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    The Pain and Drama of McCain & Obama

    Of TV Ads & NASCAR Dads

    I've been kind of out of the normal loop this weekend attending the Sylvania
    300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but judging from what channel surfing I
    was able to accomplish at the house I was staying, I don't think I missed
    anything earth-shattering. I think there is definitely more emphasis by the
    campaigns on the New Hampshire voters than on the Connecticut voters at this
    time because I saw some political ads from both sides that I haven't seen
    yet in our home state. Obama has one ad saying if seven of McCain's top
    advisors are lobbyists, how can things change in Washington? McCain is
    countering by portraying himself and Sarah Palin as "the original
    mavericks". Like I said, I don't know if those ads have been on TV in CT all
    that much, but if they have I haven't seen them yet. There's also a pretty
    significant Democratic push for NH Sen John Sununu's seat, and they're
    attacking him by portraying his 90%+ voting alignment with President Bush.
    Sununu counters by portraying himself as an independent Republican who was
    the "first Republican to call for the firing of AG Gonzalez" among other
    things. The negative perception of a Bush association is implied in both
    campaign slants.

    I thought the so-called power of the NASCAR dads came and went with
    Bush-Kerry, but evidently McCain perceives some value in it, because there
    he was at the race on Sunday greeting the drivers, addressing the crowd,
    thanking our troops, and giving the traditional command to start the
    engines. Interestingly, when he was introduced the crowd seems lukewarm to
    his presence at best. There were some cheers, fewer jeers, but a whole lot
    of silence from one of the biggest sporting crowds of the year in NH. If
    McCain was looking for a surge in support of NASCAR dads, he might've been
    better off in Charlotte or Talladega--the NH race draws a good crowd (rain
    notwithstanding) but the people come from all over New England and New York,
    and they're primarily baseball and football fans more than NASCAR fans.
    Plus, if he really wanted to make an impression with the fans, he should've
    stayed around and rubbed elbows with them for a few laps instead of whisking
    out of the stadium before the green flag dropped. I believe even President
    Bush watched a little bit of the Daytona 500 when he visited the track in
    his 2004 campaign. I mean, is McCain that busy on a Sunday afternoon two
    months before the election that he can't stay for 20 minutes? Because the
    message I got was that he was just crowd-hawking and vote-pandering, and
    that he wasn't really interested in the sport at all other than to remind a
    big group of potential voters that he was running for election. And I didn't
    see him throwing beer cans at any of the media throng following him


    Everybody's Favorite Hockey Mom


    Ready for What?

    Sarah Palin told Charles Gibson she's ready to be President? How can she
    possibly be? Was it even in the remotest corner of her mind 6 months ago?
    We've had Presidents who weren't ready to be President. (A certain one
    specifically comes to mind.) Saying she is ready to be President at the drop
    of a heartbeat is like saying Dan Quayle was ready, but at least George Bush
    Sr. didn't already look like death warmed over at the time. (That's Quayle
    with an "e".)

    Reading a variety of articles and blogs on this week's event, the impression
    I'm getting is that many in the media wants to come right out and scream,
    "She's unqualified!", not because of her lipstick or her stance on the
    Bridge to Nowhere (which by the way would be a great slogan for the
    campaign). It's her resume, stupid! She's like a kid just out of college who
    landed a great interview for a really neat job, and she's slinging the
    bullshit high and deep trying to get hired. As Helen Ubinas from the Courant
    wrote the other day, "Just because someone's a war hero or a Supermom who
    has managed to break through a glass ceiling or two doesn't mean they should
    lead this country." How many women will vote for the ticket because Palin is
    a working hockey mom? And how many men will vote for the ticket because
    she's "hot"? It's freakin' scary. She told Charles Gibson that the U.S.
    shouldn't second-guess Israel's steps to secure itself. Joe Lieberman must
    absolutely LOVE her!!!


    Are We Watching the Same Campaign?

    On Monday, the blogger The Anonymous Liberal wrote in his (her?) "Things
    That Make My Head Explode" post, "In the last week, the McCain campaign has
    done a truly masterful job of working the refs. In the kind of collective
    hissy fit that only Republicans can throw, they accused the press
    corps--which was only doing its job--of being sexist and biased. The press
    then internalized this critique and over the last few days, coverage of
    Palin as been about as softball as one can imagine." Then, last night on FOX
    61 News (I watch Fox 61 News at 10 only because it is on at 10 p.m. and by
    11 p.m. I'm donning my P.J.s with the bunny feet and getting ready for bed.)
    ex-presidential candidate and ex-actor Fred Thompson bellowed, "This woman
    is undergoing the most vicious assault that anybody has ever seen in public
    life." (Tom Brune, www.newsday.com , 9/11/08) Really,
    Fred? THE most vicious assault EVER? Worse than Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton,
    Ted Kennedy? Sounds like a bit of "phony outrage" hyperbole to me. (Maybe
    Fred is vying to become the next Rush Limbaugh...) So is the press handling
    Sarah Palin with kid gloves or boxing gloves? It can't be both!


    Joey On the Spot

    Welcome to my Obama-McCain election page! Judging by today's events it looks like I'm tossing my hat into the ring not a moment too soon. I will be serving as self-proclaimed NBC TV Correspondent, Hartford Courant anal-ist, and general peruser of the Internet news on the subject of the 2008 election. Hopefully it's not just more lipstick on a pig!

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