Tim Pawlenty: Channeling American patriotism, exceptionalism, and optimism

January 27, 2011

A few cherry-picked snap shots from former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s “Courage to Stand” web ad.

As The New York Times points out:

There is not a single awe-inspiring, patriotic image that is left out.

But there’s no puppy in there. See the Jerry Bruckenheimer/James Cameronesque clip here, and let me know what you think.

Interesting perspective on the State of the Union

January 24, 2011

Peter Robinson, speech writer for President Reagan:

”I hate the damn thing, and I consider the State of the Union one of the central mysteries of modern American life. The president doesn’t wanna give it, the Congress doesn’t wanna listen to it, and the networks don’t wanna cover it, and every year the damn thing happens all the same. … In a certain sense it’s now a kind of permanent ritual, and the question is, how well does the administration, any administration, stand up to the discipline, of doing this peculiar act, that everybody has to do, and which, if done correctly, is nevertheless useful.”

C-SPAN has more – way more – here.

Campaign Poetry: Bill Clinton learns how to deal with questions about his faith

October 11, 2010

As I traveled the state, I had to contend with the rise of a new political force, the Moral Majority, founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell, a conservative Baptist minister from Virginia who had won a large television following and was using it to build a national organization committee to Christian fundamentalism and right-wing politics.

In any part of the state, I might find myself shaking hands with someone who would ask if I was a Christian. When I said yes, there would be several more questions, apparently supplied by Falwell’s organization. Once when I was campaigning in Conway, about thirty miles east of Little Rock, I was in the county clerk’s office, where absentee ballots are cast. One of the women who worked there started in on me with the questions. Apparently, I gave the wrong answer to one of them, and before I left the courthouse she had cost me four votes. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t about to answer a question about religion falsely, but I didn’t want to keep losing votes. I called Senator Bumpers, a good liberal Methodist, for advice. “Oh, I get that all the time,” he said. “But I never let them get past the first question. When they ask me if I’m Christian, I say, ‘I sure hope so, and I’ve always tried to be. But I really think that’s a question only God can judge.’ That usually shuts the up.” After Bumpers finished, I laughed and told him now I knew why he was a senator and I was just a candidate for attorney general. And for the rest of the campaign, I used his answer.

Bill  Clinton – My Life (p. 239-240).

Frank Rich Keeps the Myth Alive

October 10, 2010

The New York Times’ Frank Rich writes the following in his Saturday column (October 9, 2010):

“it was the miracle of social networking that helped enable Barack Obama’s small donors to overwhelm Hillary Clinton’s fat cats, and his online activists to out-organize her fearsome establishment pros.”

Not exactly. Take it away Richard Wolffe (not exactly an anti-Obama character):

“How did they do it? Contrary to their own carefully cultivated image, the money did not grow at the grass roots. ‘It wasn’t the Internet,’ said Pritzker. ‘We tapped everybody and did every event we could. He’d do seven events in New York, back-to-back-to-back-to-back.’ Internet donations totaled less than 15 percent of Obama’s fund-raising through 2007. Money only started to cascade through the Web after Iowa in early January 2008, and it would take another several months, as the primaries dragged on, for the grass roots to represent half the campaign’s fund-raising.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 74).

Robert S. McNamara’s Eleven Life Lessons

October 7, 2010

In “The Fog of War” (2003), former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara talks about eleven life lessons:

  1. Emphasize with your enemy.
  2. Rationality will not save us.
  3. There’s something beyond one’s self.
  4. Maximize efficiency.
  5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
  6. Get the data.
  7. Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
  8. Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning.
  9. In order to do good, you may have to engage in evil.
  10. Never say never.
  11. You can’t change human nature.

If you haven’t seen the documentary yet, do so. It’s enlightening.

Tea Pot Dome

October 7, 2010

A political cartoon from 1924 about the Tea Pot Dome scandal. How does the cartoon describe the current political climate? Well, some Republicans are all up in it (tea), some are scared of it, while others are trying to stay as close as possible without suffering the fate of Icarus. Democrats, quite simply, are trying to spill the tea.

Some interesting Gallup numbers

October 4, 2010

Gallup reveals who likes/dislikes Obama:


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