Thursday, June 19, 2008


McCain Camp Hires New Political Director
John McCain's campaign reorganization has resulted in the hiring of a new political director -- a role that was previously absent entirely from the campaign. The campaign has hired Mike DuHaime, who previously worked as Rudy Giuliani's campaign manager.

In a statement released this morning, the McCain campaign denied that this hiring meant that the Senator would do no campaigning until October and then campaign only in Florida.


I hope that the change that Barack Obama espouses does not end up being a change in Obama himself. His powerful rhetoric, his story, his vision inspired millions, with many young people becoming politically motivated for the first time.

But now Obama's inspirational speeches have been devoted to such July 4th topics as his patriotism and love of America and the importance of faith-based initiatives. As Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Dick Polman put it:
In his ongoing bid to reassure Americans that he, as an American, really truly
does love America, what will Barack Obama feel compelled to do next? Dress up
like James Cagney and sing "Yankee Doodle Dandy?"

Of course, Obama sees speeches on these themes as needed to offset opposition statements and rumors questioning his faith and patriotism. The speeches are excellent but it is galling to think that any candidate with years of honorable endeavors or public service should have to fend off such attacks.

And Obama seems to be moving toward the center. Witness his support of execution as a possible punishment for child rape, his support of individual gun rights (although subject to reasonable regulation) and, more important, his willingness to vote for FISA eavesdropping legislation despite probable immunity for telephone companies that illegally permitted invasions of privacy.

Some of Obama's moves could be seen as evidence of his drive to reduce partitsanship in politics, but they also present a danger to his brand as a new, trustworthy type of public servant. His reversal on acceptance of public financing is understandable in the face of overwhelming facts. However, the FISA support, to show his national security strength, is more problematic. He should have stood by his opposition to telephone company immunity.

So, will Obama be the inspiring new leader that brings hope and change? I think that he will and that his election and presidency will change America and will profoundly change our relationships and role in the world. But I guess politics must come before possible greatness.


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on June 19th embraced the long-disputed view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a gun....

This was a close call on a legitimate constitutional issue. However, isn't it strange that, with so much gun violence in the U.S. and so many humanitarian causes needing help, that so many people, so much money, and so much passion are devoted to guns?

A June 23 Newsweek article notes that three senators are interested in the Secretary of State position in an Obama administration: John Kerry, Christopher Dodd, and Joe Biden.
All serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden as Chairman.

Rarely have we seen more qualified candidates, and ones with such language skills. Kerry speaks fluent French, Dodd speaks fluent Spanish, and Biden speaks effluent English.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Guns went quiet as a six-month truce between Israel and Gaza Strip militants took effect early on Thursday, June 19th ....

Since Israel (and our presidential candidates) will not negotiate with Hamas, how could this be? Magic? No, the deal was brokered by Egypt. So this is not negotiation?


A dumb decision has been made here in North Carolina. Its community colleges will no longer admit the children of illegal immigrants even though they have graduated from NC public high schools. This decision is based on a re-interpretation of a federal law prohibiting the granting of benefits to undocumented immigrants.

First, the re-interpretation is a bit dubious. These children have to pay out-of-state tuition, which more that covers the cost of their education.

More important, the policy is harmful to the state and should be contested. It will result in high achieving students going to other states for education and perhaps permenently. Many of the others will become less productive residents of North Carolina.


A brief rundown of candidates. I'll exclude McCain choices, because it's not my party; however, my guess is Romney as the favorite with Crist in 2nd place.

Ideally, Barack Obama could find someone who brings some foreign policy experience and also knows the Washington inside game. The insider skills might well be provided filled by his White House chief of staff or Congresional liason. So foreign policy credentials is a higher priority although Obama himself is and will be strong in this arena. Finally, the VP candidate must complement the Obama theme of change without bitter partisanship.

First, not Hillary. Sure, she's well qualified to take over if the worst happened and she certainly would help win the election. However, Obama must think of governing and that's hard to do while watching your back and worrying about Bill.

The senators, such as Webb, Biden, McCaskill, maybe Dodd. First priority is that the Senator's successor must be a Democrat. We can't afford to lose a seat. Webb looks the strongest - opposes Iraq war, a strategic thinker with a military background.

Of the governors, ex-governors and others, the leading candidates would be Bill Richardson and Kathleen Sebelius, Democrstic governor of Republican Kansas. Downside for her is lack of foreign policy experience and possible loss of a Democratic goevernorship. Richardson has the foreign policy and executive experience but is not a great campaigner. Unlike with others of limited campaign skills, such as Wesley Clark and Evan Bayh, Hillary would be reluctant to make up for shortcomings of this "Judas". Sam Nunn is probably too old for this new generation movement

Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be a very interesting choice, but could he be happy as second banana?