Vice President Joe Biden has recently fed into the main stream media’s growing White House side story — his “single handed war” on the past Bush Administration. The latest chapter in the proposed saga came in the form of an interview unrelated to the subject, where Biden, in the process of answering the more or less softball question of “is the US more safe now than before”, made a controversial attack at former President Bush. 

Vice President Joe Biden sits down for an interview with CNN's Gloria Borger and Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.We are more safe. We are more secure. Our interests are more secure — not just at home, but around the world. We are rebuilding America’s ability to lead. I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office — and he was a great guy, enjoyed being with him. He said to me, he said, ‘Well, Joe,’ he said, ‘I’m a leader,’” 

“And I said, ‘Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one’s following.’”

Enter former Bush adviser Karl Rove, who later, in an appearance in Fox News’s On the Record, fired back, assuming the political body and essentially answering for the Bush Administration: 

“Joe Biden said, for example, that he spent hours with the president. Joe Biden was never alone with the president for more than a few moments. There was staff in the room at all times. He never said these kind of things.”

“I hate to say it, but he’s a serial exaggerator. If I was being unkind, I’d say he’s a liar. … You’ll notice every one of these incidents has the same structure. Joe Biden courageously raises the impudent question. The president befuddledly answers, and Joe Biden drives home the dramatic response. And I mean, it just — it’s his imagination. It’s a made-up, fictional world. He ought to get out of it and get back to reality.”

Although it isn’t hard or illogical to start with jabs towards both sides in this debate — in my view its important to step back and take a look at what isn’t in this equation, and why. 

It surprises me in more ways than not that President Obama or any of his immediate staff has not stepped in with Biden, as his argument may not necessarily be gaining as much healthy traction as it was designed to receive. This, if I may go as far, may be yet another sign of the new administration’s naive nature, but it may very well be a seasoned strategy. I’ll explain:

Looking back into the illustrious and brilliant Obama/Biden campaign, one might recall the many Bush attacks that took place, which most of the time ended in long, back to back ad campaigns that I believe played a role in Obama’s overall win in the polls. These attacks were fully backed, and ruthlessly pushed forward by the Obama campaign, whether they started via mistake (i.e. Biden’s Indian Gaffe) or for a political gain. But now, as we see another attack initiated, President Obama has held back, unlike the past candidate Obama. So why?

My view is that Obama doesn’t believe Biden picked the best fight in the best time. 

In a time where the Oval Office is already juggling domestic and international congressional problems, as well as the new policies trying to are trying to implemented, most of the official word coming out of the White House has been positive. And because of this, the right wing is more or less starved of talking points to get out into the press — as they would be taken second stage to the President’s news, which is essentially flowing out in a more of less politically healthy way. 

So now that something has indeed come out as an attack, I wasn’t exactly surprised to see a response from the unofficial GOP within the day. Karl Rove, whether himself or a PR coordinator, sensed that this was the loophole that was exactly what they needed and politically pounced on it. 

And it was in fact a good idea. Vice President Biden does in fact have a reputation of both sides of the aisle of stretching the truth, and I am more than assured that this alleged “conversation” did not exist. And because of this exaggeration and Rove’s seasoned ability to pounce, he has created a handle for the White House in the GOP — Joe Biden’s mouth.

But again, there are many ways to play something like this, so I’ll open this up to the commenters: Where was Obama in this exchange, and why did he stay out of it?

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The Expectation Of Change

November 23, 2008

Driving throughout the largely liberal Los Angeles area, everything from Barack Obama bumper stickers to tee-shirts suggest what has rarely been suggested before in such a large volume: mass change –accompanied by a single date: January 20th. 

Of the many emotions this provokes from me as a self-proclaimed liberal and Obama supporter, satisfaction and rejoice are overshadowed by disappointment in the form of political rhetoric and greed. To me Barack Obama is a new kind of politician – eloquent and prolific in the limelight — but as shown in his campaign, strategically and politically brilliant. He has somehow transformed and captured the majority of the United States and brought it to one voice and one meaning, hope. 

But within this word, a sanctuary of hope that delivered to millions of Americans an image of the “American dream,” a utopia of economic prosperity and governmental perfection, only a handful of Obama supporters see hope in the practical sense, only they see hope attached to patience. 

Obama Campaigns I, myself too young to lay my respective punch-hole in the ballot box for another two elections, acknowledge that in fact I have not been captivated by Barack Obama because of his mantra of hope, nor have seen him as the leader that millions of Americans do.

But I support him in the way that I have never supported one single idea or campaign in my life. He, in my humble opinion, was the best candidate running for President — carrying the necessary policies to help the United States of America prosper and thrive. 

But in no way do I link the date January 20, 2009 to economic wealth and political prosper. Obama is simply a liberal politician who is in fact the right leader for this country that beckons political guidence and leadership. 

But in the same way the better life that seems so close away from all Americans will not be handed over by Obama on January 21. And in the end, America will see a political disappointment that this nation perhaps have never seen before. They will have to be patient and forgiving to a president Barack Obama, while they let him politically dig out the country from the deep hole it has been forced into.

As the news piles in that Senator Hillary Clinton is planning to accept the position of Secretary of State, the blogosphere and press alike are divided in the simple question: “why.”

Why was a Secretary Clinton chosen? The UK’s guardian calls it a reach to a former enemy, but I personally disagree, mainly being the simple reason of importance. A position this high can not merely be given for a photo op and PR, especially in the position we are in now.

I’ll leave this brief and open it up to the commenters.

As an American, I have recently been surrounded at all angles by the financial crisis, both presidential and vice-presidential debates, and already interestingly enough, the ongoing saga of Sarah Palin. 

So as I tuned in to CNN, passing through images of Wall Street, abandoned houses and OJ Simpson’s Trial, I knew it was only a matter of seconds before I saw Sarah Palin. And when that did in fact become reality, I was completely dumbfounded — not only did I see her, but rather I heard her. 

What do I mean? CNN’s routine coverage of a McCain campaign stop in Carson, California showed Palin addressing the public, but not like I was used to. I’ll get to the point — she wasn’t delivering a stump speech. 

Yes, a non-stump speech wouldn’t have been such a spectacle at any other campaign event in recent history, but the truth is recent history has never seen Sarah Palin. Although today I will lay off the long saga of Palin herself, I must point out something like this has not only been a rarity in the past few months, but to me shows a turning point in the McCain campaign. 

 Although I believe that Joe Biden won the Vice Presidential  debate, I also will point out that Palin didn’t lose it. She  fought, but was taken captive by Biden’s foreign policy  credentials and successful soundbite gambles. 

 But what I think Palin accomplished in the debate gave her  more long term firepower than any single thing she has  done as running mate for John McCain (and sorry for the  bluntness) — she is now no longer a joke.

 If you asked strategists from both the right an the left on  the morning of the VP debate, there would be no disputing  from them across the board that Sarah Palin has been in the public’s eye a PR ploy. Whether that is what the McCain campaign intended to accomplish is another analysis in itself, but my blunt point here is that the Vice Presidential debate simply changed the way people thought of Palin. 

She didn’t have any coupe-de-grace moments, she didn’t gaffe, and she certainly didn’t win, but Palin kept up. And in doing that she passed a certain point of public status — from more of a joke and PR stunt to a vice presidential candidate. This will admittedly not change opinions on her policies, especially mine, but as pointed out in a rather comic tone by one of my friends, “Palin achieved the expectations of stringing together multiple coherent and complete sentences.” 

Although that comment wasn’t exactly correct, it was essentially in the right direction. Palin’s expectations were in fact incredibly low, and because she exceeded them in such a national stage, my guess is that Palin became a valid political figure to many people. 

So what does that have to do with Palin not delivering a stump speech? In truth, a lot.

In more of a bold statement, because of Palin’s renewed status, she has essentially set herself into the position to carefully open herself up to the MSM and public alike. My point here is that because of her partial success in the debate, Palin was either herself motivated or given the green light by the McCain campaign to open herself up to the press.

And this of course temps the question: what would have happened if Palin had gaffed and knocked herself out of the debate?

In my opinion the McCain campaign would be very hard pressed to do virtually anything in that situation. They would face a press fire if they didn’t bring Palin to an event, but would also face a brutal media wall if they let her speak.  

So I’ll let the commentators have a say at this.

I was recently asked by a friend of mine about my stance on the elections. And although I try to keep non-partisan in my posts for the sake of the blog as well as my reputation, I will admit that I am an Obama supporter. And as a thirteen year old seventh-grader, I would like to point out that I don’t think he is something of a Messia or persuasive cult leader, as the frankly true stereotype for political teens would suggest. 

I support him. My job here on this blog is to follow both parties’ political moves and strategies, and this has also opened me up to his policies, which I do believe can send America in the right way.

But I don’t, however, think that John McCain is any sort of enemy. He isn’t running for president because he is a communist intent on dissolving our government, he is running for office because he wants to change the direction that we are headed in. I just believe in my opinion that he will not change America in the way that we want him to, and that his health is a serious risk. 

Which takes me to Palin. 

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I would call myself a strategic commentator as far as my preferred topics, and I will say without doubt that McCain’s choosing of Sarah Palin was pure genius. It took the media by storm and was prepared long in advance (I’ll get to it). The story of a extremely-far right woman governor as the Vice President of the United States with a chance to become the leader of the free world had added a new chapter to politics, getting five-paragraph opinion pieces out of food bloggers and leading to complete chaos inside the media. It got everyone’s voice out, and that is exactly what it intended.

And meanwhile, it let Sarah Palin prep for the debates. Setting a fire inside the press as well as the blogosphere, the pick not only let the media go opinion-galore in arguments and editorials, but it let Palin go out of the MSM and prepare for what is to come – mandatory debates that she must complete without falling flat. 

But it was a PR stunt. 

Politically, it placed a rocket under the Republican party, but what people fail to understand in my opinion is the permanent placement here is the fact that one must think of a vice presidential pick as a vice president, not a burst of nitrous on a racecar. A CNN news commentator put in extremely well: 

As a Democrat and political strategist, I am excited [with the pick of Sarah Palin], but as an American I am scared out of my mind.

I completely share this man’s point. I am both scared and offended that in a time needing drastic change, a campaign would choose someone to not only place the second highest office in the most powerful country in the world, but pick with such strategic care and literately no thought of the future. Obama told the media after the Sarah Palin frenzy that he choose his running mate Joe Biden because he wanted to change America and he thought that Biden was the best person for that cause. 

And this is precisely why I both pushed far away from supporting the McCain campaign and now have a fascination towards Sarah Palin and what she will do next. As a non-voting 13 year old who (by definition) shouldn’t be talking about this stuff — rather playing outside in the sprinklers), is also a political commentator, I am terrified of the McCain campaign because this seems like their plans for America, and completely amazed with the strategic marvel of Sarah Palin. 

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Well, here’s my biased view of the day, so be warned.

Joe Biden made a comment at a campaign spot in Columbia, Missouri, supposively geared towards Sarah Palin and her five-year old daughter, reading: “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy … and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect…Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?”

This was followed harshly in a McCain statement: “Barack Obama’s running mate sunk to a new low today, launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special needs children. Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign.”

To me, this is completely ridiculous on McCain’s part, mostly in releasing this kind of statement, but also in reacting in this kind of harsh way towards anything (supposedly) thrown at Palin. Calling Biden’s comments “disturbing” is very incorrect, whether his comments were about Palin or not. And although I am not an expert on stem cell research, nevertheless this kind of response to what seems like a very light attack on Palin — if an attack at all –is totally uncalled for.

Plus, the last time I checked, candidates can question each-other’s policies.

This also raises a greater point — it seems that the Republicans are sending running mate Sarah Palin into the press and at the Democrats in the form of an attack “Pitt Bull” who can throw out harsh attacks and lies, in such a relentless fashion. And now that she may have been attacked back, in a fraction of what Palin has thrown at the Democrats, the McCain campaign reacts in the form of: “What are you doing? This isn’t allowed!”

It doesn’t work like that. First off, Palin has made many skeptical remarks, changed her stance on many things including the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” remark, and most of all, attacked the Democrats’ policies as well as character in a very harsh way, and she must realize that just like she would do, the Democrats will make their case on why she is wrong. And because of this, she can’t react like she just found proof that Obama is a Muslim every time the left tries to tell the world that she may be wrong.

Secondly, you can’t just jump off the grid, already starting a press wildfire inside itself, and fire back this harshly whenever any form of point or questioning is geared towards you. It’s as simple as that.

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Sarah Palin’s stage presence is not just (frankly) full of it, but rather a powerful force that transcends her image right before your eyes.

And as the second chapter in the saga of the Republican convention comes to a close, all anyone can talk about was what everyone originally thought was a mire introduction to the grand closing — John McCain’s speech. 

But it was instead the main figure of the entire convention, and the talking point on both the web and television, creating many side stories as well. Why? Palin’s speech was powerful. So powerful, in fact, that not only did it spark very heated initial reactions, but later provided so much aftershock that it seemed apparent to me to write about it.

Putting my strong political opinions aside, I must give Palin credit — that no matter how completely false and utter lies she used, it was hard (even for me) to shake of her speaking passion, mostly credited to how zoned in she was. And because of this, I know for a fact that many gullible Americans have fallen “victim” to her transcending speech, ignoring her factual mistakes and instead focusing intently on her valiant, confident speaking power.

And right now, no matter how many people (including me) stress the comparison between the top of each party’s ticket, because of her star power, Palin has gained the public centerpiece of not only the Republican party, but the image of politics in general. And, strangely, this is not because of the higher possibility of her being commander and chief in the near future, because — as my sister would say — John McCain is like a “dinosaur”, but rather because of her instant celebrity status and overall image that is so different. 

By different, I don’t mean because of her gender, but rather her breed. She is a new breed of politician, far away from your raging and shouting, sweaty middle aged point maker, but rather someone who we have not seen yet — a setting of mind that many teachers know to loathe. She uses her stature and newly-found political ego to her advantage, acting like she knows for a fact that each and every single thing she says is true, in the most convincing way I have ever seen this done among politicians. 

Simply put, she’s a giant black whole for your brain, in the form of a person who would most likely be the farthest away from that status — a small town governor of the second-least populated state in the US. 

So — as a word of caution, not a political recommendation –please vote on what you believe, not what you have been convinced to know.

            After four more hours of flying after the Lima stop, I got the chance to rest in the Santiago, Chile airport for a few hours before hitting the sky again for another two hours to get to Montevideo, Uruguay. Not being as tired (I got a good three hours of sleep on the way back), I got to settle down and roam the Santiago airport. Chile is more relaxed and laid back than Peru, and there are English signs hanging (which there were none of in Lima). The people still look at me in udder disgust, but since there are considerably more Americans roaming around Santiago, I guess it’s not as unique to be here. But don’t get me wrong — Chile is beautiful. As I write and look out of the window from the airplane, you can see gigantic seaside mountains that tower above the clouds, completely covered with snow. The Andes range is truly the most beautiful I have ever seen, its towering presence so imposing but at the same time so beautiful you end up starting at its jagged peaks like you just saw a Bugatti. The sky is a beautiful dark blue, something I only get to experience when I go to Utah. I am definitely looking forward to skiing here in a week.

            As far as the airport, tourism is definitely a huge income. Walking down the narrow hallways, you are surrounded by tourist shops with everything from gummy bears to the Easter Island statues advertised. My mom was eventually lured into one, and I had to follow. You can see the pictures above. The entire shop was in English – even the magazines were all American. And the customers – well, you would think you were in California. My mom ended up buying some food and a few tourist items, and I bought a white cap with penguins on it reading: Pinguinos de Chile. Why? After officially becoming a tourist, I had to look the part. And to solidify I was American, I wore it backwards. 

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Here we are: spending hundred’s of billions in the Middle East. So what could we do with that money? For one we could buy Arnold Schwarzennegger a new Hummer. We could also colonize mars, and maybe even get my dog a new collar. She really needs one. But its seems we can’t drop a quarter into Sudan. I guess its just a waist of our time…

So exactly how little funding has Sudan gotten? Well, it looks like Washington is too busy pinching pennies than sending any money over to Africa. What’s my proof? African union troops are so poorly supplied in Darfur that they are reduced to wearing blue plastic bags over their heads to show that they are working for the UN. Seriously — how much does a helmet cost? Like ten bucks? 

That’s another thing we could of bought with our billions of cash spent in the middle east — trillions of helmets. I’ll leave it at that.

A Changed Game

July 28, 2008

As the Olympics draw closer and closer, through observing the US’s olympic preparation, I noticed the distinct differences between todays athletes and yesterday’s legends. One difference that really divided me were the physical differences. Watching the Olympic track and field trials, I noticed the build the runners had. They looked like hulks compared to the brawny runners of the past, their stick-like arms and long legs making long and fast strides. And although this new breed of runners doesn’t exactly look like the stereotype 1970′s sprinters, they can certainly sprint like them — and these days, they can do it faster. It seems like all the news stories in track and field these days are either someone breaking a record, or someone using steroids, but none the less, this kind of popularity definitely doesn’t hurt the sport. For me, it also makes it exciting. Reviewing the old tapes of the 70′s and 80′s was fun for me (I wasn’t even close to being alive then), but more fun is watching the races live. I am one of the many people who welcome this new change in sports — and there will certainly be more to come.

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