The MD Obama campaign has focused on helping out in Virginia and I have spent two days canvassing in Virginia lately and one day registering voters. I fully support those efforts and will do it as often as I can. I will also phone bank, as well. I did notice that there were some voter registration activities taking place at some of the Red Line Metro stations, so I volunteered to help out at the Takoma station, which is very close to my house.
Everyone knows of Takoma Park as pretty politically active and aware, so I figured that trying to register voters there would not be very productive. Also, the station is physically in DC, so many DC residents use it.
I have spent two evenings at the Takoma Metro and have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people who have registered. Last night I was there for about an hour and a half and I got a dozen registrants, plus a few who took forms for their children. I also got one volunteer. Some were people who had recently moved and one had even downloaded the form at work and filled it and and just left it with me to take to the Board of Elections. My efforts won't make much difference in the outcome in Maryland, but it's easy and better than staying home and fretting or watching television.
We've been posting a lot of campaign ads recently, and a friend suggested that we give you, the reader, a chance to play. So, post your own (funny or serious) script for a positive or negative campaign ad for either Obama or McCain in the comments, and the best few will get posted on the main page on Thursday. Try to keep it in the funny zone, and not delve too far into the range of offensive. I'll post one of my own as well, though all I'm working with right now is this for the end of the ad:
"I'm John McCain, and I approved this ad, because I'm willing to sacrifice all of my integrity to win this campaign."
Great ad. Takes on McCain's credibility without being sleazy like the ads McCain has been running.
Update: I always thought talk of an electoral college tie was ridiculous, but I am now officially wrong about that. If you look at today's pollster.com state-by-state composites, and give each state to the candidate who is ahead, the final outcome is 269-269. Wow. Of course, things are likely to change between now and election day. And polling is a snapshot, not a perfect predictor of an end result. And, in any case, a tie would be ok because the choice would then go to the House of Representatives, where Obama would most likely win. Still, impressive.
If you didn't get the chance to see it, I recommend blocking off about 45 minutes to do so. While it's hardly news that Barack Obama is a gifted orator, his acceptance speech was nevertheless impressive, and a fitting capstone to a Democratic Convention that had two goals: 1) demonstrate Obama and the Democrats' love of country and American values; and 2) attack John McCain, George Bush, and the Republicans' bad policies and failed leadership. Though it took a while for the Convention to work on that second goal, it eventually got more aggressive, with Obama, surprisingly, launching perhaps the most aggressive criticisms at the GOP of all. At the same time, Obama's usual idealism was on full display. (Unfortunately, so was his touting of the misguided notion of "energy independence," but I digress.) I've seen him give better speeches, but at a time when many worry that the Obama campaign won't go on the offensive against McCain and the Republicans, it was perhaps one of his most effective.
Richard Vatz has posted two comments on Red Maryland that warrant a response. I will repond to him here rather than on the Red Maryland site because I respect the rights of the RedMaryland website users to have their own forum for expressing their views without being disturbed by those who disagree with them. Fortunately, people with opinions similar to my own can express their views here.
Professor Vatz states that Joe Biden's past is an indication of his character deficiencies. I could easily counter that by describing John McCain's past in detail, including why he left his first wife. I could logically conclude that he is a political opportunist rather than the upstanding person of character that the media has presented him as. I will not do that. Senators McCain and Biden have both admitted they have made mistakes in their past and have apologized for them. Besides, my opposition to John McCain is because he supports policies that are wrong for the United States. I would rather that be the main point because that is what this whole election is about.
Professor Vatz then states that Senator Obama committed a grave mistake by not selecting Senator Clinton as his running mate. He is entitled to his opinion, but he has a lot of holes in his assertions. First and foremost, how does he know that Senators Obama and Clinton did not discuss this and that Senator Clinton stated that she did not want to be his VP choice? Senator Clinton has an excellent chance of being Senate Majority Leader. Many people feel Senator Clinton can serve the country much better in that post. The two Senators may have discussed this and agreed that Senator Clinton would neither seek nor be offerred the VP slot. Secondly, Senator Clinton stated that if her supporters supported her because of the needs of GIs, single mothers and other persons who have no voice, then they need to vote for Senator Obama so that those individuals can be helped by a Democratic President working with a Democratic Congress. Third, if Senator Obama is President for 8 years, Senator Clinton will only be 68 years old. She can succeed him, serve her two terms and leave office at the young age of 76.
Professor Vatz then states that John McCain should select Mitt Rommney as his running mate. I hope McCain follows his advice. Rommney has flip-flopped on issues perhaps more than McCain. He is more elitist than McCain. He feels his sons served America better by working for his campaign than by going to Iraq. This somewhat reminds me of the Andy Harris-Chris Meekins position-Iraq is a great war as long as other people fight it. So, Professor, let McCain select the Mittster. He has already been vetted by conservative talk radio. Senator McCain could make a bold choice and select Kay Bailey Hutchinson, but I don't think he will. I don't want him to. I want him to listen to Professor Vatz.
From the lion Teddy Kennedy to the not so silent lamb Michelle Obama, that is the way to start a convention. Baltimore's favorite Californian Speaker Pelosi let the convention know that we'll get to take on John McCain, later. [Just heard the Tonight Show audience's response to Leno's question to McCain about houses and his POW answer - Carson would have thrown them out of the theatre] Back to what I was going to say. The themes they spoke about are the ideals that first brought me to the Democratic Party. First family, seating down to dinner together, helping kids with home work, helping neighbors when they need it. The other ideal, that to who much is given, much is expected. There are two views of America - one that looks at the shining city on the hill and the other stands on the shore looking out on the horizon.
Can't tell you how excited I am. Biden's a great pick. Last year at the NEA Convention, Biden was my favorite speaker by far, if only because he had the humor and humility to mock his own lack of wealth. It'll be a huge difference from Cheney. And Biden has more foreign policy experience that pretty much everyone in the senate, including McCain.
"I guess if you think that being rich means you've got to make $5 million and if you don't know how many houses you have, then it's not surprising that you might think the economy was fundamentally strong," said Barack Obamaduring a rally this morning in Chester, Virginia. "But if you're like me, and you've got one house, or you are like the millions of people who are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they don't lose their home, you might have a different perspective."
From The Fix, Via Kos and MyDD. The Fix posting finishes up by saying the Obama veep announcement may be delayed to allow the media to focus on McCain the McMillionaire.
Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's wrong, but Matt Drudge thinks Obama is going to announce his VP pick some time this week. Traditionally, the VP candidate is leaked preceding the convention, so it's the right time historically. But people are still paying a lot of attention to the Olympics, so it may not be the right time in terms of getting a good media hit.
Today we have the teenage boy version of the Sunday funnies.
First, Mario v. McCain:
Then, McCain gets his Simpsons cameo, through the continuing magic of the Colbert green screen challenge:
One more video game appearance. Believe it or not, somebody actually took the time to render Obama and McCain onto a Star Wars game. It's funny in the, "I can't believe someone took the time to do this," kind of way. But it's probably a pretty good idea of how elections would work in the mind of a thirteen-year-old video game addict:
And, finally, to our buddy Barack Obama, on the occasion of his recent decision to offer limited support for offshore oil drilling despite the fact that it will do nothing for oil prices, here's a rousing rendition of Sell Out, by the Levellers, horrible fashion sense and all:
Wal-Mart has been doing presentations for its employees with the implicit message that voting for Barack Obama is a bad idea. The irony is that their justification is that Obama supports the Employee Free Choice Act, which would strengthen the rights of workers to organize unions. In other words, they're telling their employees to vote against Obama because he wants to give them more rights as workers. It also flies in the face of Wal-Mart's recent efforts to make themselves seem less evil. Wal-Mart Watch is following the story.
"I want to be there to help Barack Obama get elected, I wanna be there for him on inauguration day, I want to be there to vote for his spectacular agenda, I wanna be there for his first term, I wanna be there for his second term."
That sound you hear is a half dozen prominent state policians groaning as they come to realize their ambitions are thwarted for the tme being.