama wants to do- it will hurt small business. Obama cleverly claims that 98% of small businesses make under 250k and therefore won't be hurt. He conveniently leaves out the fact that ALL SMALL businesses are included in his figure- EBAY sellers who work at home by themselves, for example. 50% of all small business INCOME will suffer additional heavy taxes due to Obama's unprecidented move.
His "most aggressive cap and trade policy"- his words- will put tens of thousands of coal workers out of work across the country- New Mexico, Colorado, W. Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky, and Virginis. WHO WILL EMPLOY THESE PEOPLE? THE SMALL BUSINESSES WHO ARE BEING MORE HEAVILY TAXED?

The NY Times last week covered the horrible jobs picture in Rhode Island- 8.8% unemployment as the state with the highest cumulative business taxes-

Wake up Betty, don't cut off your nose to spite your face, by voting for Obama in order to "stick it" to Exxon/Mobile and in turn ruining the entire job creating small and medium sized business sector in our great country.

Millionaires, like Penny Pritzker and Barbara Streisand can AFFORD to support Obama Betty- we can't.

Posted by: thecannula | November 3, 2008 11:25 AM

We are in this together.

George Bush senior did not have the stomach to depose Saddam Hussein is why we are in Iraq this time around. It was a tough job somebody had to do. And we, together, have done it. We made it.

Which Obama plans could have survived the last stock melt-down that will result in roughly $300 billion short-fall to the federal coffers? None, all of his plans are being undone as we speak. Economists have predicted that without strong executive leadership in the White House the Dow will be at 7,000 points within two short years, which will sap federal tax revenues even further.

Our country is glorious and great. A woman in the White House, whose time has come for you to shine, girls.

Posted by: peterdaol | November 3, 2008 11:25 AM

Being a Canadian, I guess I just don't get it with all respect. Why would you vote for same after 8 years and a once powerful and gracious Country falling, and fast.
Nothing but sorrow for all of you. Your brave young men and women don't have a job, a home, nor proper medical aid to hope for if and when they come home. All you people are having a bugger of a time. Just explain with respect for my ignorance. You are our nieghbours and best friends.
And before you judge me, I believe in being able to protect yourself with a fire arm. A cash of semi automatics is a different story. But the issue is, your in a mess. May your God Bless you all.

Posted by: justada56 | November 3, 2008 11:02 AM

I think congress should pass more legislation protecting the American species {fortunatus opulentus}.
They seem to be so rare and growing more so every day. According to the latest studies they number less than 6 million but control forty percent of the wealth.
If Obama becomes president these noble animals will be hunted ruthlessly.
Act now before we lose them to his cruelty.
They are the closest thing we have to royalty.

Posted by: seemstome | November 3, 2008 10:43 AM

Joe the plunger keys historic mccain comback! Thanks to the human toilet cleaner, mccain tops 100 electoral votes! Unfortunately, it takes 270 to win....

Oh well, maybe mccain can sing back up for sewer boy on his new country music album, titled "I'll pay my taxes when I'm good and ready", with other hits such as, "I aint got no license to plunge" and "Don't my head look shiny"

What a dufus.

Posted by: pgiaquinto | November 3, 2008 10:35 AM

In response to thecannula:

While it is true that Obama has advocated clean coal and acknowledged that it could cost some jobs, this is the EXACT SAME position McCain has taken.

From a McCain speech on the Senate floor on June 21, 2005 defending his own bill to fight global warming, partially by supporting clean coal:

"Does it involve some sacrifice on the part of the American people? Yes. ... This amendment, I am sure, will be attacked--THOUSANDS OF JOBS WILL BE LOST ... The reason we are going to win is because every single month there is another manifestation of the terrible effects of what climate change is doing to our Earth."

Sen. Voinovich from Ohio replied during the debate that:

"The McCain amendment will put coal out of business by forcing fuel switching to natural gas."

So if you are going to report that Obama will hurt the coal industry, for balanced reporting you should note that McCain takes basically the same position on this issue.

For more details, check out:
http://www.jedreport.com/2008/11/ohios-gop-senator-mccain-will.html

Posted by: JeffL2000 | November 3, 2008 10:31 AM

Sunday, November 02, 2008
Gateway Pundit
EXPLOSIVE NEW AUDIO--

OBAMA TOLD A SAN FRANCISCO AUDIENCE THAT HE WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL INDUSTRY!

ATTN: Coal states Virginia , OHIO, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, West Virginia, and Indiana, guess what Obama told San Francisco about you?

from his talk to the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2008:


"Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.

I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

The only thing I've said with respect to coal, I haven't been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It's just that it will bankrupt them."

Posted by: thecannula | November 3, 2008 9:34 AM

"their view would cost West Virginians thousands upon thousands of jobs."
Ben Beakes in the West Virginia Record
11-2-08

Sen. Obama- are you aware that your "most aggressive cap and trade policy out there" will put coal miners in W Virginia, Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana, New Mexico, Indiana, and Ohio out of work?

How are you going to employ them?- Oh, I know you will convert them all to solar panel assemblers overnight....or would they collect Obama "tax credits" instead?

Sounds like another Belgium Endive solution to me!

Posted by: thecannula | November 3, 2008 9:31 AM

Thank You John McCain for Always Putting Your Country's Needs before Your Own-

The West Virginia Record
11-2-08

The senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association called Obama's comments "unbelievable."

"His comments are unfortunate," Chris Hamilton said Sunday, "and really reflect a very uninformed voice and perspective to coal specifically and energy generally."

Hamilton noted other times Obama and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden have made seemingly anti-coal statements.

"In Ohio recently, when Joe Biden said 'not here' about building coal-fired power plants -- this is exactly what will happen," Hamilton said. "Financing won't be directed here. It will all go aboard for plants elsewhere in the world. The United Sates is importing more coal today from Indonesia, South Africa and Colombia than we ever have.

"If we're going to create a situation where coal-fired power plants are at that much of a disadvantage, there will be new ones built. But as Biden said, just not here."

Republican presidential candidate John McCain's state director said Obama's statements are troubling, especially for West Virginians.

"I think this clearly shows the attitude the Obama-Biden ticket has toward coal," Ben Beakes(Chief of Staff, WV Secretary of State's Office)said Sunday. "Rhetoric is cheap, but behind closed doors what they tell their supporters - that's what we have to take as gospel.

"They're definitely not friends of coal."

Beakes noted other examples of Obama and Biden making seemingly anti-coal statements, such as in February when Obama said he'd like to tax "dirty energy" such as coal and natural gas.

"And their cohorts in Congress make similar statements," Beakes said. "(Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said this summer that 'coal makes us sick.'

"This is an attitude and view that, to me, shows their hatred of coal. And therefore, their view would cost West Virginians thousands upon thousands of jobs."

Beakes touted McCain's view toward coal.

"John McCain has embraced coal," Beakes said. "He doesn't agree with everything in the coal industry, but his view of coal is positive. He will make it part of his energy policy. He's met with leaders in the coal industry and let them know that. He's sought advice from coal industry leaders.

"McCain understands that coal supports about 49 percent of our electricity in this country. He'll continue to make coal important. He wants to reduce our foreign dependency on oil."

Posted by: thecannula | November 3, 2008 9:23 AM

It's a shame we didn't get McCain circa 2000 or 2004 instead of the new 2008 model. I would have voted for him in a heartbeat. Now, not so sure.
--------------
www.politicalwrestling.wordpress.com -Extreme Political Satire- One more day to PCW Extreme Election Night 2008

Posted by: politicalchampionshipwrestling | November 3, 2008 9:00 AM

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