In a race unlike any other, politics have mixed with mainstream media, PR stunts and campaign tactics cannot be deciphered, and candidates are currently in a full-fledged ad war. First ladies have turned into public enemies, and lines have been drawn inside of political parties.

But the single, most plain asset in this political chaos that we call the 2008 presidential race is most certainly the element of surprise.

Partisan or non-partisan, liberal or conservative, we can all agree on one thing – Sarah Palin was a surprise. The little-known one term Alaskan governor has set political media to a standstill, hitting nerves on everyone, liberal, conservative, or independent. She has changed politics as we know it, stirring so many feelings that can’t all be represented by just one writing. 

So how can we take all of this in? The truth is, we can’t. Which ever party you support, which every race and creed you are, you simply can’t take in Palin without emotion.

And this is exactly what John McCain wanted.

He wanted this news frenzy. He wanted the blogging world, liberal and conservative to explode into opinion. He wanted chaos to erupt in the media world, (i.e. the OK! Magazine bias). He wanted people like me and you to think long and hard about this media bonanza — he wanted a diversion.

Understanding the importance of his vice presidential pick, McCain couldn’t simply choose anyone. He needed to go out of the ordinary, not into the realm of his contenders, middle-aged white males who would be perceived just like they have for two-hundred years.

And no matter how unreliable, local or politically ripe Sarah Palin was, he knew she would create the second big bang. He knew that she would occupy every political blog, think tank, magazine, and newspaper. And finally, he knew that she would provide a wall between both parties, blacking out media solely focused on the Democrats.

Palin’s experience is an issue, but McCain knew he could exploit this to the fullest, initiating a media strategy that could literately absorb any attack from the left.

And in a sense, this has succeeded, with help from Sarah Palin herself.

Her choosing for running mate has acted as a literal smoke bomb, creating only a small explosion, but then spreading over the entire mainstream media, sparking a spreading cloud of mist. Palin, acting as bait, has done all she has needed to do, unleashing attack speeches when needed and sparking controversy with her “troopergate” scandal as well as he pregnant daughter. The media then proceeded to take the bait, igniting a fire within itself and not running a story without the world “Palin” in it.

Meanwhile, Palin actually has stayed away from the media, ignoring any invitations for interviews on sit-down shows and political debate television as well.

Why? She doesn’t need too.

Palin’s one weakness is the one trait that you would assume a running mate would use to his/her advantage – politics. McCain knows that if Palin explodes back into the media, accepting interviews and arguing head-on with the liberal press, she will be beaten to her knees, and a coupe-de-grace will be imminent during her mandatory debate with opposing running mate Joe Biden.

And because of this, the future is more of an enemy to the conservatives than Barack Obama, and if the Democrats plan to exploit this, they must understand that for now, they have lost the battle of the present.

After releasing his latest ad: “No Change“, many are questioning candidate Barack Obama’s lack of criticism toward opposing vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, who (let’s not forget) has posed as a giant target for almost every American democrat lately. 

But is this really true? I disagree.

In dissent, Sarah Palin is truly a tough target to hit in many ways, no matter how large of a dart-board she looks right to your average political commentator. This problem, in a primitive sense, is similar to ‘telling on’ a teacher’s pet, no matter how guilty they may be. The liberal press (or the press at all) can report all they want on Palin’s troopergate scandal, but if Obama takes a shot at it, it will most likely backfire as a sign of weakness or rage, similar to Hillary Clinton’s “Change You Can Xerox” remarks, ending in harsh boos. 

And who is the teacher — blocking all of these would be Obama talking points, you may ask. 

Its actually a hybrid of John McCain, the army of conservative bloggers and youtuber’s, and to stir it all up, Hurricane Gustav and its effect on the GOP convention. This three headed press monster strikes in more places than one, and is designed specifically to rebound any Democratic attacks.

First, John McCain, who chose Palin as his running mate, has chosen a move thought to be defensive to many liberals but in truth very effective, in his act of “taking off his party hat” and undressing the festivities of the GOP convention in the wake of hurricane Gustav. But by doing this, McCain has also created an Obama trap. 

If the liberals try to take any kind of shot at the Republicans, the Right Wing will be able to not only defend themselves in a political way, but then question their relentless attacks in a time of crisis (referring to hurricane Gustav). 

So while nothing official can happen between both parties for now, the McCain camp will have this week’s victory, both letting the press flood away any news stories about Obama’s speech with news of the hurricane and sending some sort of political point out of his convention.

Meanwhile, the third and last head of the press monster (behind McCain and hurricane Gustav) is the conservative “www” army, flooding blogs everywhere and taking up mostly all youtube comment sections under Obama videos. Although this kind of attack, below, is not official to the McCain camp, it poses a huge scary reminder to the democratic senator of how many devout McCain supports are willing to relentlessly attack everywhere on the public web, no matter how badly they would fair in a debate with each other. Although Obama may know more about the web than his opponent, with campaign accounts everywhere filled with conservative spam messages and attacks, he just may have to admit loss in this category.

So as Sarah Palin keeps letting out attack points, from her Troopergate scandal to her 17 year old daughter’s pregnancy, she is merely bait for McCain’s press monster to trap Obama in a whirlwind of backfiring remarks.

My advice for Obama? Stay out of the spotlight for a week, and then, when the storm comes to a close, make up for lost time with more than one attack ad.

Today on Friday, August 29, 2008, the world knows the true meaning of political chaos.

Just the previous night, Barack Obama completed a historic speech for the record books to close a remarkable in itself Democratic National Convention, only to be greeted early this morning to a previous rumor made reality, the choosing of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin for John McCain’s Vice President. Throw that in with a newly-named Katrina #2 headed for American land — in the wake of the newly-hyped Republican National Convention — and you have a story: not to mention some busy bloggers. 

So how does all this fit into place in the world of politics? Its really a two way outcome that comes down to what it has always — a floor brawl between the two political powerhouses — Obama and McCain. Obama — fresh off his brilliant speech in Denver, is short pressed to respond to Sarah Palin’s nomination — preferably for him in the form of a official press statement. McCain, on the other hand, is in a bittersweet position that in my opinion could be politically suicidal if mishandled. 

Currently sitting on the momentum throne, Senator McCain has many options, but none as daunting as his long term decision with Sarah Palin. He knows that from a political standpoint that the next week is not just vital to his campaign, but it could make or break it. By choosing Palin as his running mate, he has made Obama look (in contrast) as familiar to America as Britney Spears, and that is something he needs to change very soon. 

So what better time to do so than the convention? And now that the previous focus for the conservatives (trying to top the party-like atmosphere the democrats featured) is out of the question, McCain must use his media attention wisely in introducing Sarah Palin to the world — and more importantly — his future voters. 

And then there’s Obama. 

A recent powerhouse in the media, Obama’s “Messiah” stature in media reportings and stories has just been snatched away from him, replaced with news that he knows he can use for his advantage. CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien put up a good question by asking if the McCain camp has put “firepower in the democrat’s hands” with their veep pick, but that question actually divides into a strategic answer that is more complicated that one might think.

The line between weakness and political retaliation has been very slim this election, but it is one that Obama has mastered, as I wrote in another post about political ads. And now that Obama has been given the ball next to the hoop practically unguarded, he must choose to simply lay it in or attempt a demoralizing dunk. What I mean by this is that Obama has been given a situation that he can take advantage with, but if he goes to far with it — he could come out as weak rather than powerful. What he must do, what he will do, and what he can do are totally different approaches that will lead him in totally different directions.

What he should do (in my opinion) is take advantage of the fact that McCain, a hard hitter on the “ready to lead” diss for Obama, has chosen a less experienced, younger running mate. Questioning her political stance (i.e. her foreign policy weakness) is very risky and would be something he probably would like to use as ammunition for one of the many debates he will have with McCain and Palin. 

Enter the storm.

Politics will soon take a turn to the scientific as tropical storm Gustav takes a turn for the bad, projected to make landfall near major city New Orleans, which we can’t forget was the victim of deadly hurricane Katrina. Gustav will probably win the conservative “best timing awards,” as it is expected to hit the city right when the Republican Convention opens up, concerning many convention executives, as it will drive the the president himself away from the convention, where he may make a political difference. 

This news, if timed right, can take away from the election, and not only for the Republicans. The delay of the convention will give the Democrats time to get to their senses and stitch together an effective ad towards McCain regarding anything from his convention to his running mate. 

And as politics continues, one might wonder how and why anyone could keep up with the recent chaos, rumors, press stunts, announcements, ads, and conventions. The truth is — you can’t.

pacer521, author of Culture Decoded this post is also featured here

The internet is alive with breaking news of John McCain’s running mate choice of Sarah Palin, which greatly surprises myself as well as pleasantly surprised many democratic bloggers. In their opinion, Palin is probably the best choice to pound on in a political way.

First off, Palin is the exact opposite of what McCain’s strengths are. She is a 44 year old Governor with barely any foreign policy experience, prides herself on being a reformer, and her main strengths are really managing. So with this, one might think of her to be a secretary or treasurer rather than a vice president. 

This also shocks me in a huge way. Palin’s rumored chances as running mate were rendered by me (as well as many others) as either a joke or a public stunt. McCain loves to tell Obama he isn’t ready to lead, but what if he was elected and — God forbid — anything happened to him because of his old age? Is Sarah Palin ready to lead?

In my opinion, no. I couldn’t imagine Palin leading, obviously not because she is a woman, but because she truly doesn’t have even close to enough experience. I am too worried that if something happens to an elected McCain, Palin wouldn’t be able to keep the country stable, and you can forget bringing the country back from its economic crisis. There is no doubt that she is an impressive person politically and socially, but I can’t help but be against her leading our country in these times.

So as McCain’s huge pep rally (where he appears with Palin for the first time ever) nears to a start in about 15 minutes, one might need to shake the man to his senses a bit, for his running mate is not only his opposite, but she is certainly not a future vice president, and NOT the commander in chief. 

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Mixed feelings surround tomorrow’s (August 28, 2008) change in the MLB’s rule policy toward instant replay, which is noticeably only geared towards disputes on home runs. Most proclaim that its too little of a change, that baseball should suck it up and admit to the new age of technology, and forget all the old stuff. And very few, including me, argue the other way, claiming that baseball should stick to the original rules. 

Why? Baseball is all about the old stuff — the crack of the bat, the outdoors, the spitting on the ground like no one is looking, the game of gentlemen, the slow pace, the rain delays, and yes — the pile of chewed gum at the side of the dugout. But most of all, my favorite part about Baseball is letting the umpires call the shots. This game isn’t just like any other sport; its America’s pastime, and it deserves to be recreated every time the ball-players step onto the field. 

Personally, I am a huge fan of the JumboTron and its counterparts including Cricket and Tennis’s Hawkeye. Trust me as a die-hard Lakers fan, I’d die without correct calls, instant replay or not. But although Baseball isn’t exactly my forte, I can go this far — as a sports fan, and an American — the one sport that is ours entirely should stay entirely as it was meant to be, and if that answer is “old” — then so be it.

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As a recent media spike (which has consumed most of my blog), Barack Obama is heading into the Democratic National Convention — and the rest of the world is keeping their eyes open — and their noses up. The question have popped up everywhere — what would be Obama’s perfect ending to the “official” primary season? Now that Hillary Clinton, virtually guaranteed 2nd place, has recently pledged to give up her remaining delegates, the experts have made their predictions and suggestions over the web, giving the public different angles to look at. 

But what really struck me was lingering in a news source that I normally stay away from — Fox News. They posted a very interesting view on Obama, not exactly as a political tactic to pounce on, but as a general state of mind — being aggressive. And what really took my attention about this was the fact that it was very simple, true — and genius. Obama — held under mercy by Hillary Clinton (which made him politically weak) — has now been released by her grip, not only relieving himself to his normal political standards, but giving him the chance to go back to who he was when an unknown presidential candidate years ago — fight. 

And in a sense that is really where he is best off right now. Fox argues that the 2004 convention was more or less lost by John Kerry because he gave a very “passive” argument — later letting the Republicans speak undisturbed, without answering the Democrat’s attacks, during their convention. Although I don’t agree that this was the main cause for George Bush ultimately winning the election, I thought it was a very important and well thought out point by Fox.

This also leads me think being more aggressive would be something that Obama could use to his advantage, not only in the convention, but also in the general election. Let’s face it — Obama is an incredible speech writer and speaker, so furthermore it wouldn’t be very hard to incorporate some attack points geared toward the Republicans in his acceptance speech Thursday. He could later (if those points are indeed effective) pound them into the press during general election debates with John McCain. 

So, all in all, this is in fact a very crucial convention which can be overlooked by anyone without a credential dangling from their neck. And if Obama effectively pursues these ideas, he could have a boost toward the elections, which will be a daunting task.

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Jack Cafferty wrote a rather controversial post on CNN today, citing that Hillary Clinton has already taken over the democratic convention with all her scheduled introductions, prime-time addresses, and intro videos hyped up by her political team, which was been at a campaign stand-still until recently after months of negotiation with Obama. She has not, however, dropped out of the race — which left many Hilary fans (who aren’t exactly politically keen) baffled in the forums. Now Cafferty is a pretty controversial guy with what he says on the air — and the web — but this one may be the most outrageous political post he has published in a while. And as crazy as it sounds — he has a point. 

Call me insane, but I still think Clinton has a chance in getting the sole democratic seat in the thrill ride of the national election — and her elaborate schedule in the convention doesn’t hurt. What does hurt her campaign is the roller coaster she put her supporters through — at first claiming she will be “holding on ’till the end,” then hopping on Obama’s bandwagon, encouraging her supporters to vote for him, and now putting her name onto the ballot at the Democratic Convention.

Let’s face it, during the primaries, Clinton had many of her devoted fans jump onto the Obama chu-chu train for good, which was one of the reasons for her eventual defeat. She now has presented another chance for her delegates and super-delegates to fall for her convention “trap” — consisting of her daughter Chelsea introducing her followed by a move intro produced by the same people that made Bill’s “The Man From Hope” in ’92 — all leading up to her crucial last speech before the curtains close and the decisions start. 

Another thing that Hillary can use for her last hurrah is the fact that she has Obama at a standstill. He doesn’t want a dirty convention, and for good reason. A quiet and quickly executed convention would fair well for Obama, who as the projected winner (and for me the obvious one despite the above) needs to confirm to his voters, the independents, and John McCain that the fighting has ceased (at least the public stuff) on the democrat side. So because of this, Obama is staying very conserved and naturally, weak whenever Clinton goes on one of her rants. He knows if he fights back or even presents his side he will be open to attack from anyone and everyone who isn’t in his campaign. An expert put this very well, saying that the Clintons have “got Obama hostage and are exacting their ransom” with every demand that she presents. 

So what do I think? Hillary is hurting Obama — and the democratic party as well — by interfering with a convention she knows she can’t win, but will give her a chance. This chance, though, will draw votes away from Obama as well as hurt the democrat’s reputation and open up a hole that the Republics can successfully shoot through. This is something of a last hope for the Clinton side which doubles as a classic show of arrogance on her part. And it won’t fare well for the good old left wing, which needs a boost to beat McCain anyway. 

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