Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Maverick Bill O'Reilly - Is the O'Reilly Factor moving to the left?

bill oreilly, independent, conservative, liberal
Where is the O'Reilly Factor on the APF political spectrum?

When a candidate exits the primaries as party nominee, they invariably move to the center to appeal to the wider electorate. When corporations and lobbyists foresee a change in power they will divert their donations to curry favor with the likely incoming powerbrokers. It's a strategic business move not an emotional ideological one. In that spirit, bets will be hedged by donating to the underdog to cover all the bases.

This happens in punditry also. Sort of. You will rarely find a pundit betray they're ideology completely but like the aforementioned they will be pragmatic and value they're self interest above all else.

During the Republican primaries, Talk radio was unanimously against the now Republican nominee John McCain for his perceived lack of Conservatism. McCain is widely considered as the face of the RINOs - "Republicans in Name Only" as popularised by Rush Limbaugh. The fear of an Obama/Democrat presidency meant they had to hold their nose and endorse McCain. In the fog of Obama bashing and the welcome selection of Sarah Palin as VP, people might have forgotten how passionately opposed pundits had been to McCain.

Right wing pundits moving to the center to endorse McCain is one thing. Going to the other side is another. Bill O'Reilly is one pundit accused of moving to the left in anticipation of a paradigm shift in the White House. Seen by some as being as being opportunistic, cynical but also typical in character.

Below are sample of commenters from the Hannity Forums detecting an O'Reilly heel turn - What happened to Bill O'Reilly?
Is it just me or does it seem like Bill O'Reilly has become a left wing liberal loving sell out? Seems like he's lost his marbles or something...
posted by KookyLiberals
A few theories are floated
Maybe Obama drugged him when he was on his show.
posted by CMike11

Bill has been very pro-Obama since the interview.. And this Obama Chronicles stuff is making me not want to watch. I don't care about him and Michelle's childhood.
posted by GreenHalloween

You aren't saying he's been hopenetized
posted by NgrTsar
A few come to O'Reilly's defence
O'Reilly was never a conservative. He's an issue- at- a- time pragmatist.
posted by BillBrown

Bill's always been more of a moderate than a conservative. Just because he has a few positions that give conservatives a and doesn't call Obama 'Barry' doesn't mean he's a flaming leftist.
posted by Charlie A
Read the full forum discussion here

Below are some episodes of O'Reilly taking fire from the Right in recent weeks:

VIDEO: Fellow FoxNews commentator Neil Cavuto takes O'Reilly to task

O'Reilly condemns Right wing Talk Radio, Conservative talker Mark Levin chastises O'Reilly in response.
BILL O'REILLY: Most talk radio is conservative-dominated, ideologue, Kool-Aid–drinking idiots... These [conservative talk] idiots are misleading you, they're lying to you... Walk away from these liars, these right-wing liars. They're not looking out for you.
Listen to the full O'Reilly audio here

Mark Levin in response
MARK LEVIN: ... he's [got] a fledgling radio show with no ratings and he'll be off the radio soon because he's a failure. It's the non-factor - Bill O'Reilly... utterly unencumbered by information which is typical of him... what a joke, what a moron. He doesn't understand. He is Ted Baxter
Listen and Download the full Levin audio here

This isn't the first time Levin has called out O'Reilly. Read Steve Young's post on a previous wrestling feud between Levin and O'Reilly here.

True, Bill O'Reilly has never been fully accepted by the Right nor has he sought to. Demonstrating how universally panned he is by his fellow pundits, Leading conservative partisan Rush Limbaugh (echoed by Levin) finds a point of agreement with Leading liberal partisan Keith Olbermann in characterizing O'Reilly as "Ted Baxter".
Whilst Bill insists he is independent, I've stated that I'm not entirely convinced. In many ways Bill O'Reilly and John McCain are similar. They both share a reputation as hotheads and are in limbo as ambiguous (but popular) independents, unwelcome in their own party but also not embraced by the opposition.

- Read Bill O'Reilly's Bio
- Read Neil Cavuto's Bio
- Read Mark Levin's Bio

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Obama and McCain wallpapers

Who likes existential political wallpapers?!
I'm a sucker for puns, this is a two-fer as it's also visual.

5 wallpapers two choose from. All the wallpapers take on different meanings depending on where you stand (almost a dozen from my count), only fitting as I've heard a lot Rorschach applied in politics lately. In that spirit I won't explain what the different interpretations could be but i'd like to hear yours. Pass it on!

obama, mccain, wallpaper, left, right Download Obama - "What's left?"
Download McCain - "What's left?"
Download Obama - "What's Right?"
Download McCain - "What's Right?"


The beauty of the internet age is we can access voices from all types of niches. Want to know what graphic designers think of the typefaces used to brand the Presidential campaign? Here you go
- McCain's font (Optima): McCain’s Optimum Look
- Obama's font (Gotham): Obama finds a reliable type to deliver message
If you're looking for a graphic designer who knows politics and (bonus) wrestling... *ahem* clears throat.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dean Barnett interview coming soon

I recently had the fortune of interviewing APF pundit Dean Barnett, occasional fill-in host for Hugh Hewitt and staff writer for the Weekly Standard. We talked about partisanship, his experience running for office and the two McCains (Republican Primary McCain and General Election McCain).

Longtime readers might know that Dean was the first pundit to give this site national exposure. Dean like his stablemate Hugh Hewitt are big fans of wrestling and have been very supportive of the site. Last year Dean welcomed his colleague from the Weekly Standard, Jonathan V. Last to talk wrestling and politics for an entire segment.

Our discussion had an interesting dynamic as Dean understands wrestling and has clearly read the blog. Whilst I asked vague questions you'll hear an astute Dean shoehorning wrestling references in his response. Flattering but you'll have to be the judge on whether that's a good thing or not.
Transcript and audio coming soon.

While you wait, I present the APF's first triple-outfit pundit. Toggle through the costumes using the buttons on the left wall. This new variant has Dean as the first APF pundit with a sculpted physique. As you'll see the others don't match up nearly as well.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Presidential Debate 1: Barack Obama and John McCain "square off"

presidential debate, john mccain, barack obama
University of Mississippi Presidential Debate '08:
Barack Obama VS John McCain
One down, two to go. The first debate traditionally focuses on foreign policy and national security but on this occasion featured the unfolding crisis and intervention in Wall St which has a large impact on the former.

I've collected a few post-debate analysis from APF pundits. They are primarily opinions from the right at this moment as there are more conservative bloggers who provide instant feedback. More scorecards will arrive soon but there is definitely no shortage of them. I've heard the debate described as a Rorschach test, after skimming through the wide range of opinions I would have to agree.

Michelle Malkin gives it to McCain with some qualifiers
Who won?
I’m giving it to McCain — and you know I’m a tough grader on him...
McCain made no major soundbite-able gaffes. It was more a matter of a few missed opportunities for McCain than the commission of any major errors...

Hugh Hewitt gives a comprehensive scorecard with a "Strong advantage" to McCain.
Read Hugh's Debate Scorecard and debate summary of a "Strong McCain win".

- Watch Presidential clips from C-SPAN
- Go to host 'Ole Miss' official debate site

VIDEO: Watch the 'Mississippi Presidential Debate' below

Read Barack Obama on the issues
Read John McCain on the issues

Friday, September 26, 2008

Campbell Brown, Sarah Palin, sexism and the 'Novelty' Presidency

...I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment... She is strong; she is tough; she is competent. And you claim she is ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now... Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one.
Read the full transcript from CrooksandLiars - Free Sarah Palin

Some have speculated that Campbell Brown was deliberately patronising in her diagnosis that McCain is shielding Palin due to her gender. She is clearly gifted with charisma and mass appeal (crowd turnout, rejuvenated base) and has shown poise and tenacity (GOP convention speech). The only credible reason the McCain camp would be wary is her lack of experience, despite assurances that she's a "quick study". Whilst most people might look towards metrics of governance - gubernatorial, executive or foreign policy experience. In actually the only relative experience she lacks with any objective certainty is national exposure. Until she was introduced as McCain's VP pick a month ago, most people (including her supporters now) had never heard of her.

The measure of which isn't weight. By the very nature of her newness and the compressed time the nation has left to get to know her. All of Palin's laundry - dirty or otherwise have been dropped on the nation's lap in the space of a month. Rumours surrounding her family, pending investigations and her headline making faith and Church continue to unfold. This not only tells us more about the Republican Vice Presidential nominee but it's more instructive of McCain's judgment.

The measure of national exposure is length of time. Whilst Barack Obama has had to repel charges that he is a Celebrity would-be President, Palin has to fight the more damaging charge that she is a Novelty could-be President. Time has weathered Obama's initial mystique and voters now judge him with a more clear-eyed skepticism. Palin won't have that, we'll know in 2 months whether that works to McCain's favour.

Interested to know what Sexism looks like in wrestling?

VIDEO: HBK as the media. Chyna as Palin. HHH as the McCain campaign
(skip ahead to 4m40s mark)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The McCain versus the media: Letterman, Time and the "liberal" media

There has been a lot of talk about McCain suspending his campaign to attend to the crisis in Wall Street. Some have considered it a shrewd move with one poll indicating it's already paying off. Others have speculated its a play to shelter his VP Sarah Palin.

Either way it's perfectly in line with the McCain's campaign strategy outflank the media. A move that plays to the base but uncharacteristic for McCain who has traditionally been treated well by the media.

Time Magazine's interview with John McCain
McCain's Prickly TIME Interview
For years, John McCain's marathon bull sessions with reporters were more than a means of delivering a message; they were the message...

Sticking to the old formula seemed like a good idea. But with the press focused on Obama, McCain got attention only when he slipped up during one of his patented freewheeling encounters with reporters. And so in July, the campaign decided to clamp down on the candidate...

...when TIME's James Carney and Michael Scherer were invited to the front of McCain's plane recently for an interview, they were ushered... past the sofa that was designed for his gabfests with the press and taken straight to the candidate's seat. McCain at first seemed happy enough to do the interview. But his mood quickly soured. The McCain on display in the 24-minute interview was prickly, at times abrasive, and determined not to stray off message.
Read the full interview here

Jonathan Alter of Newsweek thinks McCain is actually getting a free ride
McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis speaks to Hugh Hewitt about the media's unfair treatment towards the GOP ticket
We knew it was going to happen, because it's been happening to John McCain for such a long time. This isn't new. We've been under siege by the left-wing media for a long time.
Listen to the Rick Davis' audio and transcript here
Campaign senior adviser Steve Schmidt takes the New York Times to task.

Letterman is the latest example of the now testy relationship between McCain and the Media. After McCain personally called Letterman to cancel a scheduled appearance, Letterman was clearly fixated on the snub (and what it inferred) throughout the show. Letterman invited outspoken Anti-GOP pundit Keith Olbermann in lieu of McCain. A move that some, like APF pundit Pete Dominick considered "spiteful".

VIDEO: David Letterman Reacts to John McCain 

Suspending Campaign ft. Keith Olbermann

GO Joe! The Joe Biden Wallpaper

joe biden, wallpaper, barack obama, art
"Go Joe" Wallpaper
After being overshadowed by Sarah Palin in the wallpaper stakes, I proudly bring you the first solo Joe Biden Wallpaper. The second if you include the VP wallpaper I made earlier.

The best description I've heard of Joe Biden's role in this campaign is from Amy Walter speaking on PBS Newshour. As usual no talk of Biden can begin without first mentioning Sarah Palin:
Obama, McCain React to Wall Street's Turmoil (Sept 15)
JUDY WOODRUFF: And speaking of other things, Amy, how is the Obama campaign now handling the Governor Palin choice?

AMY WALTER: By trying not to talk about it, the Governor Palin choice, and letting other people do that. Even Joe Biden today -- this was the new Joe Biden that we're apparently going to see on the trail that the Obama campaign introduced us to last week, saying, you know, he's going to go out there and define this race, define John McCain...

And so I think, you know, for Biden, it's fascinating what I'm seeing right now, which is -- remember, he was introduced, first, as the guy who was, yes, part of Washington, could give Barack Obama the heft on foreign policy issues.

Then, during the convention, we were introduced to him as the local boy from Scranton who's going to go out and get those blue-collar voters.

Now he's the insider again, and he's the insider saying, "Look, I've been in Washington long enough to know this guy is no maverick." So that's -- he's taking on whatever -- he's like a shape-shifter. He's taking on any role that the campaign wants him to play, which is, quite frankly, what your vice presidential candidate should be doing for you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The show must go on? The McCain and Obama debate postponed?

The isn't a "breaking-news" type blog but there have been some interesting developments in the presidential election.
Read the story from Fox News - McCain Suspends Campaign to Help With Bailout
John McCain will suspend his presidential campaign Thursday and has asked to postpone his debate Friday with Barack Obama so the two senators can return to Washington to help negotiate a Wall Street bailout, an approach to the financial crisis and campaigning that Obama promptly rejected...

Obama responded by saying that such disruptive measures were unnecessary.

"Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time," Sen. Obama said. "It's not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else." He said that he and McCain have large campaign planes that can get them out of Mississippi and back to Washington quickly.
McCain is caught between a rock and a hard place
...McCain will participate in Friday night’s debate if a bill is passed by Friday morning, his adviser Mark Salter said.

By stepping away from the first debate, McCain he is giving up an opportunity to show off his foreign policy credentials. He had negotiated strongly to make foreign policy, his strong suit, the topic of the first of the three debates. On the other hand, McCain has been criticized for being weak on the issue of economy

But McCain has fallen in recent polls — largely attributable to the economic crisis — and rival political analysts suggested McCain’s move was opportunistic and a chance to stem the free-fall.
Follows the news and the chess game from HotAir.com - Breaking: McCain suspends campaign to deal with economy, calls for debate to be postponed

and CrooksandLiars.com - Obama responds to McCain’s “time out”: The debate should not be cancelled
- Watch video of Obama's statement from C&L

If this was wrestling, this would be the part where McCain plays coy. Tells everyone he's somewhere else and as Obama stands at the podium by himself ready to proceed with the debate... McCain's theme music hits... Too unserious you think?

VIDEO: John Cena's return at the 2008 Royal Rumble

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sarah Palin VS Joe Biden debate wallpaper

sarah palin joe biden, debate
"Just Bring it" Vice Presidential Wallpaper
Yes it's the 5th Sarah Palin wallpaper (or maybe that's 4.5). Never fear Joe Biden Fans there is a wallpaper for the Democratic VP in the works. This one is Inspired partly by Whoopi Goldberg (of 'The View') expressing the "Bring it on" sentiment in reference to wanting to see Palin in the debates to make a judgment on the relatively untested candidate.

It will be interesting to see how Joe Biden performs, many detractors perceive him as a "gaffe machine" and have been anxiously waiting for a campaign-derailing flub on his part. A "Gaffe jack-in-the-box" if you will. Biden will be hoping not to replicate the type of outrage against Edward's seemingly innocuous statements about Cheney's family in the 2004 debate.

The September edition of Atlantic Magazine has a comprehensive pre-game analysis of the debates having trawled through every debate (47!) conducted during the Primary season, looking through debate history and examining the role moderators might play.
Rhetorical Questions by James Fallows
As with trial testimony, job interviews, and blind dates, seeing people interact is the only way to understand what is going on. We don’t watch debates to learn what someone thinks about Social Security. We watch to see how the contenders look next to their opponents, how they react when challenged, how well or poorly they come up with the words we later see in print...
Time does a smaller preview of their own - A Brief History Of: Presidential Debates

For those interested in learning more about the history of debates, follow CNN's Presidential Debate History

For those interested in why debates do not allow 3rd party candidates go here.
Background: From 1976 through 1984 the televised presidential debates were organized by the non-partisan League of Women Voters until the Republican and Democratic parties decided to control the debates themselves. In 1987 the bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was formed – a private entity run by former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. Each election cycle the two campaigns negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding which the CPD follows. Bill Moyer's NOW has a link to the 2004 MOU (the first one to be made public).
The 1st Presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is on Friday, September 26. Moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS
The only Vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin is on Thursday, October 2. Moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS
Read the full listings here - Schedule for U.S. presidential debates
Find the original McCain/Obama wallpaper here

Monday, September 22, 2008

Barack Obama needs to play dirty and get mad

In the latest issue of Time Magazine Michael Grunwald writes about Barack Obama's calm demeanour, the reasons behind it and why Democrats are worried.
Read the full Time Magazine article here - Where's the Fire? by By Michael Grunwald

Michael spells out the fears of Democratic supporters
The deeper concern among the handwringers is that Obama isn't really tough enough for the job... even if he did outfox the Clinton machine... They worry that he's trying to run out the clock, as if the disasters caused by eight years of supply-side economics and neoconservative geopolitics were so obvious that he could simply coast to victory on a massive get-out-the-vote operation and the collective wisdom of the American people...They want to see fire in his belly.
contrasted with Barack's steady approach and assurances
Relax. "This campaign needs to keep its focus," Obama told jittery supporters in a conference call last week. The race, he said, is still "ours to lose." Call it confidence or arrogance, discipline or stubbornness, but Obama is not a freak-out kind of guy... "The reason I am calm is, I have confidence in the American people." Yes, McCain recently adopted the mantra of "change" as well, easing away from "experience" after putting Sarah Palin on the ticket, but Obama sees that as proof that the election will be fought on his turf... "No one is going to move him off his message in a manic moment," says Obama supporter Claire McCaskill, a Democratic Senator from Missouri.
This strategy will only work for the Democrats the if the American people he describes as having confidence in ISN'T the same type of Americans Bill Maher describes.

Finally, Michael rationalises why Barack may have no choice in his strategy anyway
Obama doesn't do spontaneous combustion. And he's keenly aware of the deeper danger of fire for America's first black presidential nominee... White America has embraced unthreatening African Americans like Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Colin Powell, but this is still a majority-white country, and Obama does not want to be stereotyped as a race man like Malcolm X. In a media climate in which "working class" and "small town" and "ordinary" voters still mean white voters, angry white candidates can be "populists," but angry black candidates get tagged as "militants." Obama has no interest in trying to find out whether America is ready for an angry black man.
The jury is still out on whether Barack's calculation as the election becomes more about the personalities and less about the issues.

For the Democrats to win, all signs point to Obama needing to channel the red devil on his shoulder. Obama's supporters are simply arguing, "what's the harm in bringing tables, ladders and chairs to win a wrestling match?".

Watch wrestler EDGE finding the 'dark side' within to help lead him to victory

(warning: contains disturbing wrestling violence)

Watch a fuller version of the clip here

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bill Maher on the Rachel Maddow Show

We don't often get the chance to celebrate the up and coming pundits here at the APF as we usually focus on the bigger and more outspoken names.

Rachel Maddow who has quietly risen in the ranks of the APF debuted her show a few weeks ago on MSNBC.

I encourage you to check out the videos from MSNBC's official site.

Rachel Maddow in a discussion with the always interesting Bill Maher. Whilst Bill came of a little too condescending and sloppy for his message to work, Rachel did some polishing by offering a more persuasive take on Bill's argument.

'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Wednesday, September 17
MAHER: ...And, you know, I keep going back to this cynical point of view I have and people jump down my throat.

But the underlying problem we have in this country is that the people are too stupid to be governed. They are - they are too dumb to get it. So how do you explain complex situations like terrorism, like the environment? You don`t. The public is like - it`s like a dog. It can only understand inflection. It can`t understand any sort of rational argument.

...So I don`t trust them to make the right decisions.

MADDOW: Well, the dynamic has been, not necessarily, I guess, maverick versus complex smart idea, but rather weak versus dumb. And the American people, I think, have said, "You know what? We understand the Democratic case that the Republican guy is dumb, but we don`t mind dumb so much as we hate weak." And that Republicans haven`t argued that they are smart. They`ve just argued that Democrats are weak, effete, foreign eggheads, intellectuals, somebody you couldn`t trust in a fight. And they`ve almost made being smart a liability in an election.
Watch another Bill Maher conversation where he makes a more compelling case against Sarah Palin

Expect some laughs on her show as well, and not off the snide variety that Keith Olbermann does so well. She has enlisted the help of Kent Jones to provide some comic relief. You may have heard the funnyman on the late Marc Maron show and Rachel's own radio program.

Rachel on the women's vote

Kent Jones on Obama Clones - The Brazilian Barack Obama

Friday, September 19, 2008

Political life imitates art: Stephen Colbert for President and Al Franken for Senate

In a recent issue of Time Magazine, Joel Stein wrote an intriguing piece on Comedian Al Franken running for Senate in Minnesota.

There was one particularly interesting passage:
Not So Funny by Joel Stein
Back when he was trying to be the Bill O'Reilly of the left, ranting as a host on Air America... Franken didn't have to modulate his personality. Now he has cut way back on the joking and has become a little more boring than people are used to... He won't, for instance, appear on Saturday Night Live this season. "We have to do everything so people understand that this is a real campaign and not just a conceptual-art piece" he says.
The great thing about American Democracy is that almost anybody can become a leader. Granted, you'll need a hefty amount of money and good name recognition, superficially those two things arguably trump experience. But after all is said and done it comes down to convincing voters of your sincerity and that you relate to them.

As far as "conceptual" pieces go you don't have to look any further than Action figures Arnold Swarchenegger and Jesse Ventura. Arnold became Governor of California seemingly on name recognition alone. He was an actor his entire Hollywood career, having never led as a director. To make things more hyperreal there was an infamous scene in the Sylvester Stallone movie 'Demolition Man' (1993) where they satirically alluded to Schwarnegger - Stallone's real life action star rival - as President
STALLONE: "Hold it! The Schwarzenegger Library?"
BULLOCK: "Yes, the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library. Wasn't he an actor?"
STALLONE: "Stop! He was President?"
BULLOCK: "Yes. Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment…"

jesse ventura, kinky friedmanJesse Ventura, a former wrestler and Navy Seal was voted in as Governor of Minnesota, where Franken is running for Senate. Jesse in recent months has flirted with joining the race for Senate and entertained a bid for the Presidency. What makes Jesse a compelling "conceptual" piece besides his unorthodox resume prior to entering politics is the way he's redefined the bounds of what a credible politician and serious commentator can look like. Its worth noting that both Action Stars-cum-politician, Swarchenegger and Ventura starred alongside each other in 'Predator' (1987).

The most telling account on the absurdity of politics bending reality comes from satirist Stephen Colbert. In conversation with comedian RadioTalker Pete Dominick (also Colbert's warm-up act), the fake Right Wing commentator muses on his fake bid for Presidency which faked everyone out including himself
STEPHEN COLBERT: ...I came close to believing my own line of crap - [but] I did not! When was running for President. Because I had to sincerely engage with people...
PETE DOMINICK: That was an interesting time because I don't think anybody in the staff even knew what was going on with you and nobody wanted to ask "What are your intentions here sir?"...
STEPHEN COLBERT: My publicist even asked at one point "Stephen people are confused, is this a joke or is this real?"... and I said "I don't understand the difference"
Listen to the full excerpt of Pete Dominick's conversation with Stephen Colbert on reality

When it comes to hyper-reality, Jesse Ventura is the undisputed champion. In his latest book 'Don't Start the Revolution Without Me!' (2008), Jesse speaks on his failed play to run for President as an independent. He intended to achieve this by parlaying a wrestling storyline where "he was running for president" into a real campaign that would get him ballot access to make him eligible for a real presidential bid in the 2008 election.
Read the full post - Answering the critics: Jesse Ventura, Al Franken and The Terminator

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Introducing www.PunditFight.com

punditfight, portfolio, artwork Hello readers,
For those unaware I would like to introduce my portfolio site at
It showcases a collection of my artwork and writing from this blog and elsewhere.

I hope you get a chance too look through it. If you're interested in commissioning some art, animations or writing for your website or publication drop me a line at pundit.fight(at)gmail.com
If you'd just like to talk, kindly do the same.

Politico: GOP might regret mocking Elitism and Barbara Streisand (?)

Robert M. Eeisinger has written a piece for the Politico that works as a companion to my previous post on Elitism.

The piece cites many examples of the GOP pandering to anti-elitism by conveniently glossing over their own educated background.
In his Republican convention speech, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (Cranbrook; Stanford for two semesters; B.A. and valedictorian from Brigham Young; J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, with a joint MBA, top 5 percent of graduating class, from Harvard Business School) ironically ridiculed the Eastern Establishment as if it were evil, out of touch and poorly equipped to serve the American people.

Whilst it's an interesting catalogue of examples it doesn't seem to provide a compelling reason to why it could potentially backfire on the GOP. Mr Eisinger contends
...I am not convinced that this is a viable political strategy. The base of the GOP is increasingly educated. Swing voters do not trash higher education; in fact, many of them want their child to go to a top college or university.

This intentional downplaying and dismissing of a formal, prestigious education is beneath the GOP. Moreover, it is undeserving of the American people...

I don't see any new evidence that suggests anti-elitism has become a driver for NOT voting for someone. As the piece itself points out, McCain has doubled down on the "faux populism" narrative.
With Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as their vice presidential nominee, however, the new GOP is now trashing its past... Palin omitted in her acceptance speech that she graduated from college (the University of Idaho, if anyone is interested). McCain boasts that he graduated at the bottom of his class at the United States Naval Academy

Read the full post from Politico here - GOP might regret mocking elitism
Read my previous post on Elitism here - Elitism: Barack Obama and Applebees

When caricatured effectively Anti-elitism works because everyone agrees which side they want to belong to. Whether it's intellectually honest is another matter, but who wants to be intellectual in their honesty anyway?

HHH Hunter Hearst Helmsley Debut

McCain paints Obama as elite by linking him to *gasp* Barbara Streisand

Interestingly whilst Mr Eisinger contends that parents value and envision their kids going through to higher education. I would submit that ironically kids today value fame and envision themselves to be celebrities, though this dichotomy hasn't realised itself in the way people vote.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Latest Sarah Palin Wallpaper: Tina Fey and John McCain

sarah palin, wallpaper, tina fey, john mccainsarah palin, wallpapers, changeIntroducing the fourth Sarah Palin Wallpaper this time with a twist. Technically speaking it doesn't feature Sarah Palin, in place we have John McCain and Tina Fey taking centrestage.

The wallpaper incorporates the 3 biggest stories of the past few days:
1) Sarah Palin
2) Tina Fey
3) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Depending on the day, they shift in relevance in the minds of the media and voters. I've combined them into an aesthetic soup here but they're otherwise unrelated.

On the subject of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, below are some resources to learn more about the issues facing Wall St and where the Presidential candidates stand:
1) Read where the candidates stand from PBS
- Obama, McCain React to Wall Street's Turmoil
- Listen to Advisers from each campaign outlining how their candidate plans to better regulate U.S. financial markets
- Read John McCain's speech addressing Wall St and his Economic plan
- Read Barack Obama's speech addressing Wall St and his Economic plan
- Learn about the Wall St Crisis from a street level courtesy of 'This American Life'
- PBS Newshour describes the risky precedent of 'Moral Hazard'

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hannity and Colmes: Sean Hannity and Robert Kuttner Face off

VIDEO: Sean Hannity tries to bully Robert Kuttner

When it comes to encapsulating what PunditFight is all about, this video probably sums it up best.
It ticks off a lot of the subjects I deal with in this blog:
1) Features an APF pundit
2) Framing the debate
3) It's theatrically combative
4) It's meta

1) APF Pundit - Sean Hannity

2) Framing. The first half of the clip, guest Robert Kuttner does a good job of framing the debate in progressive terms as he speaks to the sympathetic Alan Colmes
...If people are going to vote on whether Sarah Palin is better at shooting a moose, the Democrats are toast... this is a fight about whether the election is about culture or (inaudible) issues...I think Democrats need to run on a narrative. And there's a narrative of the ordinary hard-working family just getting the short end of the stick... I think sometimes he (Obama) tries to be too high minded.
Read the full transcript from FoxNews - Book Urges Obama to Transform America
3) Theatrics. When Sean Hannity enters the frame the conversation devolves into name calling and bravado. There seems to be a lot more raw emotion in this exchange, Kuttner obviously prepared himself for Hannity's run-in and puffed his chest to match his rhetoric
HANNITY: Stop it. Stop it. This is -- this is garbage you're spewing here.
KUTTNER: No name calling yet.
HANNITY: No, it's not name calling. But it's garbage you're spewing.
HANNITY: ... You are voting for Obama, by the way. This is a pro-Obama book. You are voting for Obama.
KUTTNER: But I'm not here to do Obama...
HANNITY: Stop it. You -- when you say...
KUTTNER: I'm not here to be insulted either. You're doing RNC talking points, Sean.
HANNITY: Excuse me. I don't have RNC -- these are Hannity talking points. I write the talking points.
KUTTNER: Right. Yes, yes. Where do you get them from?
HANNITY: Here's what we have. You say -- you spew this line, DNC talking points.
KUTTNER: I don't spew any goddamn line.
HANNITY: You said the economy...
KUTTNER: Stop insulting me or I'm walking off the set.
HANNITY: Go ahead. Go. Good-bye. Walk off.
KUTTNER: Are you going to let me have my two minutes?
HANNITY: Please. I don't care. Go right ahead. Walk off. You said the economy is in dire straits.
KUTTNER: It is in dire straits. You want to deny that, you fool?
HANNITY: You fool, you idiot.
4) It's meta. The irony of this clip is the point Kuttner made about substance being overshadowed by presentation was realised once the name calling and Hannity's supposed meltdown became the story. In effect the 2nd half of the clip nullified the first. Rather than the guests' points being discussed, attention is drawn to the presentation
Did this man just call Sean a FOOL??? WHOA! That CERTAINLY was NOT necessary. This is such a problem with liberals- they just don't know how to behave like adults, even on national television!
They really are losing it!
Read the discussion on Sean Hannity's official forum - Robert Kuttner on H&C

Robert Kuttner describes the experience on his blog
You do all kinds of dubious things when you're promoting a book. But when my publisher suggested that I accept an invitation to appear on Fox's "Hannity and Colmes," I was a bit skeptical. I've been on O'Reilly a few times over the years, and have stopped doing it, because these people play with such a stacked deck. They control the format, the timing, they flat-out lie, and they're rude as hell. Even if you win the debate, you're lending credibility to a propaganda act...
Read his entire post here - Shaggy Fox Story

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saturday Night Live: Tina Fey is Sarah Palin

We all saw it coming. After Sarah Palin was introduced to the country, many remarked at her likeness to SNL comedian Tina Fey. Coincidentally Tina Fey appeared on a 'Life' Magazine cover (2004) with Republican nominee John McCain many years prior to tapping Sarah Palin for VP.

tina fey, life magazine sarah palin, john mccainBloggers have speculated that McCain may have a crush on Tina Fey, not entirely preposterous considering fellow SNL comedian Amy Poehler seemed to think McCain had a crush on her.

In previous SNL episodes, Tina has made it clear she is a supporter of Hillary Clinton and strong women. What people are most interested in seeing is how the resurgent show will paint Sarah Palin over the coming weeks. If the "Saturday Night Live affect" - which has played a surprisingly vital role this election still has some legs.

Update: The reviews are in
- Sarah Palin liked it, and we're reminded she dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween
- McCain Aide Carly Fiorina says it was sexist, whilst HotAir's AllahPundit warns of "reverse racism"
- Aaron Barnhart argues that for people searching for a vessel to damage Palin, Tina Fey isn't the answer

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jill Greenberg and John McCain: Villainy and Political Magazine Covers

jill greenberg, villain, john mccain, atlantic magazine
The Atlantic Magazine has been tarnished by the work of a villain, Jill Greenberg. As photography blog Photo District News recounts:
How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain
When The Atlantic called Jill Greenberg, a committed Democrat, to shoot a portrait of John McCain for its October cover, she rubbed her hands with glee.

She delivered the image the magazine asked for—a shot that makes the Republican presidential nominee look heroic. Greenberg is well known for her highly retouched images of bears and crying babies. But she didn’t bother to do much retouching on her McCain images. “I left his eyes red and his skin looking bad,” she says.

It wasn't sophisticated subversion but brazen sabotage. Outlandish and unashamed - pure villainy.
She goes on to say:
Warned that the image is just the kind of thing that will stir up the anti-media vitriol in the conservative blogosphere, Greenberg said, “Good. I want to stir stuff up, but not to the point where I get audited if he becomes president.”

That said, she goes on to explain that she’s thought about replacing McCain’s mouth with bloody shark teeth and displaying the image on a billboard with the message that the candidate is a bloodthirsty war monger.

Zachary Hooper of the Atlantic's PR agency (The Rosen Group) in response to the photos:

Following up on your post about Jill Greenberg’s photos of John McCain, I wanted to share the following statement from James Bennet, editor of The Atlantic:

“We stand by the respectful image of John McCain that we used on our cover, and we expect to be judged by it. We were not aware of the manipulated and dishonest images Jill Greenberg had taken until this past Friday.

When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don't vet them for their politics--instead, we assess their professional track records. Based on the portraits she had done of politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her work for publications like Time, Wired, and Portfolio, we expected Jill Greenberg, like the other photographers we work with, to behave professionally.

Jill Greenberg has obviously not done that. She has, in fact, disgraced herself, and we are appalled by the manipulated images she has created for her Web site of John McCain.”

Jeffrey Goldberg the author of the featured McCain piece was more candid in his condemnation of Greenberg:
...her "art" is juvenile, and on occasion repulsive. This is not the issue, of course; the issue is that she betrayed this magazine, and disgraced her profession...

Read the full post here - About that McCain Photo

A cursory glance at Jill Greenberg's work shows her style is naturally unflattering and not necessarily a function of malicious intent. Jill does have a reputation as a provocateur and controversy seeker, as well as a critic of the current Republican administration.
As Soulpile, a Newsbusters commenter noted:
Looked through her work.. none of it is very flattering to the subject. Very cold. Whoever chose her to take the pictures obviously wanted that kind of photo of McCain anyway.

- Read discussion from Photo District News, How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain
- Read discussion from Newsbusters, Lib Photographer Admits Making McCain Look Sinister for Mag Cover
- View a gallery of Jill Greenberg's manipulated McCain images (contains offensive language)
- Read PhotoDistrictNews on Political Covers "playing it safe"
- Go to Jill Greenberg's official website, 'The Manipulator'

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bill O'Reilly VS Barack Obama: Lightning rounds

As Bill often does before showing his interviews, he reflects on the interview conducted and discussion surrounding it. I agree with much of Bill's assessment of Barrack:
...As we all know, Barack Obama is very glib. He could do 30 minutes on your shoelaces. And since I only had 30 minutes with him, I had to move the conversation along. Thus, the lively intrusions, as I like to put it...

Senator Obama and his staff were respectful to us, very professional, and I enjoyed the chat. The senator said he also found it worthy. But there's no doubt that our conversation was different than any other he has done.

Read the full transcript of Bill's Talking Points (Sept 9, 2008)
Behind the scenes with Barack Obama

Barack didn't seem like he was taken out of his comfort level, although it's rare that to see him as animated as he needed to be for this interview. Many have critiqued him for his stammering and his lack off poise off-prompter. His "uhm and ahs" used to mask his cautiousness or unformed thoughts. In basketball, often weaker teams will compensate by "slowing the ball down" to control the rhythm. In an uptempo pace, Barack Obama handled himself well.

Watch all 5 Obama Vs O'Reilly clips from the official website:
Pt 1) 'Factor' Exclusive: Obama in No Spin Zone for first time
Pt 2) Your Wallet, Your Money: Obama talks taxes, Economy
Pt 3) Dubious Associations: Obama on Wright, Ayers, Kos
Pt 4) To Drill or Not to Drill?: Obama on oil crisis, energy plan

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Team Hewitt: Hugh Hewitt, Dean Barnett, Mark Steyn

mccain, lieberman, graham, edge, hawkins, ryder
I've been meaning to introduce stables to the APF for a while now, I proudly present the first of many. In wrestling, a stable is simply defined as "an alliance of like-minded individuals". In political terms there aren't too many solid alliances, only the John McCain/Joe Lieberman/ Lindsey Graham triumvirate come to mind.

Pundits have their own alliances, mostly by virtue of it being a small tight-knit community. I've always wanted to delve into the relationships formed within political media, how it affects their professional conduct. This was partially discussed during the Imus controversy when the "boy's club" were divided into those who stuck by their buddy or threw him under the bus.

First cab off the rank: Team Hewitt
Don't know how Dean Barnett and Mark Steyn will take to being under Hugh. Of course if there's any dissension they could just turn on him and ambush Hugh from behind.

- There is a neat toggle on the bottom left corner, click on it for a surprise.

Read previous Hugh Hewitt Posts here
Read previous Dean Barnett Posts here
Read previous Mark Steyn Posts here

Update: I had the fortune of interviewing Dean Barnett recently. Tune in to for the audio and transcript of our interview. We covered a few things including Dean's early political career, partisanship and John McCain.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Palin and political action figures

This blog is slowly becoming 'All Palin, all the time". Forgive me, but just like in wrestling you need to give audiences what they want and there's no denying she is getting a monster push at the moment.

This isn't the first time I've posted about about the nexus between action figures and and politics. Action figures are merely toy representations of the larger-than-life personas of our favorite heroes and villains. Movies, comics and wrestling are usually mined but we've come to see the our politicians cast in the same light, look no further than the George W Bush 'Flight suit doll'.

sarah palin, action figure, toyaction figure, obama, mccain

The Hollywood Presidency continues with the introduction of the new Sarah Palin dolls, to go with the McCain and Obama action figures.

The best use of a doll in politics goes to Conservative talker Michael Reagan, for presenting a Jesse Ventura action doll during a panel discussion with the former statesman.

Relevant segment from the 7m 12s mark

The moment was incredibly 'meta':
The doll was made for the action movie 'Predator (1987)'. Jesse Ventura played the role of a soldier years after being a real 'Navy Seal'. In the movie, Jesse starred alongside Arnold Swarchenegger. Interestingly both moved on to serve office as Governor, Jesse for Minnesota and Arnold for California. Arnold would have appeared as countless dolls for his many action roles. Jesse as a Hall of Fame wrestler also features as countless dolls.

As absurd as it is to have esteemed politicians become immortalized as dolls. What's arguably more bizarre, are finding people who originally built there careers as action figures becoming esteemed politicians.

Find the new Sarah Palin, Obama and Mccain action figure here
Find Presidential action figures - G.W Bush, Reagan and Bill Clinton dolls.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin in a bikini holding an AK47 - CNN duped by forgery

Regular readers will know this blog highlights and tries to deconstruct the theatre of American politics and punditry.

Usually when there is a damaging meme out there, I can usually detect whether it's a clever propaganda play or plain lazy journalism. In this instance I don't know what to make of it.

During a panel conversation discussing Sarah Palin's "celebrity", CNN Entertainment reporter Lola Ogunnaike passes off a clearly 'photoshopped' picture of the would-be VP as being authentic.
KURTZ: But if it's a "Lifetime Movie of the Week," Lola, then it seems to me that it's a very mixed picture from the point of view of a ticket that is trying to get, you know, John McCain and Sarah Palin elected president and vice president of the United States. In other words, it's great to be a celebrity, and she'll get a book deal out of it and maybe her own television show, but does it undercut the effort to paint her as a serious, reform-minded governor?

OGUNNAIKE: And that's what she is going to have to guard against. I mean, McCain has been really good about painting Obama as this lightweight, using the word "celebrity" as a pejorative. They don't want to have a boomerang effect. They don't want that to come back on Sarah Palin, and people say, yes, she looks good in a bikini clutching an AK-47, but is she equipped to run the country?

Read the full CNN 'Reliable Sources' (Sep 7, 2008) transcript

I would hope CNN and Howard Kurtz to address this in a future broadcast.

Read discussion at Gawker - CNN Duped By Palin Photoshop
Read Discussion from Newsbusters - CNN Duped by Sarah Palin Bikini Photoshops

Here is a more comprehensive look at the role Photoshopping plays in current political discourse
Photoshop for Democracy Revisited: The Sarah Palin File
average citizens were exploiting their expanded capacity to manipulate and circulate images to create the grassroots equivalent of editorial cartoons...
they aim lower than what we would expect from an established publication and so they are a much blunter measure of how popular consciousness is working through shifts in the political landscape..

Thanks to kind reader Simon

Monday, September 8, 2008

"No She Didn't": Latest Sarah Palin Wallpaper

sarah palin, hillary, barracuda, obama
NO SHE DIDN'T: Barracuda.O'Mama
My third Sarah Palin wallpaper, now challenging Huckabee for most popular art subject. It's a variation of my previous 'Change' Palin Wallpaper.

Forgive the crassness, but its was a pun I couldn't resist.
Why "No She Didn't"? It's a play on the looming conflict between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. As well as The possibility of Hillary remaining in and dominating the headlines, this time fighting FOR Obama. Wrestling couldn't have scripted it better.
McCain’s Pick May Foster Bigger Campaign Role for Clinton
Mrs. Clinton’s friends said she was galled that Ms. Palin might try to capitalize on a movement that Mrs. Clinton, of New York, built among women in the primaries. And Democrats used strong words on Sunday to rebut the notion: Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said that women would not be “seduced” by the Republican ticket, and Guy Cecil, the former political director of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, said it was “insulting” for Republicans to compare Ms. Palin to Mrs. Clinton.
Find an alternate article here - The Real ’08 Fight: Clinton v. Palin?

It's amusing that the McCain/Palin ticket has managed to successfully co-opt the energy amongst women fostered by Hillary and Obama's effective 'Change' mantra. It's a rational move. polling has shown that people feel America is on the wrong track and it's widely seen as a 'Democratic Year'. The 'Change' frame already claimed it's biggest scalp in toppling the Hillary juggernaut. This is the second time Hillary has been reportedly irritated by the audacity of junior peers. Firstly, Obama who "didn't wait his turn". Secondly Palin who is "piggybacking on the trail Hillary blazed". But Gender (and identity) Politics is more complicated than that.

Depending on how one looks at it, McCain is the original 'Change' candidate. Supporters see McCain as the person who has a legitimate record of Change - McCain ad: “Original Mavericks”
McCain ad: "Original Mavericks"
Real change. That message will become the central theme for the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket...

McCain isn’t stealing Obama’s thunder on change; he’s reclaiming a mantle that Obama attempted to usurp. He needs to remind voters that actions speak louder than pretty words on a fake Greek temple. Accept no substitutes.
Others view McCain as the 'Change' candidate, but in a less flattering way
MARK SHIELDS: ... Jerry Falwell, becoming Jerry Falwell's new best friend. On torture, John McCain took a very principled stand, has backed off on it.

His principal promise in the Iowa caucus was, "I will close Guantanamo." That was the first act of president. He has not mentioned it since. I mean, you know, you can go through where he has -- he has changed. He has trimmed...

DAVID BROOKS: This is fair. I mean, this is a fair question, because I've had a Democratic senator, and he says to me, "You think the McCain you saw in the Senate is the real McCain? I have news for you. This McCain on the campaign trail, that's the real McCain. You are stupid." I still think the McCain I saw in the Senate is the real McCain.

JIM LEHRER: And he is...

DAVID BROOKS: ... and will be the president. If he's elected president, he'll be that guy and not necessarily the guy which Mark accurately describes.

MARK SHIELDS: The guy in 2000, I've got to tell you, I was ready to put his bumper sticker on, you know, I mean, and risk domestic harmony...
Read the full transcript from PBS Newshour's September 5 show
Listen to the Shields and Brooks conversation here

Download the Sarah Palin "No She Didn't" wallpaper (1280 x 1024)
Download the Sarah Palin "No She Didn't" wallpaper (1024 x 768)
Download the Sarah Palin "No She Didn't" wallpaper (800 x 600)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What Sarah Palin and Joe Biden bring to their Presidential tickets

sarah palin, wallpaper, change, obama, believe
Due to popular demand, I present the APF's newest Sarah Palin Wallpaper - 'Change we can believe in'.

What a week makes! The conventions are over, the Party tickets have been announced and the whole election dynamic has been turned on its head. For much of the year, the prevailing criticism of a Barack Obama presidency has been his lack of experience. By tapping senior Senator Joe Biden, Barack aims to pacify such doubts. Joe Biden duplicates many of John McCain's traits. Biden and McCain are good personal friends, both silver-haired wise elders in the Senate, Biden serving 35 years to McCain's 26. Both have men have sons serving in Iraq.

Whilst many observers considered it a rational choice, selecting an entrenched politician undercut Barack's successful messaging of 'Change'. To Obama's benefit, Biden is largely unknown to the wider public and isn't synonymous with the 'Politics of old' the same way someone like Hillary Clinton is. Obama detractors were also gleefully salivating as Biden has a reputation for being a 'gaffe-machine'.

Whilst Obama seems to have made a cautious choice, John McCain has made a riskier calculation in selecting Sarah Palin. A gamble which if it pays off could earn him the Presidency. A relative unknown until she was nationally introduced as John McCain's VP choice, interestingly the choice of Palin also duplicates the opposition's #1. Whilst Joe Biden duplicate's McCain greatest asset - experience. Sarah Palin matches Obama's greatest assets - Charisma/Mass appeal/Historic candidacies/Identity appeal. A set of assets few politician's possess and one that cannot be manufactured.

Until recently many of Obama's characteristics were turned into negatives by his detractors. The contagious buzz, the movement mobilised rather than being envied was mocked. As evidenced by the attention in talk Radio and the blogosphere Sarah Palin has a broad appeal that rivals Obama's, which until recently was inconceivable. Part of this can be credited to heightened emotions because she is fresh' and the compressed timeline people have had to learn everything about her but there is no denying her popularity and ability to connect. Palin had an 80% approval rating as Governor of Alaska, a score that the McCain camp hopes to translate nationally.

McCain's choice of the younger and less experienced Palin also undercuts his message, contradicting his criticism of Obama. Whilst supporters insist that even by that measure Palin is more qualified, the notion of inexperience was always nebulous and subjective. If the President was chosen based on experience alone, it would go to Biden. If anything it has made experience a moot point. In this regard whilst both tickets literally mirror each other, McCain has conceded slightly to Obama by adopting the 'Change' frame.

Politics more than anything is about 'framing' - whilst evidence is important, what's more powerful is shaping how we perceive that evidence. Rudy Giuliani summed up McCain's pivot in his convention speech:
First by qualifying the idea of 'Change'
I learned as a trial lawyer a long time ago, if you don't have the facts, you've got to change them. So our opponents want to re- frame the debate.

They would have you believe that this election is about change versus more of the same, but that's really a false choice, because there's good change and bad change.

Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.
Then offering the McCain/Palin camp as the best agents of change
Senator McCain -- Senator -- Senator McCain was the candidate most associated with the surge, and it was unpopular. What do you think most other politicians would have done in a situation like this?
They would have acted in their self-interest, and they would have changed their position in order to win an election...

In choosing Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has chosen for the future.
The other guy looked back. John looked forward...

...She is shaking up Alaska in a way that hasn't happened in maybe ever. And with John McCain, with his independent spirit, with his being a maverick, with him and Sarah Palin, can you imagine how they're going to shake up Washington?...
Which brings us to these two new Wallpapers. Enjoy!
Download the Sarah Palin 'Change' wallpaper (1024 x 768)
Download the Sarah Palin 'Change' wallpaper (800 x 600)
The Second Palin 'Change' wallpaper coming shortly

A microcosm of how the Sarah Palin pick has changed the election dynamic can be heard in this audio from Hugh Hewitt's show -
Listen here 2008 Republican National Convention Pt1 - Sept 4, 2008

1) Governor Mitt Romney reiterates the new co-opted frame -
"The democrats are correct to surmise that people want change... but the real answers are with John McCain and Sarah Palin"
2) The renewed enthusiasm amongst conservatives -
The appealing addition of Palin has allowed conservatives a reason to vote FOR McCain and not simply AGAINST Obama
3) The media 'sandbagging' of Sarah Palin and the gathering backlash -
A larger discussion of the conservative resentment of big media. Interestingly Romney has a 'Cest La Vie approach to the media in this audio.
4) Female supporters softly succumbing to identity politics -
"I was never one to participate in the women's lib movement...but there's something so exciting about Sarah Palin"
5) Supporters embracing the cult of personality -
Caller to Hugh "Sarah has Out-RockStarred the Rock Star (Obama)". Not found in this audio segment.
Find the original Sarah Palin wallpaper here

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Zingers, one liners and catchphrases - GOP Convention edition

This is a continuation of my compilation of one-liners I made during the Primary season - Presidential debates: zingers, one liners and catchphrases.

The Party conventions have concluded and with it many hours of speeches delivered. The setting allowed key players in each party to advance their party's agenda and policies. For many however, it was a chance to be entertained by applause lines, the throwing of ideological red meat and zingers directed to the opposition party. In wrestling, this is called 'Cutting a promo'.

I will be highlighting each party's best applause lines and zingers starting with the Republicans.

To begin, here is a demonstration of how a statesman-like promo is conducted in wrestling - Future Hall-of-fame wrestler Shawn Michaels calls out the legendary Hulk Hogan.

VIDEO: HBK promo on WWE Raw

Now onto the Republicans:
Former Senator Fred Thompson
To deal with these challenges the Democrats present a history making nominee for president.

History making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for President. Apparently they believe that he would match up well with the history making, Democrat controlled Congress. History making because it's the least accomplished and most unpopular Congress in our nation's history.
Read Fred Thompson's full convention transcript from the official site

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
Barack Obama's excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don't even vote or pay taxes here.

It's not what he took there that concerns me. It's what he brought back. Lots of ideas from Europe he'd like to see imported here.
Read Mike Huckabee's full convention transcript from NPR

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
And I have -- I have one more recommendation for energy conservation: Let's keep Al Gore's private jet on the ground.
Read the full Mitt Romney transcript from CNN

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
1) I'm sorry -- I'm sorry that Barack Obama feels that her hometown isn't cosmopolitan enough
I'm sorry, Barack, that it's not flashy enough. Maybe they cling to religion there.

2) When speaking to a pro-Israeli group, Obama favored an undivided Jerusalem, like I favor and like John McCain favored. Well, he favored an undivided Jerusalem -- don't get too excited -- for one day, until he changed his mind.
Well, I'll tell you, if I were Joe Biden, I'd want to get that V.P. thing in writing.
Read Rudy Giuliani's full convention transcript from CNN

Alaska Governor and would-be Vice President, Sarah Palin
1) And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

2) This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?

3) In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.
And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.
Read Sarah Palin's full convention transcript from the official site

As always with these things, it's all in the delivery.
Watch the GOP Convention speeches from their official site.
For mine, Rudy Giuliani wins the award for most theatrical delivery. Seemingly channeling Glenn Beck in his playful elecution. Sarah Palin wins the award for having the best lines and generating crowd excitement.