Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Who Won the Week?

The past week in the presidential race was shaping up to be the quietest in recent memory until last night at 7:41 pm.

That's when John McCain's campaign sent out a statement from former Texas senator Phil Gramm in which he formally resigned his position as a co-chair of the effort. Gramm's resignation came nine days after he told the Washington Times that America was only in a "mental recession" and that the country was devolving into a "nation of whiners."

Gramm's resignation is an obvious attempt by McCain's campaign to put his comments behind them but it won't be that easy. Witness the statement put out by Barack Obama's campaign spokesman Hari Sevugan late last night:

"The question for John McCain isn't whether Phil Gramm will continue as chairman of his campaign, but whether he will continue to keep the economic plan that Gramm authored and that represents a continuation of the polices that have failed American families for the last eight years."

In other words, this ain't going away.

Following the scramble set off by Gramm's departure, another e-mail arrived in The Fix inbox at 3:24 a.m. from Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. "At approximately 3:15 AM Eastern/2:15 AM Central, I received a phone call telling me that Senator Obama had landed at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan," it read. "Since leaving Washington on Thursday, Senator Obama had stopped and visited troops in Kuwait."

That email signals the start of Obama's weeklong, whirlwind tour of the Middle East and Europe -- a trip that has long been anticipated and will receive the sort of saturation coverage most candidates can only dream about. (More on Obama's trip in our "FixCam Week in Preview" on Monday.)

So, who won the past week in politics? As always, we are looking for concise, creative and reasoned takes -- offered in the comment section below. Since everything this week has been late-starting (including our "Who Won the Week" competition which we usually start on Fridays), we'll give Fixistas until Sunday at 5 p.m. to submit their picks. The winner -- or winners -- scores an official Fix T-shirt.

Go to it!

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 19, 2008; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gramm Steps Aside
Next: Sunday Conversation: McCain's New Ad

Comments

@MNTENG: Glad you enjoyed the humor. I'm impressed. That's a very particular brand of Spanish slang that no Babelfish can crack. Obviously, I can write in a more cultured way, with "pluscuamperfectos" and all that, but I'm glad you got my point.

The bigotry towards Spanish-speaking people in the US is grotesque. If I had written in really elegant Spanish, nobody would have known the difference.

MERCOSUR keeps robbing the US blind in the f/x and commodities markets. What needs to happen? For a JV of 4 or 5 South American media companies to buy the Washington Post and fire Bob "Judy Miller" Woodward? Or David "El Super Canson" Broder?

I've forgotten more finance and economics than Lou Dobbs will ever know, yet he would view me the same way as a Chihuahuan hidden in the trunk of a car at the El Paso-Juarez border. It would be like me saying Lou Dobbs is the same thing as somebody in the Aryan Brotherhood trying to cadge an edge methadone cup from the clinic.

Just how xenophobic can a country be?

Posted by: DexterManley | July 22, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Foreign coverage favored Obama this week. His trips to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq made him look Presidential. His body language certainly helped, but so did Maliki's German interview backing the troop withdrawal plan.

Posted by: Dan in Thailand | July 22, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

If Obama was runningb this country he says he would take nuclear off the table.te united states developed nuclear weapons.thats one reason we haven't been blown to hell.If we took nuclear off the table we would be sent to hell.Obama is the dumbest ass you could ever hear speak.Hammas would give any thing if Obama were elected to run this country.It will never happen.

Posted by: Dolores flemiong. | July 21, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Of Course Obama has won the week, and most all the weeks. The media trolls won't report Mcsame many gaffes, but we all know why.The straight talks express has derailed
so much , he can't remember what he is saying.

Posted by: tygirl | July 21, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The week past appeared to me to be mostly a draw, which means a win for Obama. Any week McCain doesn't clearly win is a lost week for him, since he's fighting an uphill battle.

Posted by: billp | July 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

caliguy55--Obama gets along very well with Sarkozy, who is hardly a "nobody". They met in 2006 and apparently got along very well (see Richard Cohen's column in today's Times). Sarko is rude and crude by French standards, but his proposals for a Mediterranean economic sphere is probably one of the most important in the recent past. If he can get it to work, it will go a long way towards further stabilizing North Africa and maybe end the terrorist threat there. A brilliant move if he can pull it off.

Merkel doesn't like Obama for the simple reason that she is a conservative and Obama is not. The Social Democrats like him and, given his approval numbers in Germany, she probably sees him as a threat to her politically.

BTW, as for the nobody comment, have you seen the dollar to euro exchange rate recently?

Posted by: dwfortin | July 21, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin:
Thanks for your continued advocacy. One of these days ...

DexterManley:
I'm glad to see that the WaPo comment police don't understand Spanish. But maybe you shouldn't advocate for BHO. If more Americans learn another language, as BHO suggests we do, some of your comments might then get censored. Then again, reading through the detritus that litters this blog, maybe not.

Posted by: mnteng | July 21, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

clearly, Obama won the week. McSame visits a baseball game in NY and fires his chief economic adviser, Elmer Fudd.
Obama helps us refocus on Iraq and Afghanistan.
how much more obvious can it get?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Caliguy: Eres caleno?

If you are, why are you writing this foolishness when you know better?

The money is better with the psycho-Christian War Party in power, because we bend them over in the f/x, debt and commodities markets. People outside the US had grown quite comfortable with the Bill Clinton approach to things and while profitable for us at the USA's expense, the Christian War Party makes everyone a little jumpy now and then. It was just more RELAXING when Clinton was president. We didn't have to worry about the 4th fleet 100 knots away from the harbor. We didn't have to worry whom Bush labelled "friend" and whom he labelled "foe".

Generally speaking, if there was a hot-spot like Northern Ireland, Israel or South Africa, Clinton's first reaction was to see what he could do to facilitate peace and negotiation. That's why Obama has 80% approval ratings in every other country.

Do you really think Sarkozy or Merkel give a crap that Obama's more popular than they are? They'd welcome Obama because Obama has no interest in telling everyone else what to do. He has some respect for sovereignty.

America's Christian War Party has been telling the whole world what to do for the last 7 1-2 years and despite how rich every country has gotten at the expense of the USA's $11 trillion debt and $1.5 tn annual deficit to fund the "war on terror," we do have some pride, you know.

Americans may worship at the altar of state control and the death penalty and endless war. The rest of us need a break.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 20, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

If I win the contest, I don't want a t-shirt. I want you to wear a "BALBINA HERRERA 'Torrijista Para Siempre' PRESIDENTA 2009" T-shirt. I'll be happy to send you one. I'd send you a Butcher, Carasquilla or Alonso t-shirt but those are the kinds of local ward-heelers the MSM hates but who provide the Christmas hams instead of voting to send anyone's children off to fight wars for George W Bush's amusement.

Remember the name Balbina Herrera because in May of 2009, your paper will be writing terrible, terrible things about her. Worse stuff than you wrote about Clinton or Obama. One person will write that she's a communist. The other will write that she's too pro-business and doesn't care about the poor. Both will write that she needs to be gotten rid of because she's agnostic on the "war on terror" and not a reliable ally.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 20, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

This pains me, but I think I need to get use to it...Obama wins the week. Coverage before and starting his European trip felt more presidential than campaign and he looked the part....cross one more advantage off the list for McCain. (Oh, and Chris, winning the T-shirt would ease the pain of a big R watching it start to slip away from us!).

Posted by: Chris -Cedar Falls, IA | July 20, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama has an 85% approval rate in Germany and a 75% approval rate in France. Therefore, he is much more popular among German and French citizens than their own leaders. That being the case, who cares about the nobodies that currently run these countries or what they think. Obama would probably beat them both in an election held on their own soil. This is the true reason these leaders don't like Obama. He will have immense power over them with such good-will among their peoples.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 20, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama has an 85% approval rate in Germany and a 75% approval rate in France. Therefore, he is much more popular among German and French citizens than their own leaders. That being the case, who care about the nobodies that currently run these countries or what they think. Obama would probably beat them both in an election held on their own soil. This is the true reason these leaders don't like Obama. He will have immenser power over them with such good-will among their peoples.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 20, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

But Scrivener, Dickey and Gopal:

You know what's so great about having McCain in this election and having the media so in the tank for him? It's that other than loving war, McCain's signature issue is "immigration reform." And you know what that means! It means I get to read and hear the word "hispanics" over and over again and not in a kind way.

This is so funny. I can't help it. I'm HISPANIC. And I doubt there's any writer at the Washington Post or New York Times who makes as much money in a year as my son does in interest on his trust account!

My English is perfect. My skin is White. But I'm a HISPANIC! I don't want to move money anymore for a living. I want to come up to the USA and take a job as a pipe-fitter or a plumber away from a REAL American!

Es super-gracioso, si o pa' que? Estos cansones y guequitos en la media convencional que se creen clase uno-A de si mismos, super-blancos y tal pero no tienen ni la verga de sesos ni de plata ni de cooky ni de la pinga de la vaina rica o sea. Que cosa que soy mucho mas BLANCO que el rey de los guecos ese tipo Lou Dobbs, mas blanco que ese canson que modera "The Fix" y todo el rollo como asi. Huevon!

"Immigration reform"? I got your immigration reform. Right here.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 20, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Noyce one, Dickey! I was in school in the US when I heard Gramm talk about his "Dickey Flatt test."

Gramm looks like a turtle, too. I always used to laugh when I'd see his face.

You make a good point. I meant to say POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 20, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Who's the winner of the week? Why, John McCain, of course. Just as the Supreme Court decided Mr. Bush won in 2000 even as he lost, the media decides Mr. McCain wins even when he loses.

Posted by: R M Gopal | July 20, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I did, because it means I'll get to see more of my good friend Phil again.

Posted by: Dickey Flatt | July 20, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way, I like Barack Obama and I hope he wins, but The Scrivener has laid it out plain. Think of a country in the "West" (to include Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) which has what you consider a "Right-Wing" government. I can think of a few. Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel and Peru.

What chance would Obama have if he ran with the economic, foreign and social policies of Harper, Uribe, Sarkozy, Merkel, Olmert or Garcia? These are all RIGHT-WING heads-of-state now. Remember that.

Obama would have to be in favor of no US troops in Iraq, no death penalty, no incarceration of minors with adults, complete judicial discretion in sentencing, single-payer health care, subsized university education, no official mixing of church and state, wiretap laws that cover cellphones and landlines, require a court order for roughly 14 days with a judge's right to cancel if he or she sees no progress, consumer rights to 4G encryption of telecommunications, fiscal prudence, monetary neutrality, no alternative minimum tax, nor tax on foreign-source income and no "off-shore" detention centers in which people may be held indefinitely without charge.

My god! The Right-Wing capitalist-democratic-republican heads-of-state outside the US sound like Dennis Kucinich with a Ron Paul kicker!

But as a foreign resident, the US wars of choice, the US national security state and goofy fiscal and monetary policies only HELP me. So, enjoy. They cause me no pain whatsoever.

If you really think that what Phil Gramm says or does is meaningful news, that pretty much tells me I'm not going to want for much in this life, nor is my son, nor any of his kids if he has any.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 20, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Personal to the "Fairlington Blade": (Is that a bayonet?)

The only thing for which I am desperate is justice and an end to creeping fascism in America as manifested by state-assisted community stalking and the proliferation of directed energy weapons (lasers, microwaves) that allegedly have been used on the civilian population.

The two links are to stories about those topics, not to my latest blog, which I posted here.

Have a nice day. Oh, for you -- those links, again:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

THE SCRIVENER won the week with an excellent comment here.

OBAMA came in second when he said it was less important worrying about immigrants learning English than it was about your children NOT learning Spanish.

Zillion-way tie for last for profound ignorance about oil economics. Energy prices spot and forward are random variables which are distributed log-normally and as such obey mean-variance behavior. The VIX prices volatility of a basket of commodities at 25%. It is substantially higher for energy, in the 40% range. That means $10 moves for a week in spot crude, let alone forward crude in a contango-ed market, are pretty meaningless. They have nothing to do, for example, with something Bush or McCain says about drilling or Obama says about "renewable fuel technologies."

High oil prices and the contango market reflect fears of long-term supply instability in the Middle East for a give inelastic demand, under both possible presidents. This brings me back to why The Scrivener won the week.

Normally, if Obama were for a full withdrawal of US forces from Iraq starting yesterday, which he isn't, there would be a sense of calm in the energy markets. It doesn't really matter what Obama's for vis-a-vis Iraq because the initial invasion has destabilized the region for 50 years to come.

Don't believe me. Go to Bloomberg.com and take a look at any oil curve going out 50 years.

I prefer less death and suffering rather than more. I root for my favorite teams, boxers, golfers, tennis players, etc., not for one flag or other. Any American who's pro-war but not willing to fight is just a "war fan" as opposed to being a "sports fan" or a "movie fan" or into coin-collecting. It's a hobby. Nothing more.

You have your hobbies. I have mine.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama wins. Even though gas prices are down a little this week, every time people fill up the tank they worry about their future and our economy. It is an accumulative thing. Back in everyone's mind people associate see McCain as out of touch with peoples' economic woes, and hope Obama can do better.

Maliki's timetable remarks helped Obama too. I can't see too many people thinking it is a good idea to continue to occupy Iraq if the elected leadership wants us out. McCain looked out of touch there too.

Posted by: Sunshine | July 20, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama won: to use a b-ball analogy: Obama didn't hit any home runs, but he 'hits and runs well', plays excellent defense, has excellent pitching and takes care mostly, of the fundamentals.

What I liked most was when Obama said to all reporters with him, "I'm going overseas to listen, not to speak," (something like this) and that's exactly what I want a President to always do when said President-in-waiting is in learning-mode.

Posted by: zzapynys | July 20, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Good lord scrivener, are you that desperate for hits on your blog?

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 20, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Mccain never having a clue what he is talking about

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GEtZlR3zp4c&feature=related

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Johnny Cash had an insight into Mccain.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wXwTR_wrvmQ

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama won the week because even as foreign policy is perceived as a weakness for him, his trip abroad will help make him look presidential and his positions on Iraq (timetable), Iran (direct negotiation), Afghanistan (central front) are being recognized and even adopted by the current administration. Even if this serves to make this a "squishy" election on Iraq McCain needs a big contrast on foreign policy to break the current campaign narrative.

Posted by: Noah | July 20, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I suggest the "conventional" winner, at this time, should be "mnteng", 7-19 @ 1:19P.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 20, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The unconventional winner was Gore. The energy initiative he proposed was actually "doable." And he has a new ally and superficially strange bedfellow willing to fund his exact initiative: T. Boone Pickens, baron of the Oogallala Aquifer, wizard of wind, angel of Stillwater, and scourge of Lubbock.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 20, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama won the week hands down...I took me a moment to remember who the guy was that was running against him...

Posted by: Belle | July 20, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama wins. Not only has he scored a base hit with 8-point lead in the Washington Post early week poll he has managed to run it in with the endorsement of his withdrawal plan by the Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki. This, and the symbolical beginning of his foreign tour in Afghanistan will fundamentally refocus the rhethoric on this topic in his favour, but also underlines his readiness and judgement as a future head of state.

Posted by: a rossdeutsch | July 20, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Neville Chamberlain said "peace in our time" Obama likes "Withdrawal in our time".

Think about it "Peace vs Withdrawal" in our time.

If Bush listen to theObama and the Democ"rats" who took control in 2006 say WITHDRAW NOW, GET OUT NOW BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW.

Maliki would be "DEAD" So the serge worked and Maliki is alive so I guess he is the big winner this week


VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | July 20, 2008 3:48 AM | Report abuse

Nuri al-Maliki won, hands down:

1. he foiled Bush & Co.'s plan to negotiate an agreement that would permit a long term American presence with basing rights after the December 31 deadline when the UN's mandate expires and one which would not require Senate approval.

2. he got Bush to agree to a withdrawal of troops sooner as opposed to later, even though the White House maladroitly couched the agreement in terms that try hard not to seem to be a timetable.

3. he gave it all away in an interview with a German magazine when he made clear he prefers Obama's proposals over the Bush-McCain plan for indefinite occupation. He then utilized the "I was misquoted/misunderstood/misinterpreted" defense but that was called into question by the White House's embarrassing slip of an email which essentially confirmed the wording Der Spiegel reported.

Bush is so desperate to get basing and occupation rights for an indefinite term that his desire was used against him in jiu jitsu style by an Iraqi politician who proved not to be as weak as Americans have presumed, to Bush's horror.

Of course the real recipient of those gifts as well as the gift of an American diplomatic representative sitting down with the Iranian's representative in Geneva (even if he was mute) is Barack Obama, to the detriment of John McCain who has to be fuming by being undercut by his supposed champion, GWB.

It might seem that the world is helping end the nightmare of the Bush regime by conspiring to assist in the change Obama represents vs the samo-samo John McCain proposes.

Posted by: David | July 20, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse


AS YOU IDOL WORSHIP, YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE ERODING...

DO YOU REALIZE WHAT'S HAPPENING?

SCRIVENER'S SCREED (MAKE IT VIRAL):

It's time to stop the idol worship and to really get busy.

First task: demand that your candidate, whomever that may be, spell out clear and unwaivering positions on matters of civil liberties and the rule of law in America.

How about issues on which the progressives part company with Obama? Start with his approval of the death penalty and the Supreme Court's expansion of its application. What's the sentiment in the black community? Has anyone done that story? Has anyone asked Jesse Jackson about the issue gap between Obama and blacks? Tell me if I missed it.

Electronic voting threatens to steal democracy. Have any of the pundit overlords taken note? No, not even Chris Matthews, who had a cameo in the highest profile media project to examine the issue of electronic voting machine manipulation: A Robin Williams comedy a couple years back called "Man of the Year" (recommended to all who want to understand why their vote may not count).

The federal government has quietly assembled a national police force of vigilante citizen volunteers and moonlighting municipal and utility workers, who target "undesirables" or those fingered rightly or wrongly by someone in power -- maybe YOU -- with no need to bother with that inconvenient institution we call the judicial system... or, for that matter, uniformed local police.

Should Homeland Security and the private armies and black ops squads assembled under its consolidated authority report directly to the President and not through the Justice Department, like the FBI (about the only powerful agency not under the DHS aegis)? Is this healthy for democracy?

Is anyone blaring it in the headlines? Not in the mainstream media. And even the "alternative media" has its head up... well, you know where.

Wake up, people. Your freedom is being whittled away in the name of "keeping America safe." From what? The rule of law? The inconvenient need to afford due process and not allow the government to spy and harass innocent citizens outside of the legal system?

This is more than "warrantless" wiretapping. This involves purposeful avoidance of the legal system entirely. This, my associates, is the negation of the rule of law. This is lawlessness, the law of the jungle.

Bob Barr was an establishment Republican. Then he started to get uneasy as he saw the erosion of civil liberties in America. Even John Ashcroft had some serious second thoughts; remember that visit to his bedside, when he held his ground on the very issue upon which Obama now equivocates?

Now Bob Barr's taken possession of the civil liberties torch -- which is what Nader would have done if he had any true political talent (he's a hero of mine, but as a consumer advocate, not as a spoiler).

Barr's starting to get some traction. Look at the polls in key states. Has anyone bothered to give him any coverage whatsoever? Haven't seen it.

There are real threats to America, to YOUR freedom, my fellow Fix blog posters -- and this downward spiral, this retreat from the rule of law, is happening right in front of you...

... in your cities and towns, at your county seat, within your local government and inside the cop shop, the firehouse, and the clubhouse of the local citizen's "patrol" gang -- what's becoming America's version of the Bund.

Is Obama tackling these issues? Has any of the slavish D.C. press corps really analyzed the implications of his back-pedaling on civil liberties and wiretapping, his endorsement of the death penalty, his pandering approval of the mingling of church and state? I recognize that last one is not a flip-flop; Obama used religion as his pretext to earn his community organizer bona fides. Nothing wrong with that; but providing public funds for church projects and expecting no discrimination in hiring is wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

All of you Obamanauts, please start demanding that your candidate show some spine on these issues, and not take the expedient way out on the big issues that impact your personal freedom.

AND... if you agree that it's time to address the issues that threaten our democracy, copy this post and send it to ten people who could make a difference! Do it tomorrow morning, as the talk shows blather on about the Obama trip. Make your Sunday morning really productive; take action NOW!

And that's Scrivener's midnight rant; I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

... For more about preserving the rule of law and stopping the contagion of vigilante rule in America, click on the links below:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 20, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

AS YOU IDOL WORSHIP, YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES ARE ERODING...

DO YOU REALIZE WHAT'S HAPPENING?

SCRIVENER'S SCREED (MAKE IT VIRAL):

It's time to stop the idol worship and to really get busy.

First task: demand that your candidate, whomever that may be, spell out clear and unwaivering positions on matters of civil liberties and the rule of law in America.

How about issues on which the progressives part company with Obama? Start with his approval of the death penalty and the Supreme Court's expansion of its application. What's the sentiment in the black community? Has anyone done that story? Has anyone asked Jesse Jackson about the issue gap between Obama and blacks? Tell me if I missed it.

Electronic voting threatens to steal democracy. Have any of the pundit overlords taken note? No, not even Chris Matthews, who had a cameo in the highest profile media project to examine the issue of electronic voting machine manipulation: A Robin Williams comedy a couple years back called "Man of the Year" (recommended to all who want to understand why their vote may not count).

The federal government has quietly assembled a national police force of vigilante citizen volunteers and moonlighting municipal and utility workers, who target "undesirables" or those fingered rightly or wrongly by someone in power -- maybe YOU -- with no need to bother with that inconvenient institution we call the judicial system... or, for that matter, uniformed local police.

Should Homeland Security and the private armies and black ops squads assembled under its consolidated authority report directly to the President and not through the Justice Department, like the FBI (about the only powerful agency not under the DHS aegis)? Is this healthy for democracy?

Is anyone blaring it in the headlines? Not in the mainstream media. And even the "alternative media" has its head up... well, you know where.

Wake up, people. Your freedom is being whittled away in the name of "keeping America safe." From what? The rule of law? The inconvenient need to afford due process and not allow the government spy and harass innocent citizens outside of the legal system?

This is more than "warrantless" wiretapping. This involves purposeful avoidance of the legal system entirely. This, my associates, is the negation of the rule of law. This is lawlessness, the law of the jungle.

Bob Barr was an establishment Republican. Then he started to get uneasy as he saw the erosion of civil liberties in America. Even John Ashcroft had some serious second thoughts; remember that visit to his bedside, when he held his ground on the very issue upon which Obama now equivocates?

Now Bob Barr's taken possession of the civil liberties torch -- which is what Nader would have done if he had any true political talent (he's a hero of mine, but as a consumer advocate, not as a spoiler).

Barr's starting to get some traction. Look at the polls in key states. Has anyone bothered to give him any coverage whatsoever? Haven't seen it.

There are real threats to America, to YOUR freedom, my fellow Fix blog posters -- and this downward spiral, this retreat from the rule of law, is happening right in front of you...

... in your cities and towns, at your county seat, within your local government and inside the cop shop, the firehouse, and the clubhouse of the local citizen's "patrol" gang -- what's becoming America's version of the Bund.

Is Obama tackling these issues? Has any of the slavish D.C. press corps asked him about the implication of his back-pedaling on civil liberties, wiretapping, his endorsement of the death penalty, his pandering approval of the mingling of church and state? I recognize that last one is not a flip-flop; Obama used religion as his pretext to earn his community organizer bona fides. Nothing wrong with that; but providing public funds for church projects and expecting no discrimination in hiring is wanting to have your cake and eat it, too.

All of you Obamanauts, please start demanding that your candidate show some spine on these issues, and not take the expedient way out on the big issues that impact your personal freedom.

AND... if you agree that it's time to address the issues that threaten our democracy, copy this post and send it to ten people who could make a difference! Do it tomorrow morning, as the talk shows blather on about the Obama trip. Make your Sunday morning really productive; take action NOW!

And that's Scrivener's midnight rant; I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

... For more about preserving the rule of law and stopping the contagion of vigilante rule in America, click on the links below:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 20, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Good reason to vote for McCain - very charming on a late night comedy show. Part of why we are in the mess we are now is that so many voted for Bush because he was more likeable. McCain doesn't even know how to log into this blog (wonder if he knows what a blog is).

Posted by: Joey M | July 19, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN AND CLINTON WON THE WEEK
McCain's disarmingly charming appearance with Conan O'Brien Friday night demonstrates why John McCain will be the next president of the United States -- unless the Democratic superdelegates come to their senses and join forces with Hillary and Bill Clinton in an 11th-hour convention putsch.
**************

Hehehehehehe. Excellent satire.

Posted by: Aleks | July 19, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

In all honestly, Mccain would not be up to any of this. With his current four day work weeks and an inability to fulfill any of his senatorial duties, Mccains age is the major factor now and it is becoming even more a factor by the day.
++++++++++
The Fix smells it, and bondjedi smells it, and tomorrow the Sunday talkies will be taking a deep sniff - the scent of an Obama blowout in November.

John McCain's sole, sole, sole reason to be this year's nominee is his ability to convince party faithful that he has a clue what is going on in the world, a task made easier by the wooden-headed Mitt Romney, the yokel Mike Huckabee, and the frattish George Allen.

Now, while McCain is bogged down in this soap opera created by ... well, nothing. If that's what Phil Gramm thinks, then so what? A more confident campaign would have taken that stance.

Instead, while Obama demonstrates some serious foreign policy buzz - and does anyone think that the White House "blunder" of forwarding the seemingly positive excerpt of the e-mail from Nouri al-Maliki supporting Obama's withdrawal plan was just that, a goof? - the McCain campaign is dead in the water and rudderless. My apologies to Bob Dole for comparing this year's model to the 1996 version. I should be comparing it to Mike Dukakis.

Obama has a popelike appeal by now. Do you think people would be showing up in droves in Europe to see McCain? If the McCain camp had any balls, it would have their guy front and center for Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. That would be the closest that McCain would come all year to a large crowd.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 19, 2008 11:10 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the clear winner this week. No gaffes and the shifts in the current administration's policy seem to vindicate Obama's positions after all the appeaser and naive innuendo. Even the media storm surrounding the New Yorker cartoon ended up working for Obama because it made right wing hosts denounce some of the nuttier smears against Obama (which they themselves had been fuelling) out of fear of being lumped together with the tin foil hat crowd.

Meanwhile, McCain was forced into awkward positions by two of his top advisors. The trouble surrounding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reinforced the idea that the GOP doesn't care about average people but is more than willing to bail out multi-billion dollar companies and McCain had to follow Obama's lead on Afghanistan. He even had to raise him a brigade to make sure he didn't seem softer on terrorism. Even the video attacking Obama on Iraq that was released by his campaign got swamped by external factors.

The news cycles this week really helped Obama without his campaign having to try to influence them. The release of his June fundraising figures should have been the cherry on top, but then along came Maliki. The cherry on top of the cherry.

Posted by: Lmw | July 19, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

The Fix smells it, and bondjedi smells it, and tomorrow the Sunday talkies will be taking a deep sniff - the scent of an Obama blowout in November.

John McCain's sole, sole, sole reason to be this year's nominee is his ability to convince party faithful that he has a clue what is going on in the world, a task made easier by the wooden-headed Mitt Romney, the yokel Mike Huckabee, and the frattish George Allen.

Now, while McCain is bogged down in this soap opera created by ... well, nothing. If that's what Phil Gramm thinks, then so what? A more confident campaign would have taken that stance.

Instead, while Obama demonstrates some serious foreign policy buzz - and does anyone think that the White House "blunder" of forwarding the seemingly positive excerpt of the e-mail from Nouri al-Maliki supporting Obama's withdrawal plan was just that, a goof? - the McCain campaign is dead in the water and rudderless. My apologies to Bob Dole for comparing this year's model to the 1996 version. I should be comparing it to Mike Dukakis.

Obama has a popelike appeal by now. Do you think people would be showing up in droves in Europe to see McCain? If the McCain camp had any balls, it would have their guy front and center for Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. That would be the closest that McCain would come all year to a large crowd.

Posted by: bondjedi | July 19, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait until Bush claims Obama's Iraq & Afghanistan plans as his own. McCain is so over now!

Posted by: Joey M | July 19, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama won the week. While McCain and the conservative pundits were desperately trying to diminish the importance of this trip for Obama by calling it a "photo op" and implying that the mainstream media were merely cheerleaders or "campaign spokesperson," the leaked e-mail by the Bush administration regarding Maliki's call for the U.S. to withdraw "as soon as posible" re-affirms Obama's position and calls into question McCain's judgment and stubborness, which is eerily similar to the present administration.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | July 19, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Dianne72:

You are a man. You are a paid disinformation artist. You are transparent. And so you fail.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

The whole world knew that Lyndon Johnson would be visiting South Viet Nam, and eventually visiting troops at Cam Rahn Bay months in advance. Now Barack goes to Afghanistan and Iraq with plenty of advanced notice.

George and Dick have to bamboozle the press and concoct plausible cover stories so they can visit American troops out in the desert where there is nothing but sand flies and scared lizards. The Cowards now REALLY look like cowards.

Barack just looks like a normal politician, going where the votes are, and doing it in public.

Sorta adds perspective to the term Chickenhawk, doesn't it?

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | July 19, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I just saw a picture of Barry Hussein's lips. They are sooooo purple!!!

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | July 19, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Negatives for McCain: John's economic team resigned because he mistakenly described his faith based economics and discovered that there aren't very many true believers. Now John is looking for a Phil Gramm to replace Phill Gramm. Meanwhile al Maliki has said the magic words, "GO HOME" and John somehow has to spin that to match his 100 years if necessary. Positives for McCain, he IS still breathing.

Negatives for Obama: The New Yorker had yet another artistic triumph that went over everybody's head. Had Barack not been tired and needed his mid summer nap, he would have retorted something along the lines of, "New Yorker Cover? I still don't quite get Eustace Tilly!" That mid summer nap gave John two whole days to do something to reignite some fire in his campaign without the press having a bit o' Obama to temper it with. John is, happily, still breathing.

Positives for Obama: having taken his two day mid summer nap back in Chicago, Barack headed off to gallivant the world, where he will get rave reviews in places George has to sneak into and out of. Should he actually visit some place like downtown Mosul, or Samarra, or (god forbid) Baghdad, he will make George, and Dick out to be the cowards they are. Shopuld he visit a market in Baghdad sans the body armor, body guards, and close air support that John needed he will score enough macho points to cut the balance beam of "Strong on Defense" right out from under McCain.

Meanwhile al Maliki has endorsed Obama on defense of Iraq.

The economy was headed south until George was forced to talk to Iran. At that point, war with Iran seeming to be off the table for a while, driving oil and gasoline prices down abruptly, McCain's Bushishness on America seems so last month that he not only hasn't any position to occupy, he hasn't any present or future either.

Week to Obama, a gift from John, Phil, and Nouri.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | July 19, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain hasn't lost the election yet, but he has certainly lost the nation's attention. Was he even campaigning this week? I think that I, and the mainstream media, were too focused on whether or not Obama would request an extra pillow on his flight to Afghanistan to notice McCain's rebuke to Obama's Iraq speech, or his prescriptions for the economy. At this point, McCain's either going to have to deliver a major policy speech in a turban or come up with ideas that haven't already failed if he wants America to start tuning in.

Posted by: Cal Grad | July 19, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Considering that the Bush administration and John McCain made major position shifts on Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, and they now have positions closer to Obama's -- support for a "general time horizon" (read: timeline); support for more troops to Afghanistan (something Obama has said we needed for years, and McCain as recently as last week said wasn't necessary); support for higher-level diplomatic talks with Iran... Even John Bolton, infamous Republican war hawk, has said that they're moving toward Obama's positions. Couple all this with the fact that Maliki has stated explicitly that Obama's 16-month plan is the right one (he said it will allow America to declare victory); he also dismissed McCain's plan -- this all makes it very clear that Obama won the week. Even worse for McCain, he's been proven wrong on the major foreign policy issues of the day. Hard to see how this has been a good week for McCain... Some are even suggesting that Maliki's explicit endorsement of Obama's withdrawal plan may have dealt a death blow to McCain's campaign. McCain can no longer argue that withdrawal is "surrender" since the Iraqis themselves want us out. McCain's position is made even more difficult by the fact that he said in 2004 that we should honor Iraqi requests to leave, if they ever made them. Now, they have. If McCain goes back on his word, it will be a major flip-flop.

Posted by: This was an easy call | July 19, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't really matter who won the week, what matters is by how much McCain will win in November. While Hillary had a good shot of taking it all, Barack Obama is probably the worst presidential candidate in the history of the USA. A guy with a 20 year history of being a member of, and supporting a racist white and America--hating gang (laughably called a church) can win the liberal and black vote in the D's primaries because those people are not too bright anyway but he'll never win with the real American voters who know a con-artist shyster when they see one.

Posted by: sparksUSN | July 19, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

McCain is getting quite a revolving door going. It seems that every time someone says something embarrassing or there is publicity about former lobbiest work, they are history. Is anyone running the show up there?

Week to Obama.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | July 19, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

There is a Dianne72 in Kalamazoo.

Her recipes are at

http://allrecipes.com/Cooks-Profile/Recipes.aspx?userID=1108632

Posted by: Could this be her? | July 19, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Actually David Duke would be closer.
""""""""

Hi Dianne72. Isn't it time you went out to play with your friends
Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly and left the intelligent conversation to those of us with something to say?

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 19, 2008 7:28 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bookie | July 19, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain won, sadly. After Phil Gramm's potentially explosive "whiners" comment, his campaign managed through petty tit-for-tat bickering to keep the week's focus on McCain's area of relative strength, foreign policy. With Obama's international field trip just starting, the focus is likely to stay there for a while. Obama missed a big opportunity. Gramm's "whiners" and "mental recession" comments won't recover the level of visceral, poll number changing power they might otherwise have had.

Posted by: Catuskoti | July 19, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Good night, brave USS Forrestal 1967. May your voyage finally come to an end.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The information from the posts and all indicate Obama won, so we won. Our long sad voyage will continue until he is elected.

Posted by: USS Forrestal 1967 | July 19, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama of course. Look he is in Kuwait greeted like a rock star. Shot a three pointer. He is looking more presidential everyday. Contrast that with McCain. The reason why he is in the news at all because of his endless daily attacks on Obama to stay relevant.

Posted by: bigben1986 | July 19, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Winner of the week: Nuri al-Maliki
After forcing Bush to agree to "a general time horizon" which McCain and Bush argued was not a timetable, Maliki clarified his position telling Der Spiegel that he agreed with Obama's 16 month plan. This is a game changer.

Posted by: culader | July 19, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama's fundraising numbers say it all. The Obama train is chugging along very nicely, the wheels continue to wobble on the straight talk express (Phil Gramm). New electoral college projections show Obama up around 320 EVs.

Posted by: JohnDoug | July 19, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

This week was a "win-win" for both candidates. It was a win for Obama in that he is getting a lot of media attention around the globe allowing him to present himself as a genuine, respected leader. It was a win for McCain in that he is discussing his economic policy which will get little media attention; therefore, his policy's lack of substance will not be exposed, at least not yet :o)

Posted by: kaysha | July 19, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

for all who say obama is moving to the center

read this:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11880.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

This is too easy. Between Gramm giving Obama an even bigger edge on the economy, and Maliki's statement that he agrees with Obama's withdrawal plan, McCain lost significant ground on the biggest issue in the campaign, as well as his number one issue.

Obama wins in a landslide this week.

Posted by: JtheMann | July 19, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

you must be joking, Cilizza:


"In response to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's clear statement in support of a 16-month redeployment from Iraq, a senior McCain official tells Marc Ambinder "[V]oters care about [the] military, not about Iraqi leaders." A "prominent Republican strategist" who occasionally provides advice to the McCain campaign said more candidly, "We're f*cked." Recall, this is what McCain said in 2004:

QUESTION: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.

McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq -- and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."

Posted by: Marc | July 19, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

you must be joking, Cilizza:


"In response to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's clear statement in support of a 16-month redeployment from Iraq, a senior McCain official tells Marc Ambinder "[V]oters care about [the] military, not about Iraqi leaders." A "prominent Republican strategist" who occasionally provides advice to the McCain campaign said more candidly, "We're f*cked." Recall, this is what McCain said in 2004:

QUESTION: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.

McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq -- and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."

Posted by: Marc | July 19, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain should just quite now and stop embarrassing himself:


'How old is John McCain? So old, the jokes about it are getting old.

So at a taping Friday night of NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," the host asked the Republican presidential candidate for some new material.

"We all agree on a take on you, which is your seniority," O'Brien said, as McCain, 71, pretended to fall asleep in his chair.

Speaking for all late night comedians, O'Brien said, "we're tired of this take on you," and asked the Arizona senator to give them some fresh material.

"Do you have a kooky uncle, do you have bad breath, webbed toes, anything?" O'Brien asked.

"All of the above," McCain answered before offering up alternative fodder.

"I was able to get shot down, intercept a surface-to-air missile with my plane," said the former Navy pilot and Vietnam War prisoner of war.

"People don't really laugh at that," O'Brien pointed out.'

Posted by: yuck | July 19, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama, but not by much. I don't like that he has been working out so much--reminds me of W! More seriously, the campaign finance news was great, but he had an OK week other than this. He gave the awesome speech on foreign policy, but the media roundly ignored it. Look for this week to be a blow away.

McCain had some blunders, the Gramm fiasco, but has been pretty effective criticizing Obama on foreign policy. The latest ad he released is also a solid attack ad--well done and gets the message across.

McCain will be overshadowed by Obama this coming week and look out if the suggestions by the Post's Ombudsman to start looking at McCain's first marriage, personal wealth (Cindy's) and the taxes on the condo in CA .

Posted by: dwfortin | July 19, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's how I see John McCain's 'Straight-Talk' shtick: as shtick. It's a means that serves an end; being elected president. The idea that John McCain is a 'Straight-Talk' 'maverick' is pure fantasy. It's a construct created by John McCain to advance his political career.

And, there's nothing wrong with that. John McCain is a skilled politician. And if he can dupe an unwitting media to push his preferred narrative, he'd be crazy not to. But, it seems as if the media has almost reveled in finding anything that can be used to skewer Barack Obama as a 'typical politician'. The media has gone out of its way to latch onto anything regarding Sen. Obama that allows them to portray him as, god forbid, a politician trying to win an election.

Posted by: Sammy | July 19, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain lost the week.

This had nothing to do with Phil Gramm. Few voters outside Texas even know who he is. McCain lost the week because he long ago locked himself into positions on Iran and Iraq that mirrored the Bush administration's position, and got left behind when the administration changed its position on Iran and Iraqi politics shifted -- partly in response to the surge's success -- enough to make the Iraqi Prime Minister able to seek political advantage in his own country by calling for a withdrawal date.

Barack Obama was an unwitting beneficiary of a week that saw McCain sounding overtaken by events in the area that is supposed to be his strongest.

Posted by: Zathras | July 19, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Our continuing national dissgrace is our media. Today's evidence is the WaPO Michael Gerson op-ed, in which he opens with a story about the endangered polar bears, threatened by climate change, and informs us that their worst enemy is... environmental activists:

'Once, the main threat to these creatures came from hunters who lived in lonely shacks and set traps along the ocean shore. Now a threat comes from an unexpected source: elements of the environmental movement, whose political blindness and ideological baggage may undermine efforts to reduce the role of carbon in the global economy.'
***
Some Republicans and conservatives are prone to an ideologically motivated skepticism. On AM talk radio, where scientific standards are not particularly high, the attitude seems to be: "If Al Gore is upset about carbon, we must need more of it." Gore's partisan, conspiratorial anger is annoying, yet not particularly relevant to the science of this issue.

This points, however, to a broader problem. Any legislation ambitious enough to cut carbon emissions significantly and encourage new energy technologies will require a broad political and social consensus. Nothing this complex and expensive gets done on a party-line vote. Yet many environmental leaders seem unpracticed at coalition-building. They tend to be conventionally, if not radically, liberal. They sometimes express a deep distrust for capitalism and hostility to the extractive industries. Their political strategy consists mainly of the election of Democrats. Most Republican environmental efforts are quickly pronounced "too little, too late."

--Got it? Environmental activists are to blame for not working enough with the people who oppose them, denounce them, mock them, work openly to sabotage their efforts, and have created a cottage industry creating and spreading pseudo-scientific babble.

What twisted b*stard at the Washington Post reviews these op-eds and thinks they are worth printing? What kind of jack*ss believes the real problem regarding the environment is the environmental movement, and not James Inhofe. This is like blaming doctors for not being willing enough to work with the tobacco industry to prevent cancer.

I don't know why anyone reads the Washington Post op-ed pages anymore. Just a disgrace.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

John McCain won. He supports each state regulating automobile standards which was a change from last weeks position that there should be national standards.
This way, every Republican governor can pass a law requiring each automobile to come with a "McCain Change You Can Believe In" bumper sticker.

Posted by: Doug White | July 19, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

'You also have to wonder when the Prime Minister gets the Iraqi equilavent of a horse's head in his bed.'

good comment.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Fixistas won. Two "lines" in one week!

Posted by: Josh | July 19, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that the week is a calendar week, meaning it runs Sunday through Saturday, and not from Friday to Friday, then Obama won. The reason is the comments by the Iraqi Prime Minister being reported by Reuters. Reuters is quoting the Iraqi PM as saying that he agrees with Barack Obama's 16 month timelime for withdrawal from Iraq. This means that we now have the Iraqis and the American public wanting the US to set a timeline for withdrawal and Bush and McCain resisting a timeline.

Assuming that Bush rejects the comments by the PM, and assuming that McCain rejects them also, then McCain becomes more identified with Bush. That is not a good thin for McCain.

Further, it makes Obama look like he knows what he is doing. Apparently the 16 month timetable is not such a bad idea after all. It will be interesting watching how the GOP tries to explain away the PM's comments. You also have to wonder when the Prime Minister gets the Iraqi equilavent of a horse's head in his bed.

Posted by: Mrgavel | July 19, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Who won the week?

I'd say Obama.

McCain's "economic advisor" off the bus, then on the bus again but not as a surrogate, then off the bus again, but is he really? One thing Americans resent: being called "whiners." But will they remember come November? That's up to the Obama campaign.

Also good for Obama, The Preznit coming around to Obama's position on Iraq, albeit with yet ANOTHER new verbal obfuscation (anyone remember the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, or G-SAVE?)

Posted by: Cal Gal | July 19, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Jamison Foser has a good column this week about the Village media's obsessive desire to help the Republicans depict Barack Obama as some sort of exotic freak that "regular people" (according to Chris Matthews) can't relate to. He points out that they insist on this despite ample evidence in the polling that says "regular people" relate to him just fine.

It's infuriating to watch these gasbags presume to speak for Real Americans on this matter in the first place. I know that Brian Williams loves to shop at Target, but I still think they might, on the whole, be a little bit removed from the cares of the average American, seeing as they are multi-millionaires and all --- just like their favorite maverick flyboy, the fabulously wealthy everyman St. John McCain.

Foser points out that no matter how many times they fail to make this case, they just keep on trying:

Like cliquish teens, the D.C. pundit class is all too happy to make up a reason why you should dislike a candidate if a real reason fails to present itself. They told you again and again that Al Gore was a liar, lying about things he had said in order to do so. They attributed a bogus quote about NASCAR to John Kerry in order to portray him as a stiff. And Barack Obama ... they're desperate to find a reason why people don't like Obama (even though they do). The bowling thing didn't stick as well as they had hoped, and it's probably safe to assume that, Chris Matthews' best efforts notwithstanding, Barack Obama's orange juice consumption is unlikely to spark much of a backlash against his candidacy. So this week they took a new one out for a spin, arguing that Obama's undoing will be that he is uptight and cannot take a joke because his campaign criticized a magazine cover that depicted him as a terrorist.


He contrasts that with another media flap from a week or so ago:

Just two weeks ago, the very same Washington media elite was in an uproar, visibly offended that Wesley Clark had said that John McCain was a war hero, but that heroism didn't qualify him for the presidency. They were offended and outraged that Clark hadn't been quite enthusiastic enough in professing his admiration for McCain's heroism. And now, when a national magazine runs a cover depicting Barack Obama as a flag-burning disciple of Osama bin Laden, they tell him to lighten up. Get a sense of humor, buddy - the cover may have depicted you as a terrorist, but at least it didn't say you are a hero whose heroism nevertheless doesn't necessarily qualify you to be president. That would be an outrage!


David Sirota also wrote an interesting and informative column this week about the ridiculous Village obsession with "running to the center," what Michael Kinsley called "the fundamental move of politics, like the basic steps of the fox-trot." Sirota points out that "the center," as defined by the political establishment, is something that bears no relationship to what the majority of Americans profess to want, which would seem to be the truly fundamental move of politics --- winning the election.

The media atrocities are piling up in the cycle just as they always do. We see them in real time, we document them and it just goes on. One of these days we're going to have to figure out a way to derail the engine of this quadrennial train wreck before it leaves the station. But not this time. It just chugs along, doing its thing, turning politics into some bizarre spectacle that bears as much relationship to leadership and governance as an episode of Fear Factor.

Posted by: digby | July 19, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

McCain is in serious trouble. Bush is cutting off McCain under the legs by adopting Obama's position on every major foreign policy issue of the day. Bush wants dialogue with Iran. Bush accepts "time horizon" for leaving Iraq. Bush wants to send troops to Afganistan. It is total capitualation.

Bush remembers McCain not voting for him in 2000 and now he is going to make McCain pay. Sweet revenge.

Posted by: Oscar | July 19, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

For the past 25 years, or so, John McCain has been a politician. He has run nothing. He has in charge of nothing. In his private life, he has been a rich man who didn't have to work a day for his wealth.
Prior to all this, he was a soldier who had been shot down and held prisoner.
What, exactly, is the "experience" that McCain's had--other than breathing in and out--that Obama lacks?
No one seems to be able to answer this.
And then, there is the issue of ideas. McCain has yet to put forth any of his own. The only ideas he's now promulgating--troop reductions in Iraq, efforts to curb global warming, focus on Afghanistan--are either Obama's, or, in the case of economic policies--Bush's.

Posted by: steve-o | July 19, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This week saw the Bush administration in negotiations with the Iraq government basically adopt Obama's policy of leaving within 16 months. The Iraqi Prime Minister today agreed that was a reasonable goal, depending on the situation on the ground. John McCain adopted Obama's Afghanistan policy of sending more troops to that region. John McCain has attended 0 Senate hearings on Afghanistan, and has the worst attendance record in the Senate. No wonder he is behind in Arizona. I would say Obama won the week based on his foreign policy expertise.

Posted by: Brian J | July 19, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

RE: Scrivener's comments on McCain's "Conan" appearance:

Please parse my words in a Jonathan Swiftian sense.

I said he "comes off to voters as..."

I didn't say he WAS.

And Obama comes off as self-absorbed and opportunistic.

So you believe what you see and hear. Until the voters hear him call his wife a c**t, it's just bawdy barracks talk.

My motive here is not to push McCain; it's to make a call on the political landscape before me. And for better or worse, McCain's winning the charm battle -- why else would Obama lose his double-digit lead at this stage of the game?

If Obama picks Dodd as his veep he could rehabilitate himself with the base (and he should reconsider his death penalty endorsement and FISA back-pedaling, even at the risk of being called a flip-flopper again).

But the way I see it, in the wise words of "Stickety" who posted here last week, McCain only has to prove two things to voters to win:

1) He's not Bush.
2) Obama lacks the experience to be POTUS.

Done and done -- unless something dramatic happens, like an Obama implosion and a Hillary putsch.

That's my "Modest Proposal."


IF YOU CARE ABOUT OUR DEMOCRACY
AND THE RULE OF LAW, CLICK HERE:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 19, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Every week is a bad week for McCain. Come on, give me a break, we've had one bufoon in office for the last 7 1/2 years, do we need another one for the next 4 years?
Where is this leadership quality that I keep hearing John McCain has? What does getting shot down over Vietnam have to do with leadership? He is a hero, but not necessarily a leader.
After all, this joker can't keep the difference between the Shia and Sunnis straight. He forgets that there is no longer a country named Czechoslovakia. He jokes about women getting raped by a gorilla. He doesn't remember which way he has voted in the past on relevant issues such as health care and reproductive issues. His economy czar quits as campaign co-chair, not because he was responsible for the former Enron crisis or the current mortgage meltdown and high gas prices but because he was not "politically correct" by calling Americans "whinners". By the way, how many of McCain's original campaign committee's members are still there? If John McCain were to run the country like he has run his campaign, he would make George Bush look like a genius.
John McCain is so out of touch with his fellow Americans it is truly sad. We have already had a "good ole boy" in office for the last 7 1/2 years and look what it got us. I would much rather have an intelligent charismatic leader that can lead this nation out of the serious problems facing us than someone who can't even lead his own campaign.

Posted by: Veteran1 | July 19, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

McCain strikes voters as a fair, sensible, good-natured and individual who is able to laugh at himself (bet he wouldn't get frazzled if his wife and kids teased HIM on TV). McCain has had years on the political scene to validate his abilities as a leader. Yes, he's old, and seems addled at times; but still, an air of disarming decency, of genuineness, comes through.
---------------------------
Really??

The same McCain who called his wife a c@#t because she made a good natured joke about his thinning hair line? The one who had the 'decency' to make a joke about a woman liking being raped by a gorilla?

Posted by: patrick nyc | July 19, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

O's fund raising put to bed the idea that his fund raising is in trouble. Big +

Gramm's mouth will not stick in Americans' minds because most Americans don't know, or care, who he is. Small -

O's trip to the misnomered Middle East is neither a + or - yet. What comes out of it will be. The plus side is the ability to claim first-hand knowledge of the situation. His pervious statements concerning what he will do as president opened him up to M's charge that most people look at the fact before making a decision. Now O's back is covered. The downside is if the post-surge situation continues to improve. While he can argue this allows him to implement his withdrawal plan O's clear, long-standing opposition to the surge will begin to look like a bad judgment call. Judgment, not experience, is all he has to run on. Only time will tell on this one.

Notice that nothing major happened on economic issues between the candidates? This is where the election is going to be decided. So, this week was of little importance as far as weeks of campaigning goes. Still, the money has to put Obama into the win column.

Posted by: ccarter | July 19, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama hands down.

The Bush/McCain/GOP party line that their strong point, defense and war on terrorist that we will not negotiate with, is gone with this trifecta. Bush talks with Iraq on exit date. Bush sends rep to Geneva to talk with Iran. Bush sending Condi next week to Singapore to talk with North Korea.

If that was not enough, the Rove approach on the home front melts down. Bush, Gramm and McCain's try to sell it's not the economy that's bad, it's all 'mental'. The same thing that Rove pulled on McCain in SC 2000, that he was 'mental' from his days as a POW.

How soon did McCain give this up, he used the 'mental' line on Thursday and Gramm was under the bus and McCain was on Conan O'Brien the next day saying that the American people were rightfully suffering from the economy.

The New Yorker cover pretty much has everyone on guard, that's it's no longer cool in the MSM, reporting what others are saying about the Obams being radical, not us.

McCain's attempt to say Obama's long planned trip to Iraq was because of him. Nice try but McCain went after the other GOP's dropped out and he was the nominee in March. Hillary dropped out last month, now Obama is on what so far is getting a week long tour, with all 3 networks covering, in a free weeks advertising press junket.

I wonder if the MSM will call McCain on his announcement that Obama would be in Afghanistan, which was suppose to be kept secret for obvious security reasons.

Not a great week for McCain, very good one for Obama, and without a major misstep in the tour, another next week as well. Do I get an extra T Shirt if call 2 in a row the first?

As for Obama losing the week over FISA, that was over four weeks ago, old news to most. I'm not happy to see him move to the center but old enough to know that politics is the art of the compromise.

Posted by: patrick nyc | July 19, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Summary of the week:

Obama preps for huge week on world trip, while McCain campaign just, well...trips.

Obama re-asserted his financial muscle, with $52 million in June. He and Michelle Obama let the NY'er cover gaffe blow past them--to great effect. And it looks like every important news outlet will be focussed 24/7 next week as Obama walks on to the world stage.

Meanwhile, McCain's co-chair said the recession isn't really coming and therefore we are a nation of whiners--so he had to re-sign. McCain continues his verbal tics, including "exploiting" off-shore oil. An old rape joke of McCain's makes the rounds, and to top it all off his wife gripes that the only way she can travel in Arizona is by private plane.

Who do you think had the better week?

Posted by: Rohn Jay Miller | July 19, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I hate to repeat myself but he is still the same untrustworthy rat he was as a POW. Making 30 propaganda statements condemning his own country, not the One he claims. He was a collaborator plain and simple.

========
Everyone seems to be missing the point here. The candidate who has been running as the national security candidate, the foreign expert, just jeopardized the life of a Presidential candidate. Now, I would people would want to know why. Was it for purely political gain, a ploy so cynical and manipulative that it renders him unfit for office? A candidate that would do this to a potential President would not hesitate o slaughter our children for political gain. Or, Was it because he is so clueless and incompetent that he didn't know, didn't understand the ramifications of his blathering Obama' itinerary? Either way, Chris, all, we need some answers here. This is THE issue of the week, of the whole campaign to date, and we had better get down to discussing it! If you think about it, this goes to the very core of questioning the fitness of the John McCain to be President.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | July 19, 2008 1:26 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I didn't mention the Jesse Jackson episode because whenever you are on the bad side of Jackson, this is good politically!

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 19, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone lost -- especially the people, who will be stuck with one of these two clowns.

Posted by: info | July 19, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Come on Chris,

Obviously this was a good week for Obama. Nearly this entire saw Obama's campaign received more positive press coverage than McCain.

We had Phil Gramm's comments (about Americans being a "nation of whiners" in a "mental recession") resurfacing early last week. After nearly two months of Gramm being known for lobbying for foreign dictators, now Gramm "resigns"?!?!

Obama's foreign policy speech on July 15th set the campaign discussion tone for the week. More media focus was on Afghanistan and Al Qaeda versus Iraq. Obama's foreign tour trip also dominated the political news for the week.

Lastly, the announcement that Obama raised $52 million was the cherry on top of a good political week for Obama. Some political pundits were citing a "supposedly" advantage for the RNC and McCain campaign would have over Obama and the DNC in fundraising.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think you can wake up now you have been dreaming. Notice Conan didn't even promote the Mccain visit. I doubt the three people who watch his show could have cared less.


++++
MCCAIN AND CLINTON WON THE WEEK

McCain's disarmingly charming appearance with Conan O'Brien Friday night demonstrates why John McCain will be the next president of the United States -- unless the Democratic superdelegates come to their senses and join forces with Hillary and Bill Clinton in an 11th-hour convention putsch.

Phil Gramm "phoolishness" aside, McCain strikes voters as a fair, sensible, good-natured and individual who is able to laugh at himself (bet he wouldn't get frazzled if his wife and kids teased HIM on TV). McCain has had years on the political scene to validate his abilities as a leader. Yes, he's old, and seems addled at times; but still, an air of disarming decency, of genuineness, comes through.

Barack, his ego issues and false pride aside, has yet to convincingly deal with a late-cycle credibility problem that was of his own making. Even once-devoted Obamanauts are seeking to chart a new course, eyeing new political terrain occupied by constitutional rights advocate Bob Barr.

Obama sold out on FISA/wiretapping, and his embrace of an expansion of the death penalty and the Supreme Court decision striking down D.C.'s handgun law smacks of ideological insincerity and political expediency.

Tell the young black men wrongly convicted of capital offenses how resorting to the ultimate punishment represents the administration of justice.

No wonder Jesse Jackson staged that testicular stage-whisper. "Talking down" to black folks includes telling them that it's OK for sons who are framed or falsely accused to be subject to the imperfect whims of a sovereign who hands the decision of God over to an often just but still imperfect judicial system.

A politician who sees the need to talk tough for expediency's sake while sacrificing the interests of his base constituency isn't a leader; he's a self-interested power-seeker.

If Obama falls victim to the dirty tricks and booby traps that could be placed in his path during his foreign policy world tour, Hillary will be right there to resume combat by plotting an 11th-hour convention putsch. In politics as it war, it ain't over 'til it's over; and rest assured, Hillary's still doing her reconnaisance on the home front.

IF YOU VALUE OUR DEMOCRACY
AND THE RULE OF LAW, CLICK HERE:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1
Posted by: scrivener | July 19, 2008 1:23 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse


MCCAIN AND CLINTON WON THE WEEK

McCain's disarmingly charming appearance with Conan O'Brien Friday night demonstrates why John McCain will be the next president of the United States -- unless the Democratic superdelegates come to their senses and join forces with Hillary and Bill Clinton in an 11th-hour convention putsch.

Phil Gramm "phoolishness" aside, McCain strikes voters as a fair, sensible, good-natured and individual who is able to laugh at himself (bet he wouldn't get frazzled if his wife and kids teased HIM on TV). McCain has had years on the political scene to validate his abilities as a leader. Yes, he's old, and seems addled at times; but still, an air of disarming decency, of genuineness, comes through.

Barack, his ego issues and false pride aside, has yet to convincingly deal with a late-cycle credibility problem that was of his own making. Even once-devoted Obamanauts are seeking to chart a new course, eyeing new political terrain occupied by constitutional rights advocate Bob Barr.

Obama sold out on FISA/wiretapping, and his embrace of an expansion of the death penalty and the Supreme Court decision striking down D.C.'s handgun law smacks of ideological insincerity and political expediency.

Tell the young black men wrongly convicted of capital offenses how resorting to the ultimate punishment represents the administration of justice.

No wonder Jesse Jackson staged that testicular stage-whisper. "Talking down" to black folks includes telling them that it's OK for sons who are framed or falsely accused to be subject to the imperfect whims of a sovereign who hands the decision of God over to an often just but still imperfect judicial system.

A politician who sees the need to talk tough for expediency's sake while sacrificing the interests of his base constituency isn't a leader; he's a self-interested power-seeker.

If Obama falls victim to the dirty tricks and booby traps that could be placed in his path during his foreign policy world tour, Hillary will be right there to resume combat by plotting an 11th-hour convention putsch. In politics as in war, it ain't over 'til it's over; and rest assured, Hillary's still doing her reconnaissance on the home front.

IF YOU VALUE OUR DEMOCRACY
AND THE RULE OF LAW, CLICK HERE:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 19, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Everyone seems to be missing the point here. The candidate who has been running as the national security candidate, the foreign expert, just jeopardized the life of a Presidential candidate. Now, I would people would want to know why. Was it for purely political gain, a ploy so cynical and manipulative that it renders him unfit for office? A candidate that would do this to a potential President would not hesitate o slaughter our children for political gain. Or, Was it because he is so clueless and incompetent that he didn't know, didn't understand the ramifications of his blathering Obama' itinerary? Either way, Chris, all, we need some answers here. This is THE issue of the week, of the whole campaign to date, and we had better get down to discussing it! If you think about it, this goes to the very core of questioning the fitness of the John McCain to be President.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | July 19, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Even the news corespondents who were already on route didn't say anything. Mccain camp is in complete panic mode. If this goes like it is already looking like it will. Obama is on the world stage with them just waiting for him to take office. Obama comes home looking presidential with world leaders supporting his plans. The US can finally again be a country not hated by the rest of the world. We can reclaim out place as a world leader with respect.

+++++
McCain "leaks" Obama's visit to a war zone. He claims he did not know for sure but believed it was this weekend. (Obviously a crystal ball call.) BIG Negative for McCain for not knowing when to keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: Lou R | July 19, 2008 1:08 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN AND CLINTON WON THE WEEK

McCain's disarmingly charming appearance with Conan O'Brien Friday night demonstrates why John McCain will be the next president of the United States -- unless the Democratic superdelegates come to their senses and join forces with Hillary and Bill Clinton in an 11th-hour convention putsch.

Phil Gramm "phoolishness" aside, McCain strikes voters as a fair, sensible, good-natured and individual who is able to laugh at himself (bet he wouldn't get frazzled if his wife and kids teased HIM on TV). McCain has had years on the political scene to validate his abilities as a leader. Yes, he's old, and seems addled at times; but still, an air of disarming decency, of genuineness, comes through.

Barack, his ego issues and false pride aside, has yet to convincingly deal with a late-cycle credibility problem that was of his own making. Even once-devoted Obamanauts are seeking to chart a new course, eyeing new political terrain occupied by constitutional rights advocate Bob Barr.

Obama sold out on FISA/wiretapping, and his embrace of an expansion of the death penalty and the Supreme Court decision striking down D.C.'s handgun law smacks of ideological insincerity and political expediency.

Tell the young black men wrongly convicted of capital offenses how resorting to the ultimate punishment represents the administration of justice.

No wonder Jesse Jackson staged that testicular stage-whisper. "Talking down" to black folks includes telling them that it's OK for sons who are framed or falsely accused to be subject to the imperfect whims of a sovereign who hands the decision of God over to an often just but still imperfect judicial system.

A politician who sees the need to talk tough for expediency's sake while sacrificing the interests of his base constituency isn't a leader; he's a self-interested power-seeker.

If Obama falls victim to the dirty tricks and booby traps that could be placed in his path during his foreign policy world tour, Hillary will be right there to resume combat by plotting an 11th-hour convention putsch. In politics as it war, it ain't over 'til it's over; and rest assured, Hillary's still doing her reconnaisance on the home front.

IF YOU VALUE OUR DEMOCRACY
AND THE RULE OF LAW, CLICK HERE:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/vigilante-injustice-organized-gang-stalking-american-gestapo-are-they-doing-hi-tech-torture?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1

Posted by: scrivener | July 19, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

And why do you think that is, their not on Obamas payroll? Fact is, Obama is news and Mccain is just another dime a dozen politician you can find on any corner in Washington. Mccain is just nothing and people know it. The only news corespondents assigned to the Mccain campaign are probably being punished for something. Want to punish a news corespondent, make them cover Mccain. Oh boy another town hall meeting with a hundred corpses staring who came for the free buffet.


++++++++
Barak Obama will always win the week with a Main Stream News Media that's become nothing more than the Democratic Party's propaganda arm. With the MSM firmly in Obama's hip-pocket filtering all the news and censoring all news that might damage his chance to become president, McCain will always have two strikes against him from the gitgo.

Posted by: madhatter | July 19, 2008 12:53 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. Of course, BHO wins the week. He announces that he has raised huge cash in July and starts his ME swing with Hagel and Reed. The GWB administration sends an envoy to Geneva to talk to the Iranians and agrees to a "time horizon" to remove our troops from Iraq -- basically underscoring BHO's ME policies.

On the other hand, McC has to jettison Gramm and can't control Bud Day. McC's campaign recognizes the increasingly dire straits it is in and starts to go negative with ads -- and it is only July.

"Any week that McCain doesn't win decisively is a win for Obama."

Posted by: mnteng | July 19, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Who won the week? That's easy. The Dark Knight won the week hands down.

Posted by: Falcor | July 19, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

McCain "leaks" Obama's visit to a war zone. He claims he did not know for sure but believed it was this weekend. (Obviously a crystal ball call.) BIG Negative for McCain for not knowing when to keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: Lou R | July 19, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Barak Obama will always win the week with a Main Stream News Media that's become nothing more than the Democratic Party's propaganda arm. With the MSM firmly in Obama's hip-pocket filtering all the news and censoring all news that might damage his chance to become president, McCain will always have two strikes against him from the gitgo.

Posted by: madhatter | July 19, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Hagel in Afganistan. THE dream ticket for this independent!

Posted by: Stillwater | July 19, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope Obama is a politician who knows how to win. Obama is not the one who gave the name politician a bad name, it is people like Mccain.

+++++++
As an Obama supporter and lifelong Democrat even I must admit that he lost the week. He capitulated on wiretapping and recent polls show McCain closing the gap between them. Hopefully Obama will not change his mind on anything else or attempt to move further to the middle because it is garnering him any more votes only demonstrating that he is a typical politician.

Posted by: Sam | July 19, 2008 12:40 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest, Mary. BO couldn't win your vote even if he were Franklin Roosevelt. Your problem with him is he's, er, right-handed...

Posted by: Broadway Joe | July 19, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama was haned a victory for this week and perhaps the electons through the efferots of others öö the White House and the Iraqi government. By sending Bill Burns to join negotiations with Iran, Bush tactily admitted that Obama had been correct in suggesting the need for direct contacts with Iran The old naivite argument no longer works

By agreeing to work on a time line for Withdrawal the Bush White House direcdtly accepted Obama's concept as to how to end the war. By stating that Iraq supported Obama's concept, the Iraqi government gave him its full endoresement. This takes away two of McCain's major campaign arguments and makes him look old fashioned, backward and well, Bushlike.

Posted by: fordson61 | July 19, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

>>>McCain won -- he's finally getting his surrogates under control, and Obama's out on the tour McCain pressured him into taking. McCain has the upper hand right now, and the real question is whether or not he realizes this and capitalizes on it.

Posted by: JS | July 19, 2008 11:18 AM
<<<

McCain may have been talking a good game, but this trip had nothing with him on his say-so. According to published report, Obama's trip was in the planning stages since last year. Remember, McCain's campaign had to first come back from the dead to even suggest anything to Obama, let alone to the campaign workers who left him.

Posted by: What Now | July 19, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

For Mccain this is a "Be careful what you wish for". Obama will come home the conquering hero and Mccain will only become even more irrelevant.

+++++++
McCain won -- he's finally getting his surrogates under control, and Obama's out on the tour McCain pressured him into taking. McCain has the upper hand right now, and the real question is whether or not he realizes this and capitalizes on it.

Posted by: JS | July 19, 2008 11:18 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter and lifelong Democrat even I must admit that he lost the week. He capitulated on wiretapping and recent polls show McCain closing the gap between them. Hopefully Obama will not change his mind on anything else or attempt to move further to the middle because it is garnering him any more votes only demonstrating that he is a typical politician.

Posted by: Sam | July 19, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse


No big deal Mccain is still the same untrustworthy rat he was as a POW.

+++++++
CHRIS! I'm amazed that no one is calling John McCain's announcement that Obama would be in Afghanistan today. 36 hours before Obama was to be in that country we saw John McCain telling the Taliban and Al Qaida that a high value target would be in their country. This is so irresponsible, so outrageous, that I find it hard to believe. I brings up a whole sew of questions that you need to be asking. How did McCain know? Obviously some one in the Bush Administration leaked this to him. What possessed this senile old coot to think he could use that inside information to risk the safety of a Presidential candidate for purely political purposes? And, how is it that the Bush Administration would risk Obama's life, likely someone who will be OUR PRESIDENT, to score some minor political points. I, for one, am waiting.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | July 19, 2008 12:12 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama of course, McCain's campaign is in defense mode as it always will be because nobody wants what they're selling.

They have to sell McCain the War Hero, flashing photos so old you can't recognize him, because as soon as they start talking policy and economy people turn away and tune out. We don't want to be drafted into vanity wars and we don't want to become serfs.

Posted by: Chris Fox | July 19, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Then you consider the alternative. A 72 year old demented war mongering monster. Then the call becomes easy.

+++++++
Until Obama wins my trust, he is a loser! He is simply a guy who is all out for himself and polishinf his ego. He sadly snatched the race from Hillary Clinton; a candidate who wouldd have made a great president for our country. I will not be voting for him with many others.

Posted by: Mary | July 19, 2008 12:31 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Mccain wins any week he is still alive. Although he is pushing the envelope

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Until Obama wins my trust, he is a loser! He is simply a guy who is all out for himself and polishinf his ego. He sadly snatched the race from Hillary Clinton; a candidate who wouldd have made a great president for our country. I will not be voting for him with many others.

Posted by: Mary | July 19, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes," - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Obama won the week on foreign policy credibility.

Posted by: smallddem | July 19, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Obama had a good week so we won. God speed, Barack...

Posted by: USS Forrestal 1967 | July 19, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

CHRIS! I'm amazed that no one is calling John McCain's announcement that Obama would be in Afghanistan today. 36 hours before Obama was to be in that country we saw John McCain telling the Taliban and Al Qaida that a high value target would be in their country. This is so irresponsible, so outrageous, that I find it hard to believe. I brings up a whole sew of questions that you need to be asking. How did McCain know? Obviously some one in the Bush Administration leaked this to him. What possessed this senile old coot to think he could use that inside information to risk the safety of a Presidential candidate for purely political purposes? And, how is it that the Bush Administration would risk Obama's life, likely someone who will be OUR PRESIDENT, to score some minor political points. I, for one, am waiting.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | July 19, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

This week was a draw and will serve to be the precursor for the next week or so while Obama is on his Grand Tour and McCain struggles to refine (and repair) his economic message.

Posted by: cferry3124@aol.com | July 19, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama wins.

Gramm is gone, and that leaves Cary Fiorina as his main Economic Adviser (or so it seems). Good Luck with that loser John! Of course, she does fit the current GOP economic model - make major economic screw-ups and walk away with tens of millions of dollars. She will go over well with the Alice in Wonderland Supply-Siders, but the rest of the public doesn't buy that anymore.

Also, Obama has made the obligatory 'kiss the ring' trip to Afghanistan. McCain loses two ways on this one. First, it takes that card out of play for his campaign. Now they have to find some other paper tiger to try to Swiftboat Obama on; plus he went to Afghanistan first, which directs the public's attention to Afghanistan, where it should have been since March of 2003.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

What won the week for me was a continuation of the exact same comments from spokespeople without changing them. I can now predict, regardless of the content of the story, what the comment from each campaign will be with pretty good accuracy. Do you think just for me they could switch it up every once in awhile?

From Obama Spokesperson X:

From (any topic from Iraq to the economy) we can see that Senator McCain is out of touch with the needs of ordinary American's. Its clear that the American people want change not the failed Bush-McCain policies of the last 8 years that have hurt American families so badly.

From McCain Spokesperson X:

From (any topic from Iraq to the economy) its clear that Senator Obama wants to raise taxes on everyone. Thats not change we can afford.

From the Minnesota Senate race (Which I follow its much the same)

From Franken Spokesperson:

In response to whatever Franken has done: At least its not as bad as the corporations that bankroll the "Special Interest Senators Campaign"

From Coleman:

When Al Franken was writing Porn O Rama, Norm Coleman was cleaning up the streets of St. Paul.

Its getting a little old

Posted by: Dan W | July 19, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

McCain won -- he's finally getting his surrogates under control, and Obama's out on the tour McCain pressured him into taking. McCain has the upper hand right now, and the real question is whether or not he realizes this and capitalizes on it.

Posted by: JS | July 19, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Well, Obama picked up Iraqi PM Maliki's endorsement, but since our colonies don't get to vote it's hard to say what the effect will be.

Posted by: Aleks | July 19, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

There is no doubt in my mind that the American people won the week. Didn't the New Yorker cover, http://www.newyorker.com/online/covers/slideshow_blittcovers , provide valuable information to voters? Instead of having to purchase a Frommer guide to Afghanistan , The Republican Party provided Senator Obama and citizens w/ a useful guide to Afghanistan, http://www.gop.com/News/NewsRead.aspx?Guid=bb9692fa-abfb-4006-a2f3-e9fe98f43976 . W/ Senator Obama commencing his trip to the Middle East and Europe, Americans can seat on their sofas and watch the sights and sounds of these places as the networks provide 24 hour coverage of the trip. Not having to book a flight to Europe and the Middle East also contributes to this week being a winner for all Americans, not just the candidates.

Posted by: Stuart | July 19, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The week is O's for
Iraq's timelines and
Gramm's whining about whiners.

Posted by: Patrick | July 19, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama, quite clearly, won the week, as he has been doing on a weekly basis for quite some time. In fact, I would go further to say that he and John McCain aren't even playing in the same ballpark. Perhaps they're not even playing the same sport. Obama seems to be several steps ahead of McCain (and Bush for that matter) on most issues and initiatives as the latter is, and remains, in the position of playing catch-up. Of course his position, always shifting, is continually destabilized by the disarray and lack of focus that has plagued his campaign for nearly its entire existence. Hands down, Obama wins.

Posted by: PJB | July 19, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

McCain lost Phil Gramm; Obama is losing ground in most of the major tracking polls. Neither of them had a solid victory this week as a result of these events.
President Bush won the week. Despite low approval ratings, he is in the process of giving the GOP a solid (and for once, popular) issue in offshore drilling through his rescinding of the executive ban and his pressure on the Democratic Congress, which will undoubtedly bend to the popular will.

Posted by: Michael Douglass | July 19, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

obama. a week ago, neophyte in foreign policy. now. new narrative. Bush and mccain following on obama's steps. diplomacy with iran, north korea. more troops to afghanistan, timetable, time horizon for iraq, airstrikes against al qaeda targets in the hills of pakistan. and just the expectation of saturation is making team mac go wild. Czechoslovakia. shia/ sunni gaffe remembered. it's obama's to lose, and i suspect he intends to win this. if he does, more room to make a personal vp choice. which is pretty much what's a stake.

Posted by: lupercal | July 19, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama won this week because of all the attention the media gave to his over-seas trip. As a result, people are more attuned to follow Obama and his trip. The newspapers, television, blogs, etc will all have coverage--forcing McCain's economic plans onto A12 while Obama gets A1.

Posted by: Michael Szeto | July 19, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

John McCain won it, if other reporters are following Chris' lead and failing to mention that Gramm is still McCain's chief economic adviser. He won't be telling Americans that the economic problems aren't real anymore, but he'll still be telling it to McCain.

Posted by: Aleks | July 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company