Keith Olbermann's comment on Prop 8


Why Barack Obama won

Although the first black President of the USA is a huge and meaningful step, welcomed with a surprising dignity by John McCain and George Bush, this is not because of his being black that Barack Obama was elected, which is probably even more meaningful, but because of the precision and the impressive hard work of his campaign, in which every single detail was thought.

The Obama campaign's program was deliciously well prepared. Vague enough to allow a large target to identify, when Hillary Clinton' s program was too precise not to be boring and segmenting, it determined the keys points and brought really bright answers, turning the flaws of his proposals into strong qualities.
His being black and his lack of experience, which could have been his main handicaps, were connected to this powerful need of change after what is perceived as a failure by the Bush administration and used as a symbol to proove his ability to get the country to a new era.
His vote against the war in Irak was well used and completed by his willing to renforce the troops in Afghanistan, which avoided the risk of making him sounded as a weak pacifist and outlined the failure of Bush in those two wars.
His health care plan was not ambitious enough to scare the independent and republican voters.
His tax plan was well thought to speak to the middle-class, of which he took such a care since the financial meltdown, while John McCain remained silent about them, not even mentioning them during the debates.
Otherwise, he remained uncomfortable on moral issues, being unable to take a straight to the point stand, probably too afraid to take the risk to alienate voters. His positions on the death penalty, the gun control, the gay marriage, god, abortion, were confused, weak and coward as we saw on the faith forum. We may ask if he was disguising his point of view. His "blunder" about people "getting bitter and clinging to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations" sounded way more frank and sincere and was really more interesting. But the campaign is not conceived to let candidates being sincere and honest anyway and a brighter opponent than John McCain would have used this weak point of Obama's wanting to keep both parties happy.

After this program, he also worked on the form.
He took advantage of his beautiful skill of speech. He used it to rebound after Hillary Clinton's attacks about Jeremiah Wright during the primary and calm it down when it made him sounded too intellectual and elitist after his speech in Berlin, where he was not that convincing, probably because he has no good reason to be there and was smartly weakened and mocked by McCain.
He was able to mix up different levels in his speeches. Composed with touches of facts and symbols, politics and emotions, determination and attention, promises and compromises, all his speeches are build with the same technical pattern. Each of them is a story made up to allow people to identify and to hope.

His campaign did not forget the fundamentals of an election: the ground game.
They spin a tight web throughout the country: "The Obama campaign has broken the country into a collection of battleground states, which are dissected into precincts that are parceled one more time into neighborhood teams. (Ohio, for example, is divided into 1,231 neighborhoods.) And each of these teams, if the recruiting is up to speed, has a leader who, ideally, lives just down the block from all those doors that need to be knocked on." They deploy lawiers to control the polls (Kerry neglected this point in 2004). His rejecting the public financing allowed his campaign to raise a amount which has reach an unprecedented level. And they used the most aggressive marketing strategies and the opportunity of the new technology to do this: social networks, mobile phones to keep people tuned and get them involved.
They offered for instance to win a dinner with Obama or a backstage pass on Election night to encourage donations; they reveal the choice of the running mate by texting those who would give their names, collecting this way plenty of contacts; they made up contests, counting the events hosted, the calls made, the doors knocked, the amount raised to motivate the members of my.barackobama.com, as at McDonalds; and they strongly encourage registration of new voters...

We may notice that if the Obama team spent such an energy to work on every single detail, they avoided the negative campaigning, despite the asks of a lot of democrats in August to fight back (the memory of a Kerry too weak was persistent). They launched a site to fight against the rumors (the members of my.barackobama.com were frequently asked to send disclaimers emails to every kind of people) but mostly refused the low blows, saying, for instance, that the issue about Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy was "off limits".
After the financial crisis, Obama's image of seriousness, dignity and calm turned out to be reassuring in storm times and gainful for him.

This campaign was a really beautiful deployment of skill and hard work. We may regret that in those times where probably any democrat would have been elected, as Bill Clinton was close to suggest in The View, Barack Obama's program is so shy and not ambitious enough, not taking enough advantage of this republican tiredness.


Obama wins

Thrilling election night

Ok we are waiting... Are they going to kiss? Oups... Sorry, I'm mistaking the series... Is he going to win ?


Is there any good reason to vote for Obama?

As the dirty tricks grow, the polls are said to tighten and the so-called "Bradley effect" threatens, it must be a good time to consider the good reasons, if any, to vote for Barack Obama.

First of all, his being a black man.

This must be the main and the most important reason and this is probably a bad one. It may be a significant progress for the USA and the world to see a black man leading the most powerful country, but it may not be enough. The civil rights may regress throughout the country, the efforts may be stopped, this victory may be seen as the proof there's no need to fight and to move on anymore when some hates may be reinforced somehow. The victory of Obama would represent a huge step, but only a step. We know how strong it is in this country, in the world, to think that being black is not an obstacle anymore to reach to the highest job. This is not enough, this is only a symbol, but this is a powerful symbol.

Of course, his blackness is not a reason not to vote for him, but it may not be a reason to vote for him also. We hope people do not vote considering a color of a skin.

An other reason is his being a democrat.

We can see how democrats take advantage of the Bush administration failure. There's a lot of work to do to fix the economy, to restore trust in the us throughout the world, to forbid the threatens against freedom and torture Bush allowed and supported within his presidency, to close Guantanamo and to stop the death penalty.

Barack Obama doesn't seem ambitious enough. He won't change this unfair economic system, his tax plan won't "spread wealth", whatever the republican say, but may be less unfair than the McCain plan, who recently moved toward the right.

Barack Obama's health care plan is weak and sounds like a sleight-of-hand not to threaten the republican voters. This plan won't be that "affordable", because poor people will still have other priorities than their health and also because, with the economic crisis, his plan will be even less ambitious.

It will be difficult to close Guantanamo, but Barack Obama promised it.

And his ideas about the death penalty are almost too subtle to be trustworthy: "Obama was also a cosponsor on a comprehensive reform of the death penalty in the state of IL., which many believe will begin a domino effect in neighboring states to abolish or reform their own death penalty systems. Although, it should be noted that Obama is not against the death penalty as a whole. He believes that some crimes are irreconcilable, such as the rape or murder of children, mass murder, that a society has the right to call for the death of prisoner..."

An other reason was pointed by John Kerry on "Meet the press" yesterday, who repeated what we all think after the economic meltdown, that McCain is erratic while Obama is calm and trustworthy. We saw in this blog how those qualities were flaws earlier and how McCain's shooting from the hips used to seem to be a quality... But the fact is Barack Obama turned out to be calm enough to listen and determined enough to manage. Those must be important qualities to lead.

The last reason is his raising such a hope throughout the world.

This hope is irrational and looks like rather a worship than a serious trust. This hope doesn't rely on facts. It is raised by a charming campaign, which is vague and imprecise enough to let people think what they want, and uses more easily emotions than political points. This hope will be disappointed. But before it lands, before the buzz is killed, this hope will probably strongly impulse a ground swell of change and will constitute a huge opportunity, a strong energy for the one who arouses it and will likely lead the country. Plenty of things will be possible for Barack Obama because of this hope. Plenty of things will also be impossible. He won't do everything. No human can respond to such a hope. But he has a large margin before him. People have a large margin before them, since, with this hope, that's what they believe.

This hope in this symbol is an appointment with history. It can't be missed because of all the things it makes possible.


Media are sexist and elitist against Sarah Palin

This Sarah Palin's getting pranked brings to a close a frankly disturbing sensation felt throughout this campaign. Does she deserve such a fuss?

The joke is well done by the both masked avengers, really funny and fair enough, mind you...

The way journalist are testing her with their gotcha questions, to which plenty of pundits would be having a bad time to answer, like the Bush doctrine" trick question... and the way all her mistakes and blunders are broadcasted are harsh and irrational.

There are really good reasons to want her not to be vice-president or much less president: her lack of experience in the national level is obvious; her political ideas are out of touch and quiet dangerous; her "troopergate"; and her opportunism is probably unquestionable. But we slip toward a different matter when we make such a fun at it.

Media were less cautious and demanding with Bush. So what is the point about Sarah Palin?

Is this because a woman still has to be better than a man? Is this because she is an outsider, talking improperly as real people do and not having confidence enough to send the media packing when they are rude?

We should be careful about what we ask for a candidate to do and to be, what normalization our asking implies. We shouldn't even consider his or her personality.

Her accent, her spontaneity, her sounding weird are not something to make fun at, since people sounding proper with a perfect accent and perfect background and studies turned out to fail somehow in the leading of a country.

But I assume her being so close of becoming vice-president, with her dangerous and narrow-minded ideas, is such a terrifying possibility that it must be better to laugh at it.

Let's laugh though:


Barrack Obama snake charmer

The McCain campaign is pathetically splitting somehow, scapegoating Palin, talking about her as a "Diva", a "whack job", a "rogue", which is not entirely false since she seems to distance herself from those friendly advisers to aim at 2012, or frankly jump from the ship:

Meanwhile, Barack Obama improves his tactical position:

He offensively struggles in the republican states.

He has given his "closing arguments":

Where he sticks to the economics, which turned out to be such a favorable matter for him, and insists on his "change" point.

Then he indulged himself in buying a half-hour tv ad:

This ad was definitely not a surprise, same targets, same strategy: riding the wave of the economics, charming the swing states by choosing stories of people living in Missouri, Ohio and New Mexico and giving the final speech in Florida and most of all reassuring people about Barack Obama with plenty of endorsements.
This huge move even avoids the risk of being called megalomaniac by giving way to simple people, making Obama looking in service of someone else.

They may argue about Barack Obama's stepping back on the withdrawal in Iraq; the weakness of his health care plan compare to Hillary Clinton's one; his unability to balance the budget...

But this is not about politics, this is about entertainment, marketing and worship... Barack Obama doesn't have a precise plan to reform the country, or at least didn't express the beginning of it within almost two years of campaigning. He's charming, promissing, feeding hope and belief, story telling... And this is a very beautiful story.


John McCain is done

We may see in front of us the consequences of the so-called "momentum". And we may see it enough to determine how it consists: confidence. John McCain lost his confidence few weeks ago. He is not convincing because, and perhaps only because, he doesn't seem to be convinced anymore.

While Barack Obama staid focus, stuck to his lines, went on his campaign, without paying attention to the ups and downs of the polls, the Biden's blunders, nor the republican attacks, ending up making an impression of a ground swell moving on; John McCain seems to have tried to use a momentum to improve his campaign, surfing on the waves, going up, shooting from the hips, playing the maverick card when the polls backed him, and following them down with the financial meltdown. He now appears to be swept away. Hesitant, confused, doubtful.

His campaign had so much skill to take every opportunity, whatever their hypocrisy or their lies, from the forum of the faith, then the RNC Convention or the pick of Sarah Palin, to their arrogance in redefining the meaning of change to make it fit to McCain, which almost succeeded until the financial crisis. The last smart move was McCain's suspending his campaign. Too bad for him, he suspended his suspending. David Letterman's making fun at his hesitations announced the end.

The McCain strategy turns out now to reveal all its flaws.

McCain struggles hard to try to get back this momentum, this confidence, he needs to go on, but the opportunities become rare and the margins narrow. His last attempts sound desperate as his critical tone against George Bush to try to distance himself from him or his Joe the plumber gimmick, his repeating over and over Obama will increase taxes or also his playing the scaremonger card, throwing terrorism, race, confusion or anything in the garbage at Obama (check this page out to count how many McCain's ads are positives).

Today, on "Meet the Press" he seemed tired, unable to make a point anymore, struck. Does he think everything is lost yet? That's however how it felt.

Why can't McCain get back his coolness, his sense of humor, his straight to the point way of talking? Why didn't he stick to his line while his campaign suspension to make it believable? Why didn't he distance himself from George Bush way before, letting Sarah Palin talking to the republican base, which was the only thing she was useful to? Why all his qualities appear to be flaws?

The McCain campaign chose a short-run moves strategy, perfect to make a momentum up, but they turn out to be too short, while Barack Obama made a campaign on a long run, no fuss, no moves, which proves to be solid and reliable.

Are the McCain campaign advisers going to be able to throw one of those clever trick they are good at during the week before us?


When the conservatives stop acting dumb

Colin Powell strongly and solemnly endorsed Barack Obama today on "Meet the press".

He went over the main points of this campaign: he deplored the negative tone of the McCain campaign, the lack of judgement in the pick of Sarah Palin, the confusion of McCain about economy and the republican party's sliding toward the right, which makes McCain become "narrower and narrower", while Barack Obama leads an "inclusive campaign".

According to Colin Powell, Obama displays "a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity" and "a depth of knowledge" in his approach.

Colin Powell developped in a really thoughtful, complete and convincing way his points: Obama's lack of experience? He will be well surrounded. This muslim situation? He's not muslim and what is the problem about being muslim? Colin Powel took time to tell a very touching story about a young american muslim who gave his life in Irak... This other situation about Obama's linking to William Ayers? "It's over the top" he said after the taping... He even deplored the robocalls launched by the McCain campaign... An afro-american for President? This is a good thing, not only for black people...

This grave endorsement must have sent shivers down McCain Campaign's spine. But would it be enough for them to stop playing around?


Did John McCain screw up by saying he screwed up?

We underlined how McCain's hesitations to suspend his campaign were a turning point after what he lost his credibility. His canceling his appearance on the Late show was the worst idea his campaign had, since they gave the opportunity for David Letterman to make fun at him by pointing he stayed in New York... McCain had obviously to move on... But I wonder how many people work in his campaign? And how many hours did they waiste to build different strategies, to find out some excuses, to devise some unbelievable stories and to end up making up this move: go back on the Late show, make no explanation, no excuse, just say: "I screwed up" and hope it will work?


McCain and Obama: both casual people

Both candidates John McCain and Barack Obama happen to be normal and casual people at this Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner... They both have to be polite and hypocrite, doing boring things while pretending to have fun... They might have even enjoyed this dinner , being flattered by so many "distinguished", "influential" and conceited persons' surrounding them.

By the way they both take the opportunity to score some points in their campaigns: McCain regained his sense of humor and Obama, after making a kind of excuses for attending a party while a terrible crisis, made fun at his second name and the rumors about his origins...


Joe the plumber

I didn't drop any line here since a while. I happen to have a life, sorry, too information gets easily alianating and anyway the last Townhall debate was... boring...

But the third and last debate between Barack Obama and John McCain happened yesterday. The confidence of Obama was strong enough to make fun of every McCain's smart or tough move, for whom everything appears to be too late and doesn't worth the trouble anymore.

For those who didn't get what was this "Joe the plumber" gimmick during the debate, here is a video of Joe Wurzelbacher raising a question to Barack Obama who muddles through this by taking a rare long time to answer and explaining really brightly all the advantages of his tax plan, even for Joe who will pay more taxes but "would" have pay less during the last 25 years... Is this conditional and hypothetical past cut convincing enough?

Given the fuss the medias are making today, studying every single record of Joe the Plumber, who turns out to have lied somehow, John McCain seems to still have his ability to launch effective, but maybe useless, screens of smoke...


Vice-presidential debate: strategies and margins

I knew people do read coffee ground, even though I still don't know what they actually read, but I happen to hear others read eyebrows:

More seriously, since no one was expecting anything of Sarah Palin, after the National Review's article or the SNL's sketches, but her to wipe the floor, she did, of course, a really good job. I was impressed by her memory's ability and her reading so fast the notes she was probably helped to write.

Joe Biden hadn't such a margin: he avoided to attack her, which would have been perilous, because she's a woman and also because this lack of experience issue could have been used by Palin to backfire on Obama. He chose to focus on attacking McCain, which was the more sure target he had. He probably did the most he could do.


When a quality turns out to be a flaw

Poll shows John McCain is weakened while Barack Obama significantly leads.

In times of crisis, people usually turn to the republican, who are supposed to be more reassuring, as we saw the Bush campaign using 9-11 against John Kerry.

John McCain is known, and makes him known, as someone who shoots from the hips, while Barack Obama is considered to be an intellectual. We remember on the faith forum how Obama's considering every single aspects of a matter before answering to a question works against his own interests and how the straight to the point answers of McCain succeeded to convince.

But it appears in this financial crisis that what was a quality tuns out to be a flaw and vice-versa. The McCain's shooting from the hips habit makes hims look fluster and incoherent while Obama's calm and controlled mind sounds trustworthy.

Even though economy is a really unfavorable subject for the republican, the McCain's strategy was really bad managed and his suspending his camapaign sounded more like a desperate move than a tough decision since he was not able to stick to his line.

McCain's strategy seems to use short-run moves to create a momentum. The impact of his Sarah Palin's pick is now lowering, and even backfiring on him. He needs a fresh smoke screen to stay tuned in the race.


Bailout rejected: Politics or Management?

House Voted ‘No,’ 228-205 for highly political reasons : this crisis threatens an economic and political basis: the free-market.

Republican, like Jeb Hensarling, argue that "the country was on a 'slippery slope toward socialism'." He explains: "If we bail out risky behavior, we will soon see even riskier behavior". And he's right. Considering the free-market logic, to his merit, he's coherent.

This bailout is a band-aid made up in too much haste, which betrays the principles of deregulation and make the State plays a role is not supposed to play according to them. Changing the rules of the game will change the game.

Either the whole system needs a thorough review or it has to be let follow its own rules.

This crisis happens during a presidential race. This is the greatest opportunity to raise questions about going on or not in this system. Which role has to play the State? Which deregulation? To what extent? This is a fundamental matter.

And I'm surprised that both candidates are so caureful to bypass this debate. They are both preoccupied by putting the finishing touches of their own styles of campaigning and management: John McCain was focused on showing himself off and Barack Obama was "inclined to work the phones behind the scenes". This article underlines: "Mr. McCain, who came of age in a chain-of-command culture, showed once again that he believes that individual leaders can play a catalytic role and should use the bully pulpit to push politicians. Mr. Obama, who came of age as a community organizer, showed once again that he believes several minds are better than one, and that, for all of his oratorical skill, he is wary of too much showmanship."

But is this only an issue of management?

This Sunday, McCain said nothing more than this vague declaration: "This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with" on ABC's This Week, while Obama only talked about his participating to the negotiations and the principles he proposed to make the plan better on Face the Nation:

As we saw, their moves weren't useless, since the Paulson plan was improved. But eluding a fundamental question, which will anyway come back in the aftermath of this bailout, is an opportunity, which the debate between the candidates as the debate in the country will miss.


McCain's gambling past: end of bets

Since we may say this financial crisis began because of a kind of gambling with mortgages, I assume McCain's gambling past, which the New York Times pointed yesterday, is quiet ironical.

More seriously, this article underlines: "Mr. McCain portrays himself as a Washington maverick unswayed by special interests, referring recently to lobbyists as “birds of prey.” Yet in his current campaign, more than 40 fund-raisers and top advisers have lobbied or worked for an array of gambling interests — including tribal and Las Vegas casinos, lottery companies and online poker purveyors."


Some conservatives call Sarah Palin to quit

Kathleen Parker writes in the conservative magazine "National Review", that "to express reservations about [Sarah Palin's] qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman."

She explains that she watches "her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted."

And she calls Palin to quit : "Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first."

We will let conservatives women saying everything they need to say about being a woman or being conservative...

It is accurate anyway that criticizing Sarah Palin is perilous, because of the fact she is a woman, even though this could be anti-woman not to criticize a woman because she is a woman.

Her speech is more than surprising, as in this segment of her CBS interview with Katie Couric:

Mocked this saturday on SNL :

But what precisely disturbs us about Sarah Palin, apart from her opinions, which may be strongly discussed, like, among a lot of examples, her billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams, when she was a mayor, as the New York Times brought it to light yesterday.

Is it really because she is not experienced enough? Or is it just because she is an outsider trying to sound like an insider, loosing the strength of her authenticity in this try, made up by a team of cynical advisers?

What is the problem with Sarah Palin for conservatives, which was not a problem with George W. Bush, who sounded quiet the same to me: inexperienced and dummy? This is a mystery only conservatives could solve...


1st one-on-one debate: Both candidates stuck to their lines

Maybe because Barack Obama was too well-prepared for this first presidential debate and McCain threw up screens of smoke: they seemed to stick to the lines of their campaigns.

McCain saved times on the economic issues and had not a lot to say, except this overused point : Barack Obama will increase taxes... He finally succeeded to slide the debate to Iraq.

He insisted on how Barack Obama does not understand, how naive he is...

And he once again plaid the POW card at the end.

Barack Obama may not have taken enough advantage about this long part on economy, which could have been a great opportunity for him...

His answer about his gaffe concerning his meeting Ahmadinejad without preconditions was well elaborated by really good advisers, who smartly linked it to a Kissinger declaration, and begins to be convincing:

His referencing McCain's confusion about Prime Minister of Spain Zappatero was well done and funny.

His insisting on his ability to restore US image to the world was good, since polls seem to agree with that point.

But all of it was made up before with his advisers and he may not have stretched out enough on this debate and reacted to John McCain.

An agressive campaign of screen of smoke, without any content but stunt on the one hand and on the other hand such an uptight effort to prove how ready he is... Nothing really new though...

By the way, when you insist that much to prove something, doesn't it turn out people see more the effort than the point you're trying to make?

MCain's shambles

Suspending his campaign was a bright idea of the McCain's advisers, since no other move seemed to be possible for him. But, as any stunt, it asks the man to stick to his line to be convincing.
This shambles on the Late show underlines how dishonnest this posture was...


State vs religion: Is Sarah Palin a witch?

For someone who stands strongly up for separation of church and state, this is impossible to make any difference between this prayer at DNC, which mixes politics and religion and uses both in a confusing way:

And this delirious worship :

Barack Obama resists

The Obama campaign found a good idea to answer to McCain's skillful move: "It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once." This may lower the impact of the surprise by making fun of it.

Morevover, Barack Obama insists not to postpone the debate and starts to connect the favorable subject of foreign policy to the more dangerous matter for McCain: the economy, by the smart bias of the global economy:

This could forecast a difficult moment for McCain, if Obama succeeds to make this point in the debate and to urge him to take an impossible position on the economy. But McCain is warned now...


John McCain's surprising trick

We saw how uncomfortable the crisis was for John McCain, unable to take a frank position without either alienating a part of his base or sounding too close to the Bush administration. His own record disproves his arguments somehow anyway.

The McCain campaign finds a skillful idea to wriggle out of this positioning deadlock: suspend campaigning! And to minimize the damages of McCain's taking position, they called for a joint statement with Barack Obama, using the need of a bipartisan solution as an excuse.

The surprise is delicious, creates a movement (we saw how the republican camp uses movement) and makes McCain sounded like a determined leader, even if he determined nothing but moving, actually suspending any movement...

to raise or to lower expectations before the debate : two different strategies

The Obama campaign seems to raise expectations before the first one-on-one debate.

They schedule three days for "intensive preparation" and call for hosting "Debate watch parties":

Of course, this is a part of the whole Obama strategy to imply and motivate people, but it also makes a fuss about it.

John McCain chose the opposite posture and lower expectations by praising Obama's eloquence.

Barack Obama used this tactic before his acceptance speech, intensifying the moment by preparing it in solitude... But those expectations may have been to high at that time and his speech good, but not enough good, not surprising enough to come up to them, as the post DNC bounce in the polls may suggest, since it was minor than the post RNC one...


Hillary Clinton: slogans producer

After her "no way, no how, no McCain" at the DNC, here is the fresh slogan Hillary Clinton made up with her talented easiness of producing them by the dozen : "don't ask who are you for, but instead ask who is for you"... Enjoy it at the end of this well-prepared and straight to the point interview :

McCain's embarrassing situation : where are the democrats?

After the fuss around Sarah Palin, whose nomination was close to succeed to make the whole journey of Barack Obama looks dusty, this economic crisis opens more difficult times for John McCain, who looses all his margins on this subject. Do democrats take enough advantage of this crisis?

We know John McCain can not afford to move too far away from a part of his base, who has supported deregulation and probably still do. As a strong supporter of deregulation himself for over two decades, as The Obama campaign recalls it lately, he wouldn't be persuasive anyway. (The New York Times underlines how his campaign manager was paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations). But, of course, he also can not clearly back the unpopular George Bush administration.

We remember he avoided the worst at the RNC when George Bush canceled his appearance, because of Gustav, and stayed at Washington to endorse John McCain. The point on which he really needed to make a difference without alienating his base was the war in Iraq and the "success" of the Surge he supported was a lucky and well-used event for him. Now his difficulty of positioning comes back with this fundamental political issue.

The most difficult is for him to explain how he could be for regulation by now after having supported deregulation and how he could accept a 700 billions $ bailout without sounding socialist, admiting the policy he supported failed and backing an expansive plan of the Bush administration... Most of all, he needs to sound connected to the people who struggle everyday.

His attempts go from his saying he does not regret deregulation on "60 minutes" to his hesitations to be critical of bailout plan or his try to raise doubts about Obama to throw up a smoke screen.

He must be trying to sweep it under the rug and waiting for the emergence of a more favorable subject in the debates... (the first debate between the two candidates, which is coming on friday, will not be on economy but on foreign policy by the way)

The democrats seem not to take enough advantage of McCain's embarrassing situation. They launch a weak attack with this ad where they link this crisis to the Health Plan issue. Of course, this is a favorable subject for Obama, maybe overused already, but the link is not accurate enough to be powerful and the potential of the crisis of McCain's positioning could be better used to underline his incoherence, fall him out with his own base, question his record and make him sound out-of-touch, and not only with computers as this another worthless ad underscores, so "terrible" said even Joe Biden, before withdrawing.

Are democrats going to let John McCain save time ?


An example of the McCain campaign's strategy...

The McCain campaign's redefining the idea of "change" to make it match to their "maverick" slogan is a smart strategic trick. The "change", according to the republican camp, is the ability to reform "across party lines", as Tim Pawlenty said in this interview.

The strategy bypasses McCain's problems with his conservative base, and lower the impact of Obama's main point.

You can watch with this segment of "This Week", how Obama struggles against this subtle confusion, tries to save his own definition of change by separating it from the bi-partisanship and, since he's brought in this bi-partisan issues, tries to convince of his ability to lead "across the lines" without alienating his own base :

You see the skill of the trap ? How it conquers every margin of Obama? I assume this is an example of how democrats are not offensive enough by letting republican redefining and confiscating their trumps...


McCain's flip-flop on the economy

How McCain was embarrassed by his claiming "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" is delicious.

His several attempts to try to justify this gaffe and to make it sounded different that it does are a real beautiful exercise of trial and error in a deployment of a strategy.

Finally, he succeeded to connect it to a more favorable matter, saying the "fundamentals" are the workers themselves. This point must have been suggested by a clever economic adviser. But isn't it too late to be convincing?


Is the McCain campaign running against Sarah Palin?

I'm not sure Sarah Palin's refusing to testify in this "Troopergate" is such a good idea for her long-term career and I wonder if the McCain Campaign's advisors are just saving time and minimizing the damage for the campaign... Do they only care for their own interest? Are they ready to sacrifice her career for this campaign? I'm just wondering...


McCain campaign spreads lies : who cares?

This is quiet fascinating to see that the fact that the ads of McCain campaign are airing inaccurate information or complete lies about Barack Obama doesn't matter that much. What seems to matter the most is the movement those attacks launch.

Is being in movement more important than being reliable?


Sarah Palin's using is sexist

I'm surprised no voices are raising to denounce the fact that Sarah Palin's picking up and her using as a puppet, a marketing trick or a schoolgirl by the McCain campaign is outrageously sexist.


Are candidates free of speech?

There's something you surely do when you watch and pick up so carefully every single word or act, jokes or mistakes of both candidates, as this screen behind McCain, Joe Biden's saying Hillary Clinton "might have been a better pick than (him)" or now this "pig with lipstick" affair... You question the freedom of speech. And this is more serious than it sounds through these dishonest quarrels.


John McCain's cheek

Such an operation to take possession or steal every single democratic argument with a complete cheek is astonishing...

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Sloppy and serious mistakes in McCain' acceptance speech

I'm not sure whether this fuss about the screen behind McCain during his acceptance speech is just a joke or do people really intend to make it mean more than it is : probably a mistake? Isn't there enough serious matter-of-fact to discuss about to use the confusion between a picture of a school and an other of an army hospital?

For those who want to argue, what about about this overuse of the P.O.W. card...

And for those who love the details, let's talk about an other fuss: the use of 9/11 for partisan purposes during the RNC? Isn't it more important, more outrageous?

But if it's a joke, ok well done, the mistake is delicious.


RNC : Day 4 : John McCain's acceptance speech

What happened to John McCain? Isn't he supposed to have a great sense of humor? Did the speech writers use all the jokes and others wisecracks they made up last weeks for Sarah Palin's speech? It sounded like they did actually...

Or did they find appropriate to lower McCain's talent to emphasize by contrast Palin's ability to read?

Are Republican cynical?

So, I was not the only one to think it was cynical to pick up Sarah Palin as veep nominee... Even Republican agree :


Sarah Palin's speech

Ok we were expecting a lot of this first national speech, so now we know : she can read!


Scandals and gossip

There is something quite strange for someone bored by details of the privacy of others, to see the media, starting with those "serious", enjoyed with things, which are nothing else than gossip. What is surprising is the implacable march of something incredibly reactionary and normalizer.

It's not only that we know that this one (John Edwards) has cheated on his wife with this one, nor even that we know when and how... It's not only that we know that the daughter of this other one (Sarah Palin) is pregnant before to be married or that her husband was arrested more than 20 years ago for driving under the influence of alcohol... It's not only that there are people to peel biographies, investigate, reveal or create "scandals", and others to buy them, "friends" to be paid for their secrets and bargain their betrayal... in short, a whole system implying terrible and sordid things... I assume it could be funny. The point is mostly what it reveals about what is asked to a candidate for the presidency of the USA, which has absolutely nothing to do with the exercise of his functions: to fulfill archaic moral values.

Then they will say that what sets to end the career of John Edwards, is not his affair, but the fact that he has lied. Certainly. The subtlety of reasoning is amusing, which does not see that if he had lied about wether putting socks on or not, his career would continue its running. Or they will say that the pranks of Sarah Palin's family are an issue because of what they reveal the lack of seriousness of the McCain advisors, who has not enough study her record before choosing her as running mate, disregarding the fact that these pranks are none of our buisness.

It is indeed the fact that candidates are expected about their moral values, which astonishes me. It is indeed the fact that they are not only men or women brought to manage records, but entire families engaged to reassure on the probity of a candidate. It is this curious confusion which questions not only the program, but also the values of a man, his morals and his faith.

Who is candidate in this election? What does he stand for? Before who? Those are the questions inevitably arose by Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC, in which she gave so many details, going as far as telling how her husband ask her out, to give an image of good and perfect straight white bourgeois and reassure America.

Sometimes, people are struggling to convince they fulfill the perfect son-husband-father model. Sometimes one detail of their lives betrays their inability to be entirely submited to such values. And this is certainly the least they can do. But the fact that these values and expectations are not questioned, this has to be surprising and inhuman.


McCain's running mate

I wonder to what extent this is not misogynist to pick up a woman just because she is a woman?

Anyway I do not perfectly understand a pro-lif... anti-abortion woman, as I would not understand a pro-slavery black for instance... oups, sorry...


DNC : Day 4 : Obama's acceptance speech

Of course, the man must have become completely crazy before the bubble he represents in the eyes of others ; of course the man intends to get into a sleight of hand by confiscating the power of a people, whom the expression is reduced to moronic and compulsive applause, but it would be cynical and kill-buzzer for not enjoying this speech by Barack Obama, who embraces all oratorical technics with such a skill; calm his taste for lyricism, getting a little more precise, a little more concrete; brings together all the watchwords and other arguments heard these days (the patriotism of John Kerry, attacks against McCaine by Joe Biden and others, and so on.) And succeeds to give them more scale, more impact; uses anaphora to increase in strength his speech; and speaks from experience to sustain his motivation.

There is something completely insane to do exactly what you are expected to do, specially with so much talent, but it is also very beautiful.


DNC : Day 3 : Boring

There's something highly conservative in this endless succession of all these speeches, all built with the same pattern, respecting, with such a rigourous care, whith so little inventiveness, the same rules.
Those variations or stylistic composition, repeating over and over the same slogans, using the same old anaphora, and cynically scattering real stories of real lives of real people, are tiring.


DNC : Day 2 : Hillary Clinton's stylistic composition

Something enabled me to recognize a political meeting today, more easily than the day before. Something, which happens in every political meeting throughout the world, in democracies as well as in dictatorships : the compulsive repetition of watchwords.

Dozens of people came, thus, to say at some moment in their speeches, for instance : "McCain more of the same".

Those different slogans ("Unity", "Hillary", "Obama", etc.) were supported by thousands of signs raised in the public in a very well organized perfect timing.

So, Hillary Clinton's speech was a really talented moment of stylistic composition, as it happens to be a must-do in every political carreer.


Joe Biden's biography

On Saturday, I received, like everyone, this...

...wondering why nobody raised the question about who had organized the visit of Joe Biden in Georgia: Himself to get in the race for vice-presidency, which he refused 3 weeks ago? ; Obama's staff to launch the two weeks of hysterical speculation which followed? ; A coincidence due to his chair in the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate?

In addition, I would be curious to know who provided the only biography of Joe Biden, which all American media air this weekend, which emphatically underlines the most relevant points to support the choice of Obama: the tragedy of his journey, which inevitably arouses empathy, his anchorage among blue-collar workers, which answers the will of his running mate to change Washington and could bring him their votes; his diplomatic experience, which compensates for the weaknesses of the Democratic nominee and his tough character to go after MacCaine...

Is this the man who is well chosen or his biography well written?


McCain/Obama : Example from the forum of "faith"

I'm very amused by the subtleties of political verbiage of the candidates in the forum of "faith", in which, even if one of them, McCaine, puts forward its opposition, and the other, Obama, tries to temper it somehow, as a matter-of-fact both come out against marriage between people of same sex and for letting each state legislate.


Does Hillary Clinton suffer from stammering?

It's not so much that we sneak around the hustle-bustle of Hillary Clinton Campaign's kitchen with those memos and e-mails provided by The Atlantic, because we don't give a... dime, but to see clearly this feeling we had so far taking shape : her inability to make decisions underlined by the newspaper:

"Above all, this irony emerges: Clinton has competed on the basis of its management skills, his ability, as she likes to put it, 'do the job from Day 1. In fact, it has never behaved in-chief and his own team has proved to be its Achilles heel. "

This careful analysis delivered by the journalist follows the contradictions, the power struggle in this divided team of advisers, never arbitrated, except once - about the airing of the famous 3:00pm call ad - and this is not Hillary but Bill who decides between the two camps.

But beyond this analysis after the fact, which talk sometimes about the notes informed by the defeat, proving that an "a posteriori" can also be an "a priori", it is quite another question that these stolen memos inspire me...

Whether this profusion of ideas in these notes are all deliciously circumventing Policy, to focus on communication, it is obviously the least marketing advisers can do. Policy is an entertainment like cinema or reality TV, and this is only to shock extremists purists, whose nostalgia makes them forget the immense boredom and the vanity of discussions which want to change the world. Purists will continue to die of boredom if they enjoy it, this is not our problem. What seems wonderful in this positioning crisis is how it reveals the collapse of the relationship of Hillary Clinton to her speech.

Because if this team argues over the best positioning to take, that means there is no clear, obvious, necessary positioning.

That's the confusion we felt, seeing Hillary Clinton hesitating between the emotion and the bossy cards, as she tore up in january or strongly attacked Barack Obama during their last debate, for instance.

What these few notes thus outline, since the sketch of a naive image that begins in 2006, when Mark Penn takes Margaret Thatcher as a fantasized reference point, to the invasion of doubts in the team about the choice of a single, clear message, is the krach, the complete sucking up of a speech by itself, its withdrawal and its insane tetany.

What we do not know, what we can not know is whether the speech of Hillary Clinton has been, during this campaign, a stammering, where the thought erupts and stumbles against the slowness and poverty of the communication, or a confused silence, vague or embarrassed, which gives back the floor she couldn't stand up on. Did she have too much to say or was she talking to say nothing?

Anyway, what is perfectly fine to see in these exchanges of notes, beyond a problem of management and beyond a deficit of communication strategy, is, suddenly, someone stumbling against completely arbitrary rules, as all standards, where at this times, the one who will be elected to the head of a country ought to be the best soap seller.


Barack Obama : a marketing strategy

It has been almost 18 months that Barack Obama declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and therefore as many months that we are expecting with an impatient curiosity the slightest sign of an early concrete proposal.

While some assume the blur of his speeches is due to a strategy of the primary, promising a presidential campaign more precise, the last 2 months seem to be at least as vague as the primary which preceded.

The most optimistic are probably still waiting for the official inauguration, which will take place in late August to see a program's taking shape.

Anyway, the lyrical and good intentions of his speeches seem to have been useful, compared to a rigorous, accurate and stubborn Hillary Clinton, who happens to have bored. Her mastery of issues, her experience, her answers to everything, in short all its innumerable qualities, ended up to make her look like a saleswoman teleshopping on return indeed; her Town Hall on the eve of Super-Tuesday, terribly soft, uptight, turning off, is perhaps not even the most pathetic. Not to mention the awkward Bill Clinton's assertions, which failed to denounce the emptyness of Obama's speeches, described as "fairy tale", and succeeded to tire the democrats voters of the the monster "Billary"'s coming back.

But finally, a fairly radical change happened under our eyes in recent weeks, began shortly before Obama's visits to the Middle East and Europe, which have enabled him to clarify.

First, of course, we will have noticed with amusement that he began to study the records. He seems to win slowly through his ignorance of international political issues, at the experience of an harassing effort.

If the inconsistency of his speech in Berlin seemed to prove that he did not know himself what he was doing there, it was an opportunity for him to recite his fresh knowledge of History, Geography, Institutions and Diplomacy of countries, which he didn't suspect the existence so far.

According to the profusion of details about the past of Berlin or the european commitment alongside the USA, we could almost forget the deliciously empty and frightened look of a faltering Obama, during the primary debates, unable to answer to some diplomatic questions, raised by moderators, who remained not insistent with him though. The blunder he made saying he would meet even the Iranian leaders, which the Clintons took as a proof of his inexperience, seems terribly far.

But there is an even tastier change, we can see taking shape in his Op-ed in the New York Times, then in his speech in Berlin and finally during his interview on Meet the press : a clever triangulation, developed by very smart marketing policy advisers. He doesn't only recall he always has been against the war in Iraq, without specifying that he has voted its budgets as senator, he takes a new posture, almost warmonger, to redeploy troops in Afghanistan and to harden its position against Pakistan. He uses the leitmotif of the Republicans on the war against terrorism and turns it against them, underlining their inability to win the wars they have declared. Confirming that he will do a better job on their own areas, while strengthening its position against the war in Iraq, he plays the field, with pacifist Democrats and so-called bellicose Republicans, meanwhile the CIA underscores the links between Pakistan and Al Qaeda: the brightness of the strategy is exquisite.

Even if this trick implies to feed irrational scares of terrorism, which Americans and the West are plagued by, and which we were several, and Madeleine Albright among us, hoping to see a new Presidency overcomes it, its brilliance must surely be irresistible.

The programm of the democratic nominee, which we were still looking for, not so much with curiosity that already with a certain weariness, turns up to be a talented and subtle marketing positioning.

May I ask if that kind of trick is not a trap which will limit the power of the one who will be elected at any price ?


Barack Obama in Berlin

I was alternately thrilled or amused by the talented Barack Obama's silver tongue in his speech in Berlin. His ability to strike chords, his taste for empty words, which aren't even scared of their own powerlessness, his blind recklessness.

I noticed that nothing concrete had given any strength to his speech and no analysis had brought any slightest new dimension.

I noticed the new positioning in the relationship between the USA and Europe and the imprecise but promising call for a new version of NATO.

I also especially liked the comparison between the Soviet and al Qaida and his obsession with terrorism, so strategically bushist and totaly mad.


Jesse Jackson on Obama

Obama's speech about absent fathers was really weird for me, because it sounded like he was teaching a moral lesson, also because it took place in a church and above all because it was addressed to black people. It turns out I was not the only one to be surprised :


Obamas' clichés

I'm not sure whether this marketing strategy to polish the image of Michelle Obama as an activist and Barack Obama as a muslim doesn't end up in a racist message for him and a conservative and misogynist cliché for her ?


Is Barack Obama lazy?

Hillary Clinton used the occasion offered by this waited hearing of general Petraeus to make her point and proove one more time how accomplished, rigourous and hard at work she is.

Barack Obama contented himself with asking several questions to the general, which is, after all, what senators are supposed to do during a hearing, even though they sounded nearly vague.

He may not have taken enough advantage of this opportunity. Did he study this record before?


Obama's speech about races

Still unable to get what was all that fuss about Reverend Wright and how the most of american people could be so ignorant about the african american struggle and be surprised by his claims, I listened to Barack Obama's speech about races. He puts into perspective Wright's assertions, takes distances with him without condemned him, and subtly change the subject of the debate to get involved the whole minorities at first, and even the whole american people.

This bright move avoids traps of the controversy and offers a rare political moment.

His silver tongue, the deepness and the strength of his speech, the skill of his positionning, even maybe his sincerity, and what became his touch : the little story at the end, were thrilling. In other words : his widening the target segment and his speaking from experience put together with such a talent were shivering.


Hillary Clinton overplays

Several New Hampshire women, some of them undecided until Tuesday, said in interviews that a galvanizing moment in the race had been Mrs. Clinton’s unusual display of emotion on Monday when her eyes filled with tears and her voice cracked as she described the pressures of the race and her goals for the nation.
As voters began to see the choice they have and heard Hillary speak from her heart, they came back to her,” said Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategist." (The New York Times)

Seeing a woman who, unlike his rival John Edwards, whose talent always intuitively tugs the heartstrings, has remained suspicious about affect, brought to use emotions, seeing that it works and that people vote for her because of that, you know that if the woman is elected, she will not be able to exercise the power her voters have entrusted her, because they entrust her with a magical power, a power of entertainment, dream and faith.