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Friday, August 8, 2008

This Blog Will Not Tolerate John McCain's Blogola Scheme, Unless We Win Something

Regular readers of Indecision 2008 may have noticed that sometimes, once in a while, people use our comments section to post long-winded treatises about their favorite candidates. It's to be expected on political blogs, even those that are -- like ours -- sketchily informed and rarely serious, and written by a team of monkeys.

Nevertheless, these honest, heartfelt exchanges are part of the national conversation about the election, which is why I was horrified to read that John McCain's campaign is bribing people to copy and paste his talking points in blog comments without revealing why they're doing it.

As a blogger, I am offended. This scheme is tacky, shady and ridiculous. Even worse, Indecision 2008 isn't included on McCain's list of suggested blog targets!

What, we're not as important as something called "Hedgehog Report"?

Well, two can play this game: I urge you all to send indignant emails to the McCain campaign right now. Decry the blogola! And demand that Indecision 2008 be added to the blog target list, so we can decry the blogola some more! Do it!

Finally, I'd just like to say that John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation's energy security, get the government's budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers. Furthermore, There are serious issues at stake in this election, and serious differences between the candidates. And we will argue about them, as we should. But it should remain an argument among friends; each of us struggling to hear our conscience, and heed its demands; each of us, despite our differences, united in our great cause, and respectful of the goodness in each other.

(What do I win, Senator McCain? What do I win? Is it a hovercraft?! Oh boy, I've always wanted a hovercraft!)

Original here

Please wait, your request is processed... Tim Pawlenty, Possible McCain Running Mate, Says GOP Needs Obama's Positive Message

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, often mentioned as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, said Wednesday GOP candidates would do well to adopt a positive tone like that of McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama.

"Say what you will about Barack Obama," the Minnesota Republican told a conservative group, "people gravitate when you have something positive to say." He added that McCain has been positive as well.

"People want to follow hopeful, optimistic, civil, decent leaders," Pawlenty said in a speech to GOPAC, which helps recruit Republican candidates. "They don't want to follow some negative, scornful person."

Ronald Reagan still offers important lessons for today's Republican Party, Pawlenty said, because the former president was civil, optimistic, pragmatic and a good communicator.

"He actually had some ideas," Pawlenty said, adding that the Republican idea factory has seemed "a little stagnant in recent years."

Pawlenty, 47, said he came of age during President Reagan's tenure in the 1980s, but acknowledged the Republican icon is ancient history to young people.

"If you're under 40, that was a long time ago, man," he said to laughter.

The party needs to update its message to appeal to voters who want new ideas and government results and to counter the perception that Republicans are "not for the working person," Pawlenty said. He advocated policies like better training and performance pay for teachers, online college education opportunities and reworking health insurance to reward providers that show good results and save money.

Pawlenty shied away from talking about joining McCain on the ticket.

Original here

Leaked McCain Memo: Paint Obama As A "Job Killing Machine"

John McCain was widely ridiculed several weeks ago for fielding reporter's questions in the cheese aisle of a grocery store. But the location of the impromptu press conference was hardly random. The McCain camp, in a strategy memo, has pinpointed grocery stores as an important venue for the Senator to push his economic agenda.

In a McCain campaign "Economic Communications Plan" that was obtained by the Huffington Post, an aide to the Senator lays out several themes, tactics and objectives to shore up the Arizona Republican's standing on the economy and paint Barack Obama as a "job killing machine."

"Our polling tells us that Americans are still not tuned into what the candidates might do to fix the economy," reads the memo. "We have an opportunity to fill in that gap."

The strategy, which was authored by Taylor Griffin -- a veteran of the Bush White House and Treasury Department who serves McCain as a senior adviser -- seems built around traditional themes. The McCain campaign will paint Obama as being "aligned with trial lawyers" and "unions (card check, trade, education reform)," and push the frame that he "raises taxes" and "will kill jobs."

In contrast, McCain will be positioned as a bold leader on economic matters, someone who has a "record of taking on corporate interests" and will "fight speculation driving up prices of oil and food" as well as "the lawsuit culture."

"People are tired of big corporations, lobbyist and special interests who they feel prosper at their expense," the memo reads. "People must understand that John McCain is not only thinking of their future, but their children's futures as well."

To do this, McCain's camp plans to utilize a number of tactics, including "family budget roundtables, grocery store visits," and "roundtable events heavily tilted towards women to discuss the pressures the economy is placing on family finances and how McCain's plan would help." The campaign also will work the fourth estate. As detailed in Taylor's memo, McCain will "provide compelling set of programming and surrogate activity to drive media interest," and "mobilize economists in target states supporting the McCain plan to engage the media in support of our plan."

Framing, indeed, is a major component of the strategy document. Aides to the Senator envision an "All Star Economists Project" that would "use prominent economists to bolster [the] intellectual case for the McCain plan" -- see the much-disputed list of 300 -- and "roll out Nobel Prize winners endorsing [his] plan." On a local level, the Senator will rely on a "Small Business Network," in which small business owners would serve "as local surrogates for the McCain plan... write letters to the editor, op-eds and participate in surrogate events."

One Griffin bullet point made its way into a recent public McCain statement: emphasizing similarities between the Senator's prescriptions for Iraq and those he is offering for the economy.

"Draw the parallel with the same kind of bold leadership that McCain demonstrated in pushing the surge strategy that allowed us to win in Iraq. Need that same vision, intensity and leadership to attack our economic problems."

The communications strategy is, according to Griffin's accompanying email: "working it's way around the campaign.... Think it can help us focus."

Reached on his cell phone, Griffin said he was in the middle of a conversation and couldn't talk. The McCain campaign did not immediately return requests for comment.
Original here

Only 21 percent of Americans approve of Bush’s handling of the economy.»

In a new poll for Time magazine, only 21 percent of Americans said they approve of the job President Bush is doing in terms of handling the economy. Overall, 29 percent of Americans said they approve of Bush’s job as President, which is where his approval has hovered steadily for some time now.