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“McCain’s Successful Convention”

Monday, September 8, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

A guest post from Clark Judge

McCain’s Successful Convention: How so and Why
By Clark S. Judge

By last night (Sunday) it had become clear: Despite almost exactly opposite reporting in the mainstream media, the Democrats two weeks ago had their second failed convention in a row. It was the Republican convention that proved a huge success. How so and why?

First the “how so.” Politicians live and die by polls. A convention succeeds if it produces a bounce, the bigger the better. By Tuesday last week in the aftermath of his convention, Barack Obama’s lead over John McCain in the Real Clear Politics average of polls had opened up to the largest margin since late June, 6.4 percentage points. By last night, in the wake of the latest Rasmussen tracking poll showing a tie and the Gallup tracking poll showing McCain up by three points, the RCP average spread was 0.8 percent, the smallest margin since early June.

The Democrats’ bad news may soon become worse. Thursday night word spread around St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center that not only was a CBS poll showing the race tied (some dismissed the survey as a fluke), but a California poll had the race within nine points in the largest and most Democratic state in the nation. Some began to wonder if, with a little more momentum, the Golden State might go into play.[# More #]

Apparently Republicans weren’t the only ones to notice a major movement in public opinion, even, perhaps, in California. Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle (hardly a GOP mouthpiece) ran an op-ed by former city mayor and former Democratic Speaker of the California Assembly Willie Brown (hardly a GOP ally). His lead was, “The Democrats are in trouble.” Coming out of the McCain convention, he warned, “the Republicans are now on the offensive and Democrats are on the defensive. And we don’t do well on the defensive.”

That’s the how so. Why?

Brown and many others chalked up the sea change in GOP fortunes to the magic of McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Not that the mainstream media picked up on it right away. When they weren’t looking down on her SMALL town roots, her leadership of a SMALL state government and her (by the MSM’s elevated standards) SMALL-minded religious faith, the mainstream media was launching artillery salvos of sometimes all-but-pornographic accusations at Governor Palin. As to her gender and its significance in light of the bitter Democratic primary race, they sniffed that no former Clinton supporter could vote for someone like THAT, though at the Denver convention, even before McCain nominated her, it seemed like every other Clinton delegate told reporters that they intended to go over to McCain in protest of their candidate’s treatment.

But then Palin delivered her Wednesday night speech and the power she brought to the ticket became undeniable. In one of the most bizarre twists in campaign strategy on record, by Sunday, Barack Obama himself (the presidential nominee of his party) was taking on Governor Palin (the vice presidential nominee of hers) in the media as if she were his opponent, rather than Senator McCain. Never has presidential campaigning seen such an act of self-diminution from a major party candidate.

But McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin-inspired though it was-could not in itself have turned the contest around so. After all, as we were told many times in the preceding weeks, the country picks presidents, not vice presidents. Instead, the time was right for the American people to take a second look at Senator McCain, and last week they did.

This readiness to look again shouldn’t have come as the surprise that, for media and Democratic Party operatives, it was. Several weeks ago a poll surfaced that asked voters how much they knew and wanted to know about the candidates. A large proportion said that they knew all they needed to know about Senator Obama-not surprising given the saturation coverage of the prior few months. They wanted to hear more about John McCain. So of the five most telling statements from the podium during the week, four concerned and three were by McCain himself.

The one of those five that had to do with Palin came from Rudy Giuliani. In his witty and cutting speech, the former New York mayor observed that the attacks on Palin regarding family and the fitness of a mother to serve in high office would never have been leveled at a man. It is safe to say that nearly every working mother in the country cheered as the former New York mayor spoke that line.

Equally effective and meaningful was Governor Palin’s note that with all the talk from the Democrats about fighting for “you”, only one candidate in the race had actually ever fought for the American people. As the crowd roared, one could almost feel the stature of the Democratic ticket shrink.

Finally, as Senator McCain himself laid out his agenda, he began with an indictment of his own party in Congress. He said, we came to change Washington and Washington changed us. And he added, we lost the people’s trust. It was accurate and remarkably candid assessment of why the GOP lost both houses on 2006-and established as the culprit the insider dealing and a self-dealing culture that afflicts both parties. In a moment, he seized for himself the post-partisan mantle from the increasingly partisan Senator Obama.

Then McCain went through the differences between Obama and him: He (Obama) wants to raise taxes, I want to lower them; he wants to increase spending; I want to cut it; and so on, not just on economics but national security and social issues, too. With that he laid out a clear contrast both in programs and in views of the nation’s future-and he did this much more clearly, directly and effectively than his opponent had in Denver.

Finally, he told his personal story not as heroic but as sacramental-a confrontation through suffering with his sins. When, after that, he consecrated himself to his task and called on those who followed him to so as well-to do what’s right — one felt a depth of personal commitment to restoring the honor of our democratic government as deep as that of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson to creating our democratic government.

Voting is in nine weeks and a day. As the cliche? has it, even a day can be a lifetime in politics. Still, the election took a profound turn in St. Paul. It may turn yet again, but for the moment, it has been redefined in a manner that few had expected and even now, among our friends in the mainstream media, many don’t understand.

Clark S. Judge is managing director of the White House Writers Group, Inc., in Washington and was a special assistant and speechwriter to President Reagan

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Mr. Griffin, MSNBC’s president, denies that it has an ideology. “I think ideology means we think one way, and we don’t.”

Sunday, September 7, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt


Old Irish proverb: When everybody says you’re drunk, you’d better sit down.

NBC needed to sit down a long time ago. It didn’t, and the brand built over decades has been broken beyond repair with a vast segment of the American audience. They are the network of the left, making no attempt –as Fox does with Chris Wallace. Alan Colmes, and many members of Hume’s panels– to feature voices quite obviously not of its overarching ideological beliefs. Indeed, given the comment quoted here and others made over the years, the network seems genuinely not to know how far from the center of American politics it has drifted.

Conservatives within talk radio are transparent as to their beliefs, but also quite well aware of their own biases and eager to have liberals and leftists on to discuss issues, though it is rare that top drawer liberals or leftists will engage in sustained debate on these programs. (My eight hours with E. J. Dionne was a welcome exception.) The collapse of NBC’s credibility will not be arrested by moving the name plates around. You cannot fix what you don’t know is broken.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll notes that Phil Griffin was taking a different line last year:

Officials at MSNBC emphasize that they never set out to create a liberal version of Fox News.

“It happened naturally,” Phil Griffin, a senior vice president of NBC News who is the executive in charge of MSNBC, said Friday, referring specifically to the channel’s passion and point of view from 7 to 10 p.m.

Chicago Rules: Defending Sarah Palin From The Chicago Machine

Saturday, September 6, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Obama thugs that tried to intimidate Stanley Kurtz are now busy sending e-mails alleging everything about Sarah Palin except an illegal polar bear hunt, and that may be in tomorrow’s in-box. Teams of Obamians are arriving in Alaska to invent veneers for smears, even though by now the record of rebuttal is so complete that perhaps even the New York Times will hesitate before publishing another round of lies and retractions. (Then again, probably not.) Exposure as a dirt-monger doesn’t deter those without a conscience.

One thing is clear: McCain-Palin is going to need a large “compliance fund” which are the monies used to defend the campaign on a variety of legal fronts in the weeks ahead. It is still legal to contribute to this fund, and if you support a fair shake for Sarah Palin, you should.

The three posts directly below –on Team Obama’s disgraceful handling of their surplus flags from coronation night, the questions that need to be answered about Obama-Ayers, and Obama’s incoherent gun ramble from yesterday– all suggest an Obama campaign in crisis. The huge crowd at the McCain-Palin event in Colorado today will only work to increase the sense of panic on the left, which in turn will raise not only the level of nuttery in the leftosphere but also trigger more resort by Obama to the Chicago rules he has mastered. When the going gets tough, Obama has a history of doing whatever it takes to win, so watch it get even uglier next week.

UPDATE: Be sure to read Jack Kelly’s Sarah Barracuda: Palin should strike fear in the hearts of Democrats. Hard to believe Jack is a Steelers fan. I haven’t pinned down this most-disquieting of rumors about Governor Palin yet, but it is said that she, like Jack and Rush, suffer from “SDS,” Steelers Derangement Syndrome, which leaves the afflicted with sudden flashbacks of NFL highlight films from the ’70s.

See also the Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm noting that Hillary is refusing to join in the disgusting attacks on Palin. The story includes this picture:

Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin visits American troops in Iraq

Here’s an e-mail re: yesterday’s McCain-Palin rally in Colorado Springs:

Obama’s media reports: “more than 10,000 saw McCain and Palin….. but that is to be expected because it is Colorado Springs.”

The truth—

1) I haven’t seen a reliable number but

2) Cars were backed up for miles

3) The line to get in was about a mile long 3 abreast when the hanger was already full and stretched in a 20 yard semi circle outside the hanger door.

4) 12,000 flags were handed out and not more than 1 out of 3 or 1 out of 4 people received one.

5) At least 15,000 tickets were handed out per McCAin HQ and many were noted to admit 2

6) Children on 16 were not issued tickets and many children were there.

7) At the end they passed anyone through the magnatometer

8) I had a high bleacher seat and could see 3/4 of the crowd. I tried to picture them in seats in a stadium and concluded that there had to be at least 30,000 and could be as many as 50,000.

Many came from Fort Collins or Lamar 100 to 150 miles away. Many came from Denver 90 miles away. It would have been more correct to say it is to be expected because it is McCain and Palin.

If they had a bigger venue they could have issued tickets for another 50,000… They stopped issuing tickets not previously reserved mid week.

Just one more incident of a media denial.

Finally, ModerateRisk is peempting attacks on Palin smears. Examples:

1. No, Sarah Palin did not have a torrid love affair with GEN Petraeus while she was in Kuwait visiting AKNG troops….
12. No, Sarah Palin did not hunt down and kill everybody with a picture of her in a bikini from her pageant days. (Most people destroyed the negatives of their own free will after the disappearances started.)

The Flags of the DNCC

Saturday, September 6, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Ed Morrissey has the details. Nice work by Team Obama. Sure to inspire the country.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., ...

AP Photo.

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