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Thursday, May 15, 2008


by George Dienhart

What would happen if McCain called a member of the press corps “Sweetie”? All Hell would break lose. For Obama, it’s just another day at the office.

The reporter from Michigan attempts to ask a question to Obama about assisting automakers.

"Hold on one second there, sweetie," he says.

The reporter ends her report with this: "This sweetie never did get an answer to that question."

Video (Fox News)

Follow up on "The Change You Deserve"

by George Dienhart

Recently I wrote a piece on a new RNC strategy called “Does the RNC finally get it?” I also promised to follow up after the details were released, via a handy memo from the RNC- here it is:

Americans are less than six months from an historic election. And once again, this election will be about change.

House Democrats said they represented change in 2006. They promised a “new direction for America,” a “commonsense plan” to “lower gas prices” and “tax cuts for the middle class.”

Promises made, promises broken. Democrats in control of Congress passed the largest tax increase in American history, burdening the middle class with higher taxes to bankroll hundreds of billions in new Washington spending. Costs of living have skyrocketed. Americans are now paying a Pelosi premium at the gas pump, with prices $1.30 higher than when the Speaker was sworn-in last year. Home values have fallen, and the economy has slowed dramatically.

This is not the change Democrats promised America. In fact, the Democrats’ record is a betrayal of trust, a failure to learn from the mistakes both parties made in the past. No wonder congressional approval ratings are at all-time lows and cynicism in politics has never been more pervasive.

This has to change. It must change.

Seventeen months ago, House Republicans embarked on a new journey, seeking to revive the common-sense conservative principles that built our historic majority. In that time, we have worked together tirelessly to turn those ideals into a blueprint of real solutions for the American people. That process has culminated in a positive agenda of reform that delivers the change the American people are crying out for:

· Health Care. Affordable, high-quality health care for every American by giving families greater choice and control, not through a massive expansion of government health care controlled by bureaucrats;

· Economy. A stronger economy by stopping the largest tax increase in American history, cutting wasteful Washington spending, balancing the budget by 2012, passing serious entitlement reform and strengthening our housing sector.

· Energy. An energy policy that increases the supply of American-made energy – making us more energy independent, helping bring down gasoline and diesel prices, and creating jobs here at home; and

· Security. Security from threats our families face both at home and abroad by securing our borders once and for all, taking on the rising criminal threats in our communities and giving terrorists plotting new attacks no place to hide.

This week, House Republican leaders will brief the Conference on our plan, our solutions and our message. It is the result of many months of work by Republicans, including the "Reasons to Believe" working groups established by Leader Boehner; Chairman McCotter and the House Republican Policy Committee; Conference Vice Chair Kay Granger's WIN project; our ranking members, our rank-and-file members and our party's presidential nominee, Senator John McCain.

It starts with this: Washington is broken, the American people want it fixed, and Democrats in Washington have proven unable or unwilling to get the job done. Republicans will.

Americans have seen first-hand the change Democrats are making, and it is moving America in the wrong direction. To the American people, we say that Republicans will deliver “the change you deserve.”

One product of our larger effort will be announced to the American people on Wednesday, when Vice Chair Granger unveils our “American Families Agenda.” This blueprint speaks to the specific challenges American families face in the 21st century and backs it up with legislation sponsored by House Republicans.

And starting the week of May 19 in advance of Memorial Day, Republicans will announce an energy agenda, followed by subsequent plans on the economy, security and health care policy.

Through our “Change You Deserve” message and through our “American Families Agenda,” House Republicans will continue our efforts to speak directly to an American public looking for leaders who will offer real solutions for the challenges they confront every day.

Together, we can deliver for American families the change they really deserve. You will learn more about it this week

The economy bullet point is a keeper- the RNC really needs to focus on that.

Energy- too vague. More details are needed. They also better be talking to the McCain camp- they may not be in synch here. I think we are headed toward a confrontation over ANWR.

Security- this is also vague, but it has to be. Just say “We will win the damn war!”

Health Care – Again waiting on details- the RNC really needs to provide vision on this, or our taxes will skyrocket under Obamacare.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this story.

Quote of the day- Robert Gates

Via the economist

“[I]t is hard to conceive of any country confronting the United States directly in conventional terms—ship to ship, fighter to fighter, tank to tank—for some time to come. The record of the past quarter century is clear: the Soviets in Afghanistan; the Israelis in Lebanon; the United States in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Smaller, irregular forces—insurgents, guerrillas, terrorists—will find ways, as they always have, to frustrate and neutralize the advantages of larger, regular militaries. And even nation-states will try to exploit our perceived vulnerabilities in an asymmetric way, rather than play to our inherent strengths.

Overall, the kinds of capabilities we will most likely need in the years ahead will often resemble the kinds of capabilities we need today....

I believe that any major weapons program, in order to remain viable, will have to show some utility and relevance to the kind of irregular campaigns that, as I mentioned, are most likely to engage America’s military in the coming decades.”

Obama continues to struggle in key demos

by George Dienhart

From the Wall Street Journal’s Karl Rove :

"Democrats shouldn't be complacent after Tuesday. Their problems start with Mr. Obama's 41-point loss to Hillary Clinton in West Virginia. Mr. Obama lost the primary because the rejection of him by blue-collar voters is hardening. The last Democrat to win the presidency without carrying the Mountain State was Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Barely half of Mrs. Clinton's supporters in Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia say they're ready to support Mr. Obama against Mr. McCain today. Without solid support from these voters, Mr. Obama will be in trouble in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, Wisconsin and other battlegrounds. So far, Mr. Obama owes his success to elites captivated by his personality. But in the general election, most folks will care more about a candidate's philosophy and stand on the issues. And what's considered mainstream values in a general election is different than in a primary. Mr. Obama knows this, which is why he peppered his North Carolina primary night speech with culturally conservative language. And it is also why he is reaching out to Jewish voters”

You can hate Karl Rove if you want but his political sense is uncanny. This has to be circulating around Camp Obama this morning.

McCain outlines his strategy

by George Dienhart

McCain had this to say about the war yesterday:

"[W]hat I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as President. ... By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension. Violence still occurs, but it is spasmodic and much reduced. Civil war has been prevented; militias disbanded; the Iraqi Security Force is professional and competent; al Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated; and the Government of Iraq is capable of imposing its authority in every province of Iraq and defending the integrity of its borders. The United States maintains a military presence there, but a much smaller one, and it does not play a direct combat role.'

Notice, he did not say the war would last a hundred years.

The speech will be followed up with a web ad today-

"The year, two thousand thirteen. The Middle East, stabilized. Nuclear terror threat, reduced. Border security, strengthened. Energy independence, advanced. Wasteful spending, reformed. Health care choice, delivered. Economic confidence, restored. The year, two thousand thirteen. The President, John McCain. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message."

Sounds like a plan.

Obama Offended by Bush remarks

by George Dienhart

Evidently Obama was offended by a remark made by President Bush while addressing the Knesset. The President’s statement:

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Obama countered with:

“It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack. ... George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists and the President's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.'

The President’s staff clarified:

CBS News quotes a White House spokesperson as saying that this is not a specific reference to Obama, since there are "at least 10 Democrats" who have taken the same position. And the passage could be a reference to Europeans or others.

What does this mean? Does Obama have a guilty conscious? The left has predictably gone off the deep end- wrongly accusing the president of calling Obama a Nazi. Typical.


Disaster Looming?

By George Dienhart

The Politico also reports the GOP may have a 70-seat deficit in the house next year. Democrats are calling this the death of the GOP, and reveling at the passing. As is often the case, the reality is somewhat different that the gleeful liberals believe. A 70 seat deficit for the GOP would be a major setback (for both the GOP and the nation), but it would be far from a deathblow. You have to go back to the 75th Congress (1937-1939) to find the largest ever deficit. It stood at 333 Democrats to a scant 89 Republicans. That is an advantage of 244, for the Democrats. That massive advantage did not kill the GOP. It is worth noting that this era brought massive expenditures and depression upon the United States. Coincidence?

I am sorry to inform the left that this is not the end of the GOP. It is just an opportunity to rebuild around John McCain. That process must start now, and unfortunately, it will start with bare coffers. This has been a bad year for fundraising. No one reason can be named the cause. It is a combination of successful Democratic media buys and the current “Rock Star” status of Barack Obama. There is evidence that this has already started to even out. The RNC has out raised the DNC this cycle, $95 million to $56 million. That is a good start.

The Wall Street Journal also picked up on what it is calling "The Republican Panic". They believe Republican legislators may jump ship and start voting with the Democrats to save their own skin. The Journal wisely points out that the better strategy is to come up with their own winning strategy. “The better strategy is to offer a reform agenda of their own, especially one that begins to speak to the economic anxieties of the middle class. This includes doing some homework on health care for a change, instead of ceding that field to the Democrats”

Let us hope someone at the RNC is listening…

Obama soft on Crime?

by George Dienhart

The Politico’s Heidi Przybyla on a possible RNC strategy:

 'It worked in 1988; it will be tried again in 2008. With Illinois Senator Barack Obama almost certain to be the Democratic nominee, Republican groups are focusing on his vulnerabilities. They are highlighting some of his positions during his eight years in the Illinois state legislature, from opposing extending the death penalty for gang members to supporting the 'decriminalization' of marijuana and refusing to back restrictions on porn shops.'

Nice apparently, Obama is pro-gang, pro-drugs and pro-porn…


Gore endorsement imminent?

by George Dienhart

Sen. Obama was heard to say the following yesterday, on his way to the Edwards endorsement shindig:

'I have spoken to Al Gore periodically over the last few months. I have talked to him mostly about policy and gotten guidance and got good ideas from him. And so I am not really pushing for an endorsement. I would love to have it,'

Obama was quoted while flying to the Edwards event- I wonder if he bought “Carbon Credits” to offset his flight?