~ Presidential Election 2008
~ Presidential Election 2004
~ Presidential Election 2000


One of Robert F. Kennedy’s favourite passages of poetry was drawn from Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’: ‘Come, my friends,/ ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world./ Push off, and sitting well in order smite/ The sounding furrows… strong in will/ To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.’ On 4 November, the American people decided unambiguously to embrace that spirit of hope. Like Ulysses in the poem, John McCain embodied the doughty virtues of the veteran warrior. But it was the chance to ‘seek a newer world’ — the mesmeric promise of ‘change’ — that America voted for in its overwhelming endorsement of Senator Barack Obama...
The best-case scenario is that the new President unites his country, moves America on from ‘identity’ politics and restores its image as a city upon a hill; that he is able to address the issue of race with an honesty that no white politician can; that his status as an African-American father enables him to take on the teachers’ union and create an education system that expands opportunity. The worst is that his newness and inexperience prove to be an end not a beginning: that he signs bad bills sent to him by an emboldened Capitol Hill; that he wrecks Nafta and takes the protectionist path; that he is simply overwhelmed by the scale of the crises he faces, as hapless a practitioner of the prose of government as he is a genius at the poetry of campaigning.
        - Spectator Editorial

There will, I am sure, be a brief moment of shock and surprise when the rest of the world learns that one of its most treasured beliefs -- "whatever happens, the Americans are always more racist than we are" -- is untrue. There will also be a good deal of rejoicing at the passing of the hated Bush administration. But reality will set in quickly as foreigners discover, along with American voters, that the American president isn't as powerful as they think, can't change everything immediately and won't be able to change some things at all. A President Obama would not be able to end the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, he would not be able to make the stock exchanges rise, and he would not be able to halt the recession right away. And that's only the short-term disappointment. In the long term, foreigners, along with American voters, will also discover that America is not about to give up on global capitalism and start "redistributing" the nation's wealth to others. Kenyans in particular will be disappointed.
        - Anne Applebaum, on the consequences of an Obama victory, "Washington Post"

The current president of the EU Council of Ministers has dismissed the US Government's economic rescue plan as "a way to hell". Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country holds the EU presidency, was severely critical of the Obama administration's stimulus package during a speech to the European Parliament today. He said the hugely costly stimulus and financial bailout plan would undermine the stability of the global financial market.
        - Seen in "The Irish Independent" (Mar'09)

Presidents throughout history have kept lists of political foes. But the Obama White House is the first I am aware of to pick targets based on polls. Even Richard Nixon didn't focus-group his enemies list. Team Obama -- aided by Clintonistas Paul Begala, James Carville and Stanley Greenberg -- decided to attack Rush Limbaugh after poring over opinion research. White House senior adviser David Axelrod explicitly authorized the assault. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel assigned a White House official to coordinate the push. And Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gleefully punched the launch button at his podium, suckering the White House press corps into dropping what they were doing to get Mr. Limbaugh.
Was it smart politics and good policy? No. For one thing, it gave the lie to Barack Obama's talk about ending "the political strategy that's been all about division" and "the score-keeping and the name-calling." The West Wing looked populated by petulant teenagers intent on taking down a popular rival. Such talk also shortens the president's honeymoon by making him look like a street-fighting Chicago pol instead of an inspirational, unifying figure. The upward spike in ratings for Rush and other conservative radio commentators shows how the White House's attempt at a smackdown instead energized the opposition. Did it do any good with voters not strongly tied to either party? I suspect not. With stock markets down, unemployment growing, banks tottering, consumers anxious, business leaders nervous, and the economy shrinking, the Obama administration's attacks on a radio talk show host made it seem concerned with the trivial.
        - Karl Rove, "Wall Street Journal" (Mar'09)

Take the AIG debacle. The global insurance and financial-services company is broke and needed a federal loan guarantee of $180 billion to prevent bankruptcy. Some $165 million (about 1/1000th of that sum) had previously been contracted to give bonuses to its derelict executives. That set off a firestorm in Congress. Politicians rushed before the cameras to demand all sorts of penalties for these greedy investment bankers. Soon, they passed an unprecedented special tax law just to confiscate 90 percent of these contracted bonuses. Those who shouted the loudest for the heads of the AIG execs had the dirtiest hands. President Obama was outraged at their greed. But he alone signed their bonus provisions into law. And during the recent presidential campaign, no one forced him to accept over $100,000 in AIG donations... Sen. Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) was the fieriest in his denunciations of Wall Street greed. Yet he was the very one who inserted the bonus provision into the bailout bill, despite later denying it. And Dodd has taken more AIG money than any in Congress — in addition to getting V.I.P. loan rates from the disgraced Countrywide mortgage bank.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"

When someone screams about a terrible policy of the present administration, just pose four questions: First, was the controversial decision taken with bipartisan support? Second, were there precedents for such action in prior Democratic administrations? Third, will such polices continue under the newly elected Obama administration? Four, have the media changed their position on the issue since the November election? If the answer is yes to these questions, then the acrimony was probably about politics and style, not principle and substance. Take the so-called war on terror. The Patriot Act passed Congress in October 2001 by majorities in both parties — and was reauthorized in 2006. The original versions of the FISA wiretapping accords were enacted under the Carter administration in 1978. Both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were given authorization by Congress. The pre-9/11 precursor for the removal of Saddam Hussein was the unanimous passage of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act — prompted by then-President Clinton’s warnings about Saddam’s dangerous weapons: “Some day, some way, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal.”
...Many of our unpopular policies concerning terrorism, energy, and finance are of long duration. They resulted from collective decisions by Congress, past administrations — and us, the people, in our daily lives. Those decisions were no more the fault of George W. Bush than they can be easily solved by Barack Obama. We should remember that fact in 2009, when the once-messianic Obama will become all too human, as he is overwhelmed by structural problems of terror, war, and money not all of his own making — and the once-demonized but now retired George W. Bush will seem downright competent.
        - Victor David Hanson, "National Review"

According to Western news reports, Vice President Joe Biden gave a solid speech at Munich, offering a new, more flexible, more sensitive diplomatic approach to questions regarding Iranian nuclear ambitions. While it's great for the press and Western officials to pat the vice president on the back and celebrate that his name is not Cheney, judging diplomacy on only one side is like watching only one side at a soccer match. How did the Iranians react to Biden's speech? Aftab-e Yazd, a reformist paper, condemns Biden's speech for not fundamentally altering the U.S. position on Iran's nuclear program, terrorism, and support for the right of Israel to exist.
        - Michael Rubin, "National Review"

In Prague on Sunday, President Obama committed his administration to putting us on a "trajectory" toward "a world without nuclear weapons." Of course, we had a world without nuclear weapons not so long ago -- say, in 1939. The war that began in that nuclear-free world led to a crash project to develop nuclear weapons. It ended with America's use of them -- something Obama alluded to: "As a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act." It is not clear whether this statement implies disapproval of our use of nuclear weapons in 1945. This framework makes it possible to think of the elimination of nuclear weapons as a logical response to the end of that conflict... Yet to justify a world without nuclear weapons, what Obama would really have to envision is a world without war, or without threats of war. That's an ancient vision. It's one reason American presidents have tried to encourage the spread of liberal democracy and responsible regimes around the world... But Obama didn't say that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime is unacceptable. He didn't express a commitment to preventing such an outcome, or confidence that the United States and international community would prevent such an outcome. He simply suggested that it wouldn't be optimal for Iran to choose that outcome. And if the rulers of the Islamic republic disagree? In the very speech in which Obama outlined his vision of a world without nuclear weapons, he weakened America's stand against Iran's nuclear weapons program. So while Obama talks of a future without nuclear weapons, the trajectory we are on today is toward a nuclear- and missile-capable North Korea and Iran -- and a far more dangerous world.
        - William Kristol, "Washington Post" (Apr'09)

Obama on the campaign trail either did not grasp that Bush’s second-term foreign policy was largely centrist — or found it politically advantageous to ignore that fact. Either way, irony followed. The problem with Europe’s failing to get tough with Iran, or failing to fight in Afghanistan, or appeasing Russia, was not George Bush, but the nature of Europe. Bush inherited, he did not create, Osama bin Laden, Putin’s authoritarianism, Ahmadinejad’s Iran, Chávez’s Venezuela, Kim Jong Il’s North Korea, Qaddafi’s Libya, or the Dr. A. Q. Khan laboratory. More often, Bush ameliorated, rather than exacerbated, these problems, by being both tough and, yes, multilateral — as friendly governments in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and India attested. Yet by demonizing George Bush — and that is how Team Obama prefaces each announcement of a new initiative — Obama has only set himself up for more irony.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"

Congratulations to President Obama, as we must come to think of him. I agree with Jonah. He fought a brilliant campaign, beginning with his total befuddlement of the supposed sharpest operators in the country, the Clintons. Where's the old politics of personal destruction when we needed it in the snows of Iowa, eh? As for us losers, there's no point going down the right-wing version of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Any shrill vicious ad hominem invective would be much better directed at each other. The Republicans lost this election. I disagree with Lisa. I think we are near a point at which America joins the rest of the west as a center-left society — that's to say, a society whose assumptions about the role of government and the size of the state are far closer to Continental social democracies than to the Founding Fathers. In a grim media-cultural environment, the temptation for American conservatism is to be seduced into becoming one of those ever so mildly right-of-left-of-right-of-left-of-center parties they have in Europe. We should have the fight about conservatism's future vigorously and openly — perhaps at Bud's Roadhouse out on Route 137 in lieu of All-Girl Mud-Wrestling Night.
        - Mark Steyn

"I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.
Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history."
        - John McCain, closing out his graceful concession speech

Could any candidate have been elected to succeed a president of his own party whose job approval rating was 25 percent? Probably not. Could any candidate have been elected to continue his party’s stay in the White House when roughly 90 percent of Americans believed the country was on the wrong track? Probably not. Could any candidate from the governing party have been elected after the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 4,000 points before one could even turn around? Probably not.
        - Rich Lowry, on John McCain's insurmountable task, "National Review"

When you think of the macro-political conditions in America in 2008, you are left wondering why the Democrats did not do significantly better. The US is in its deepest recession in a generation. For the first time in its history a catastrophic financial crisis erupted right in the middle of a general election campaign, one that fatally undermined the incumbent party. An unpopular war in Iraq has destroyed the Republican Party’s reputation for national security reliability. The exit poll on Tuesday found that 76 per cent of respondents thought that the country was on the wrong track. Democrats outspent Republicans by two-to-one. It is hard to imagine how circumstances could ever be much better for the Democrats.
        - Gerard Baker, "The Times"

The public has, however, clearly rejected the Republican party in its present configuration. It is always difficult for a party to maintain control of the White House after two terms in office. But both President Bush and Senator McCain made the task harder. Bush took too long to change course in Iraq and botched the response to Hurricane Katrina. McCain rarely stuck to one message or strategy. The financial crisis, for which we do not primarily blame either man, sealed the party’s fate.
But Republicans have been so unpopular for so long, and their failure has been so sweeping, that it is a mistake to dwell too long on the flaws of specific men or the consequences of particular events. Neither Bush nor McCain nor congressional Republicans gave much sign that they understood the frustrations that average Americans have felt over the last few years toward the economy and Washington, let alone that they had solutions.
        - National Review leader

When asked if he’d run for office again, Ed Koch, the former mayor of New York City, responded: “No! The people of New York threw me out of office, and now they must be punished.” The American voters threw out the Republican party, and they were largely right to. At least in the sense that the GOP deserves to be punished. The problem is that the Democrats do not deserve to win.
I think McCain did better than pretty much any other Republican candidate could have. But I think the McCain campaign didn't do as well as they could have. I think McCain could have won. They blew an amazing number of opportunities. They mishandled Sarah Palin horribly. They were obsessed with unfair media coverage while doing very little to take advantage of it or even do anything serious about it. They inherited an enormous number of problems not of their own making, but they made even more problems for themselves than they needed to. There will be much more said about this, but in short I think John McCain biggest problem was that the GOP had lost any sense of intellectual or ideological definition and John McCain didn't bother to offer any definition of his own until helped by Joe the Plumber. And by then it was too little too late.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"

I congratulate Senator Obama on a remarkable and decisive victory. It was in many ways the final battle in a war the Republican Party didn’t even bother fighting — the “long march through the institutions.” While the Senator certainly enjoyed the patronage of the Chicago machine, he is not primarily a political figure: Whether “educators” like William Ayers or therapeutic pop-culture types like Oprah, his closest associations are beyond the world of electoral politics. He emerged rather from all the cultural turf the GOP largely abandoned during its 30-year winning streak at the ballot box, and his victory demonstrates the folly of assuming that folks will continue to pull the lever for guys with an R after their name every other November even as all the other institutions in society become de facto liberal one-party states... Obama was bestriding the broader cultural space. Republicans need to start their own long march back through all the institutions they ceded. Otherwise, the default mode of this society will be liberal, and what’s left of the Republican party will be reduced (as in other parts of the west) to begging the electorate for the occasional opportunity to prove it can run the liberal state just as well as liberals can.
        - Mark Steyn, "National Review"

Both the push from the media, the convention wisdom from the media is Republicans are too strident and right wing and have to move to the center, move to the center. And you know, the problem with that analysis is that as I always say, George W. Bush is essentially Tony Blair with a ranch. He’s a classic third way politician who occasionally wears jeans and a cowboy hat. But his approach to government, compassionate conservatism, no child left behind, is already way, way down toward the center. If you look at John McCain, John McCain is nothing but the center. He spends his whole time talking about reaching across the aisle, a phrase I never want to hear again. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts was a centrist politician. Giuliani a centrist on all the social issues. So the idea that we are this movement of crazed right wing kooks is hard to detect either from the last eight years or from this last primary season.
        - Mark Steyn

The President-elect's so-called “tax cut” will absolve 48 percent of Americans from paying any federal income tax at all, while those that are left will pay more. Just under half the population will be, as Daniel Henninger pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, on the dole. By 2012, it will be more than half, and this will be an electorate where the majority of the electorate will be able to vote itself more lollipops from the minority of their compatriots still dumb enough to prioritize self-reliance, dynamism, and innovation over the sedating cocoon of the nanny state. That is the death of the American idea — which, after all, began as an economic argument: “No taxation without representation" is a great rallying cry. “No representation without taxation” has less mass appeal. For how do you tell an electorate living high off the entitlement hog that it's unsustainable and you've got to give some of it back? At that point, America might as well apply for honorary membership in the European Union.
        - Mark Steyn, "National Review"

The Bradley effect would not occur to such an extent this time around, we were told confidently, because America had grown up and would not vote on racial lines. Well, quite a lot of it did. Some 97 per cent of African-Americans voted for the black candidate and I think it is fair to surmise that many of them did so largely because of the colour of his skin. This, however, is something we are expected to be thrilled about, for some strange reason. The BBC News was never happier than when showing black voters energised by the prospect of giving whitey a good whupping. When the issue of race rears its head, weird things start to happen to logic. Then there’s Obama himself. Is he black? I’m not so sure. He has a white mother and a black father, so I suppose he is of mixed race, or what the South Africans used to call ‘coloured’...  Obama became blacker as the battle against John McCain intensified; suddenly America was not simply voting in a presidential election, choosing between a liberal Democrat and a moderate Republican, but doing much much more than that: fulfilling Martin Luther King’s dream, showing itself to be a ‘mature’ democracy, lighting a beacon in a sea of eternal darkness, etc, etc. I ought to mention that this was not how Obama portrayed the contest himself — he was, to his credit, extraordinarily averse to be seen playing the race card. No; this was how it was presented by the media. But, one way or another, by the final stages of the campaign Obama had morphed into a fully fledged African-American, hallelujah... I should declare an interest here: I like Barack Obama. I wanted, with great fervour, Obama to win this election. So far as I can tell, so did every other British journalist, with the exception of Melanie Phillips, who didn’t. I think Mel was rooting for Barry Goldwater... The American public, meanwhile, was offered the chance to show that the USA was ‘truly the land of opportunity’ by electing someone who had overcome the disabilities imposed upon him through his misfortune in having been born to an oppressed minority ethnic race. The notion persisted that despite spending ten times the amount of money on his campaign that John McCain spent, and having in some states 50 times the number of staff, more TV ads and the support of Hollywood and the liberal media elite, Barack Obama somehow won against the odds. But in fact the issue of race favoured Obama much more than it favoured John McCain. I doubt very much that a novice senator who was perhaps the most liberal in the country would have won if he were entirely white, rather than of mixed race. Historic it may well be, but the odds were nonetheless heavily weighted in his favour — and it is a mild surprise, frankly, that his win was not even more emphatic
        - Rod Liddle, "The Spectator"

Obama's beautifully judged acceptance speech was cool. As he became part of American history, he spoke almost as an observer of it. Quite right to remind his audience that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, quite right to say to those who did not vote for him ‘I will be your President too’; but the intelligence, the historical sweep, the ability to understand more than one perspective are the opposite qualities of those of the ghetto. His blackness seems skin-deep, which is why people can accept it. ‘Not by the might of our arms, or the scale of our wealth, but for the enduring power of our ideals’ is America the greatest nation, said Obama. True, but arms and wealth help. As he approaches office, that might of arms has faltered and that scale of wealth has slumped. Does this mean, then, that America should end exceptionalism, build coalitions, work through international institutions? You might think so, but the dilemma will quickly present itself. Will other nations respect a weakened America? Will a multilateral world actually be able or willing to project force against the enemies of law and democracy? Will Iran, which has allowed Iraq to go so quiet during the presidential campaign, now produce a challenge even before the new President is in the White House? When President Obama calls the bluff of European powers delighted by his election and asks them to send far more of their own men to fight in Afghanistan, will they shy away? If things go right for Obama, he will restore American leadership which, as he says, requires moral authority. But if they go wrong, he will preside over the decline of American power. Then his fate could resemble that of Gorbachev — hailed abroad for recognising the need for change, excoriated at home for losing a great imperium. Unlike Gorbachev, though, Obama has real votes. The most moving thing this week is the return of an almost religious respect for the ballot. To think that your one ‘X’ (or chad) among millions makes a difference requires a deep belief in your country’s constitution. But it does: it has.
        - Charles Moore, "The Spectator"

"Well now the nightmare is over, I think we can call it a nightmare without in anyway being anything other than objective."
        - Jon Snow, presenting the allegedly impartial UK Channel 4 News at the Obama Inauguration

Leave Our Jobs Alone.
        - Headline in Ireland's Evening Herald after Obama (who they backed!) wins

Who are these people? We think we know Americans, and certainly we have no hesitation in expressing the most forthright views about what's wrong with them, and how they might improve themselves in all sorts of ways. But last week we were forced to confront the reality that there are things we didn't know about Americans at all, or at least, things that we just never noticed in our critical zeal.
Can anyone remember a time when people in Ireland would be prepared to stand in a long queue outside a polling booth? I can recall the culture wars of the Eighties, when the Irish voter might make a special effort for the good of the cause. But in America, for the last few general elections, we have seen them standing in line, all day long...
Routinely, we disparage them as a nation of self-obsessed TV addicts who have forsaken the life of the mind. Actually, looking at those queues and at the vast crowds which were turning up to cheer Obama and McCain, we see a people engaged in a ferment of ideas... Oh how we laugh at the fact that so many Americans don't have passports -- unlike us, who use them to go to Spain once a year to get drunk. Or to America, to get a life...
In fact, the ferment of ideas could be savoured by all of us, flicking through the US news channels, watching the last days of this election. These guys are good. Some of them may be mad, and dangerous, but they are still good. In fact, the mad ones are probably the best...Fox went postal at the 11th hour, spraying dirt all over Obama and his people... And, while it didn't work for them, it displayed that admirable American disdain for the big lie that is Objective Journalism.
Most of what we call Objective Journalism in our supposedly enlightened part of the world is just dull journalism, which is usually the same thing as bad journalism. And, of course, it's not even objective. At least you know where these guys are coming from, but more than this, you know that they are "up for it".
And when it was all over in Election 2008, when the ferment of ideas had died down for a while, the losers turned out to be good losers. Of course McCain, being a gambler, would know all about losing, but still he spoke decently from the stage of the Biltmore -- which, according to Fox, "used to be his lucky hotel". A man who has a "lucky hotel" probably has a few unlucky hotels, too, that he doesn't care to mention, and has probably seen days a lot worse than this.
        - Declan Lynch, "The Irish Independent"


This is an amazing race. The incumbent president has approval ratings somewhere between Robert Mugabe and the ebola virus. The economy is supposedly on the brink of global Armageddon. McCain has only $80 million to spend, while Obama's burning through $600 mil as fast as he can, and he doesn't really need to spend a dime given the wall-to-wall media adoration... And yet an old cranky broke loser is within two or three points of the King of the World. Strange.
        - Mark Steyn, as the election enters its final days

Did you get the impression that McCain’s message was that the government needs fixing, while Obama’s message was that the country needs fixing? Quite a difference there.
        - A letter to National Review about the candidate's focus

Conservatives are irate at McCain — especially over his past stances on taxes and immigration and his sometime alliances with Democrats — and some of them promise to sit out the general election if he gets the Republican nomination. Meanwhile, some Democrats repulsed by the Clintons promise to vote for McCain if Clinton gets her party’s nomination. And a few angry voters of both parties claim that they like nice-guy Obama better than either of the other likely nominees.
What is causing these wild swings among jittery and fickle voters? First, we are in the middle of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are still fighting against radical Islamic terrorists on other fronts. Trillions in U.S. dollars are held abroad by rivals and belligerents. The economy is slowing. Energy prices are sky-high. But for most, the medicine is as scary as the disease: Should we send more troops to finish the job overseas, or are there too many abroad already? Should we prime the economy to prevent recession? Or are stimulus plans unrealistic now that we are already running federal deficits and piling up debt?
Second, without a single administration incumbent in the running, both the Republican and Democratic races are especially volatile. In contrast, in every other presidential race after 1952, either an incumbent president or the sitting vice president has run in the fall election. But now there is no status quo. Instead, a war has broken out within each party.
..In this crazy year, the election may finally come down to how many Democrats — scared that they don’t know enough about Obama, or know too much about the Clintons — will vote for a veteran pro like McCain. Or, on the flip side, how many “true” conservatives will stay home in November to ensure that a liberal wins the White House just to prove their purity.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, after Super Tuesday, "National Review"

Mr. McCain needs to define his views on Iraq and the global war on terror in ways that cause Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton to attack him. In politics as in war, the properly prepared counterpunch is often more powerful than the assault itself. But if he spends too much time too early directly attacking Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, Mr. McCain could use up some of his most powerful material too early and run out of things to say just about the time voters start the process of comparing the Democratic nominee and Mr. McCain.
        - Karl Rove, in "The Wall Street Journal" (Mar'08)

Asked at a New Hampshire campaign stop about possibly staying in Iraq 50 years, John McCain interrupted — “Make it a hundred” — then offered a precise analogy to what he envisioned: “We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so.” Lest anyone think he was talking about prolonged war-fighting rather than maintaining a presence in postwar Iraq, he explained: “That would be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”
        - Charles Krauthammer, "Our 100-year War With Japan", "National Review"

"He (McCain) says that he is willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq."
        - Barack Obama, speaking on February 19 '08 [compare and contrast with above]

One reason McCain is not versed in the mechanical details of sending e-mail and typing on a keyboard is that the North Vietnamese broke his fingers and shattered both of his arms. As Forbes, Slate, and the Boston Globe reported in 2000, McCain’s injuries make using a keyboard painfully laborious. He mostly relies on his wife and staff to show him e-mails and Web sites, though he says he’s getting up to speed.
“It’s extraordinary,” Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said, “that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn’t know how to send an e-mail.” For the record, President Clinton sent exactly two e-mails while in office.
Besides, by this logic, Obama is even less qualified to be commander-in-chief because, unlike McCain, Obama has never fired a gun, flown a plane, or led men during wartime. And if the Obama campaign didn’t intend to mock a disabled veteran, what does it say about his supposedly “cybersavvy” staffers that they don’t know how to conduct a five-minute Google search.
        - Jonah Goldberg, on the "McCain doesn't know email" ad, "National Review"

President Reagan talked with the Soviets while pushing ahead with the deployment of Cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe. He spoke softly — after getting himself a bigger stick. Sen. Obama is proposing to reward a man who pledges to wipe Israel off the map with a presidential photo-op to which he will bring not even a twig. No wonder he’s so twitchy about it.
        - Mark Steyn, on Obama's offer to talk to Iran, "National Review"

"I have some news for Senator Obama: Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, in unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel a 'stinking corpse' and arms terrorist who kill Americans will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. It is reckless to suggest that unconditional meetings will advance our interests. It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we don't have enemies. But that is not the world we live in, and until Senator Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to doubt whether he has the strength, judgment, and determination to keep us safe."
        - John McCain (May'08)

The Democratic party that meets today in Denver is one that many of its forebears would hardly recognize and might abhor. The determination to face down our enemies that characterized Harry Truman, the willingness to cut tax rates that John F. Kennedy showed, the pro-life convictions that informed Hubert Humphrey and Ed Muskie, even the free-trading instincts that Bill Clinton possessed — all have been banished from the party of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. In place of these older political strains are a restless welfare statism; a hope, masquerading as a strategy, that we can talk and charm our way out of foreign crises; and a social liberalism that prefers the courts to do its heavy lifting. This party has found perfect exemplars of its ideology in its nominees... Obama and Biden must persuade the country that they are not what they are: the most left-wing ticket their party has run in 36 years. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time; 51 percent may be more feasible.
        - National Review Editorial (Aug'08)

Every Democratic presidential nominee for president and vice president in the last seven elections — except Al Gore, who dropped out of law school to run for Congress — has been a lawyer. So, what’s wrong with the Democratic nominee once again being a lawyer? After all, legal minds are trained to think precisely and evaluate both sides of an issue. The problem is that lawyers usually do not run companies, defend the country, lead people, build things, grow food, or create capital.
If this year Democrats were looking for populist candidates from diverse backgrounds and training who talked and thought differently from those of the past, then why didn’t they nominate someone who was not trained in writing legalese and working the government legal labyrinth? Instead, they needed different sorts, candidates who might have sounded a little rougher, a little less condescending, and a little more like most voters. Most Americans have never been in — and never want to be in — a courtroom... This may partly explain why former military officer John McCain and working-mom Sarah Palin are polling near even with Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, in a year that otherwise favors the Democrats.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed."
        - Joe Biden, getting a few things wrong about the America of 1929

One of the problems with successfully dealing with threats is that people start believing that there is no threat. That is where we are, seven years after 9/11, so that reminding people of terrorist dangers can be dismissed as "the politics of fear" by Barack Obama, who has a rhetorical answer for everything... The recent death of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn should make us recall what he said when he was awarded the Nobel Prize: "The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles." What would a Barack Obama presidency mean, other than more concessions and broader smiles, while Iran goes nuclear?
        - Thomas Sowell

Are Asian financial markets signaling a big Chinese economic slow-down? The present regime in China bases its legitimacy on prosperity. What happens if the prosperity stops? Will the regime face challenges at home? Will it lash out abroad? In this and other ways, more and more it looks as though the next president will be inheriting the most difficult inbox since that which confronted Ronald Reagan in 1981.
        - David Frum, "National Review"

This wisp of a notion is simply this: Maybe a Democrat should win in 2008... The argument, felt in places we don’t talk about at cocktail parties, is that the Democrats have been such irresponsible backseat drivers that they have to be forced to take the wheel to grasp how treacherous the road ahead is.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"

The growing hordes of America-bashers must dread the moment Bush leaves office. When President Bush goes into the Texas sunset, and especially if he is replaced by an enlightened, world-embracing Democrat, their one excuse, their sole explanation for all human suffering in the world will disappear too. And they may just find that the world is not as simple as they thought it was... Does anyone really think the election of President Hillary Clinton will be greeted with a sudden surge of German and French troops to Kabul and Helmand, routing al-Qaeda militants in the name of multilateralism? President John Edwards will discover, when he seeks a united front to tackle an enemy that would happily incinerate every European city and its inhabitants tomorrow, that the Europeans would much rather take urgent action to address the risk that global warming will produce a possible 18cm increase in sea levels by 2100.
        - Gerard Baker, "The Times"

I do not think it is tactful, or supportive to any candidate, for Europeans to weigh in with their views on the coming American presidential election. To be sure, whoever is President of the US affects the whole world. But the track record of those who try to meddle from this side of the pond is not good. During the 2004 election, the Guardian newspaper in London setup up an elaborate website arrangement to try and chivvy the voters of Ohio to vote against Bush, this being a delicately balanced 'swing' state. The wheeze backfired badly: Ohions did not take kindly to superior types from the former colonial power trying to boss them about. It's a bit like the French political class telling the Irish which way they should exercise their vote on Lisbon.
        - Mary Kenny, in "The Irish Independent"

When crises erupt people will rally behind a forceful leader. From the standpoint of national security, it is critical to elect a president with the dynamism, charisma, and ineffable personal qualities that make a great leader. It is not something found in bulging briefing books or clever talking points. It resides in the content of one's character. As a voter, you know it in your gut. This one won’t let us down. This one will fight. This one will win.
        - James S Robbins, "National Review"

What we need is not bogus invocations of unity, which is largely a platitudinous or poll-driven cover for inertia... To govern is to choose. And to govern in tough times is to make tough choices. And thus to choose is to divide. An electorate that wanted real change — on immigration, education, entitlements — would be voting for one almighty four-year slugfest.
        - Mark Steyn, "National Review"

The big lie of campaign 2008 — so far — is that the presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, will take care of our children... Our children face a future of rising taxes, squeezed — and perhaps falling — public services and aging — perhaps deteriorating — public infrastructure (roads, sewers, transit systems). Today's young workers and children are about to be engulfed by a massive income transfer from young to old that will perversely make it harder for them to afford their own children. No major candidate of either party proposes to do much about this, even though the facts are well known.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — three programs that go overwhelmingly to older Americans — already represent more than 40 percent of federal spending... The longer we delay — and we've done so now for several decades, because the strains created by an aging society have been obvious that long — the more likely that eventual "solutions" will be unfair to both young and old.
        - Robert J. Samuelson, "Washington Post"

Today the American public seems deeply schizophrenic: It hates the government -- Washington, Congress and public institutions are more unpopular than at any time since Watergate -- but it wants more of it. Conservative arguments about limited government have little purchase among independents and swing voters.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "Washington Post"

Some elections are defined by the gap between the rich and the poor. Others are defined by the gap between the left and the right. But this election will be shaped by the gap within individual voters themselves — the gap between their private optimism and their public gloom... American voters are generally happy with their own lives... Sixty-two percent of Americans expect their personal situation to get better over the next five years... On the other hand, Americans are overwhelmingly pessimistic about their public institutions. That same Pew survey found that only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of their nation. Americans are disillusioned with the president and Congress. Eighty percent of Americans think this Congress has accomplished nothing.
Sixty-two percent think that when government runs something, it is usually inefficient and wasteful. Americans today are more pessimistic about government’s ability to solve problems than they were in 1974 at the height of Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War.
This happiness gap between the private and the public creates a treacherous political vortex. On the one hand, it means voters are desperate for change. On the other hand, they don’t want a change that will upset the lives they have built for themselves. On the one hand, they want the country’s political leaders to take bold action. On the other hand, they are extremely cynical about those leaders and are unwilling to trust them with anything that seems risky.
They also feel that their neighborhood happiness is threatened by global problems that are beyond their power to control: terrorism, rising health care costs, looming public debt, illegal immigration, global warming and the rise of China and India. They regard these looming problems the way people used to think about crime — as alien intrusions into their private tranquility. And government seems to be doing nothing about them.
These voters don’t believe government can lift their standard of living or lead a moral revival. They want a federal government that will focus on a few macro threats — terrorism, health care costs, energy, entitlement debt and immigration — and stay out of the intimate realms of life. They want a night watchman government that patrols the neighborhood without entering their homes. This is not liberalism, which inserts itself into the crannies of life. It’s not conservatism, suspicious of federal power. It’s a gimlet-eyed federalism — strong government with sharply defined tasks.
Today, people want the government to change so their own lives can stay the same. Voters don’t want to be transformed; they want to be defended.
        - David Brooks, "The New York Times"

[John McCain]
We are not a perfect nation. Our history has had its moments of shame and profound regret. But what we have achieved in our brief history is irrefutable proof that a nation conceived in liberty will prove stronger, more decent and more enduring than any nation ordered to exalt the few at the expense of the many or made from a common race or culture or to preserve traditions that have no greater attribute than longevity.
        - John McCain, address to Liberty University (2006)

The senator’s conservative critics believe, at bottom, that it would be better for the GOP to lose this election than to win with John McCain. We are hearing a lot how 1992 led to 1994, how 1976 led to 1980. Perhaps they are right. But I wonder whether it is still true that there is a conservative majority latent out there just waiting to be summoned back to life. Certainly I believe that political majorities are made as well as found. If the Republicans win in 2008 — if they can lead the country to a successful outcome in Iraq and inaugurate some helpful free-market healthcare reforms, then we can rebuild a Republican majority. But if the Democrats win, if they can fix in place the idea that Iraq was a disaster and institute a government-directed health system that creates a vast new dependency on the federal government – then they may seize the majority that could be there for us. A lot is at stake this year, and whatever else you may think about John McCain, he has certainly proven he is the best national campaigner the GOP has got.
        - David Frum, backing John McCain in Feb'08

On Wednesday John McCain distinguished himself with a closely argued and eloquent address in which he spoke seriously and at length of his position on Iraq. He said America faces "an historic choice" with "ramifications for Americans not yet even born." "Many Democrats," he said, view the war as "a political opportunity," while Republicans view it as "a political burden." But it is neither, he said. It is not a political question to be poll-tested but a challenge that bears on our continuance as a great nation. We must stay and fight and win. You can agree or disagree with Mr. McCain, but where he stands is clear--and clarity these days, from our candidates, feels like a gift... My larger point, however, is that he sounded like a serious man addressing a serious issue in a serious way. This makes him at the moment stand out... The presidency is an august office. Why are these candidates acting so small when the job they think they deserve is so big? Maybe it's just that people have less dignity these days, and so candidates do too. A few decades ago personal dignity became equated with stiffness and pretension. There was nothing in it for politicians anymore. (It all might have started in 1968, when Richard Nixon went on "Laugh-In" and said, "Sock it to me." But that worked because he had actual personal dignity to spoof.) I think it's that all our candidates for president have met, or know well, too many former and sitting presidents... Candidates on the trail today would be better off keeping as their template for the office Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln--the unattainable greats. It's no good to just be thinking, At least I'm better than Clinton, at least I'm better than Bush.
        - Peggy Noonan, "The Wall Street Journal" (Apr'07)

In two presidential campaigns now, John McCain has proven himself adept at what is becoming is signature maneuver: the suicidal assault directly into the teeth of key Republican interest groups and beliefs... This year, McCain’s kamikaze charge is on comprehensive immigration legislation that couples an amnesty for illegal aliens with border-enforcement measures. You have to have only a passing acquaintance with a Republican voter or two to know this is deeply unpopular in the GOP... McCain’s position is indisputably sincere and courageous. But it is only reminding Republicans exactly what they don’t like about his sincerity and courage... The tricky thing about political leadership is that it has to involve some followership, too.
        - Rich Lowry, "National Review" (Jun'07)

Senator McCain is not a bad man. He has some admirable qualities. But there are plenty of good people who would be dangerous in a job for which they are not suited. Back in the 18th century, Edmund Burke said that some people "may do the worst of things without being the worst of men." The White House is not the place for that... Senator McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can cause me to vote for McCain.
        - Thomas Sowell

Political campaigns get interesting only when the candidates stop speaking in ringing generalities and infuriating phrases, which doesn't mean that they therefore become successful or even good for the country. Sen. John McCain's 2000 campaign appealed precisely because he eschewed pre-prepared gobbledygook—though that wasn't enough even to win the Republican nomination. I am also still convinced that voters originally liked George W. Bush's inarticulacy: At least he didn't sound quite as smooth, and ultimately meaningless, as everyone else. Only with time did his natural-born inability to speak English begin to produce infuriating phrases of truly unique pointlessness.
        - Anne Applebaum, "Slate Magazine"

People who share the New York Times' political views are treated as "innocent until proven guilty." People with different views are condemned for "the appearance of impropriety," even if there is no hard evidence that they did anything wrong... In 1976, when President Ford nominated me to the Federal Trade Commission, someone anonymously told an FBI investigator that I was a Communist. Not even the people opposed to my nomination believed it and it was not reported in the New York Times. This was back in the days when the Times still had a reputation for integrity, before the Jason Blair hoaxes, the gang-rape hoaxes and the general prostitution of the front page to politics masquerading as news. Over the years, the New York Times has increasingly discredited itself. Not only have critics repeatedly exposed their tendentious use of their "news" stories, even the Times' own "public editor" or ombudsman has now said that they should not have run the John McCain insinuation story.
        - Thomas Sowell (Feb'08)

[The Palin Effect]
"I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."
        - Governor Sarah Palin, from her RNC speech

"I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organiser, except that you have actual responsibilities."
        - Sarah Palin, with a dig at Obama's background as a 'community organiser'

Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President? ... Or where is it written that mere representatives aren’t qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro of Queens? ... Where is it written that governors and mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial? ... Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demography, not idealized democracy... What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow into statesmen... Why shouldn’t a little-known woman have the same opportunity to grow?
        - New York Times editorial from 1984 on the vice-presidential nomination of Geraldine Ferraro

Love Sarah Palin or hate her -- and there seems to be little in between -- the Alaska Governor has become a national political figure. She could have a big political future, assuming she and the many Republicans now trashing her learn something from their recent misadventures. Last August we advised John McCain not to select a relative unknown like Mrs. Palin, in part because we remember the way Dan Quayle was treated. The media haze GOP candidates in a way they never do Democrats. (See Joe Biden, unreported gaffes of.) Any national-campaign novice was bound to be chewed up. Mr. McCain nonetheless decided to take one of his celebrated leaps off the high bar. (Our track record this campaign was perfect: If we proposed it, Mr. McCain did the opposite.) In the event, Mrs. Palin's contribution to the McCain ticket was mixed. Her bravura convention speech defied the early media mockery and made her an instant hero among rank-and-file Republicans. Her reform credentials and social conservatism inspired a GOP base that was angry with its wayward party and wary of Mr. McCain. The exit polls show that conservative turnout was strong, and Mrs. Palin deserves some credit for that. Yet Mrs. Palin was clearly thrust into the spotlight before she was prepared for the rigors of a national campaign. The McCain camp also did her no favors, initially keeping her under a quarantine that raised the stakes for any media interview she did do... As for Mrs. Palin's Republican critics, they might consider if they can afford to write off a young leader with such natural political talent. We don't see a large constellation of other GOP stars on the horizon. Mr. McCain was right to understand that his party needs a new generation of leaders who haven't grown comfortable with the perks of Washington.
        - A balanced editorial assessing the Palin effect in the Wall Street Journal (Nov'08)

The main axis in McCain's worldview is not left-right. It's public service versus narrow self-interest. Throughout his career, he has been drawn to those crusades that enabled him to launch frontal attacks on the concentrated powers of selfishness - whether it was the big-money donors who exploited the loose campaign finance system, the earmark specialists in Congress like Alaska's Don Young and Ted Stevens, the corrupt Pentagon contractors or Jack Abramoff. When McCain met Sarah Palin last February, he was meeting the rarest of creatures, an American politician who sees the world as he does... McCain was meeting a woman who risked her career taking on the corrupt Republican establishment in her own state, who twice defeated the oil companies, who made mortal enemies of the two people McCain has always held up as the carriers of the pork-barrel disease: Young and Stevens... she was picked because she lit up every pattern in McCain's brain, because she seems so much like himself... My worry about Palin is that she shares McCain's primary weakness - that she has a tendency to substitute a moral philosophy for a political philosophy.
        - David Brooks, "New York Times"

Governor Palin is not merely "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? It can't be in Senator Obama's interest for the punditocracy to spends its time arguing about whether the Republicans' vice-presidential pick is "even more" inexperienced than the Democrats' presidential one.
        - Mark Steyn

Sarah Palin works fast. She instantly became the object of the kind of partisan hatred that most politicians can raise only after prosecuting an unpopular war and lying about their misconduct in office (Nixon), after making sanctimonious dishonesty an art form and getting caught in flagrante with an intern (Clinton), and after winning a disputed election and botching a foreign occupation (Bush). Palin-hatred is an artifact of who she is rather than anything she’s done. Joe Biden famously rose from the working class to the U.S. Senate. Palin became governor of Alaska, but never left the working class — with her old-fashioned beehive hairdo and librarian eyeglasses, with a husband who is a commercial fisherman and works on a North Shore oil field, and with her hobbies of fishing and hunting. As such, she’s the object of the cultural disdain of a Left that loves the working class in theory, but is mystified or offended by its lifestyle and conservative values in reality.
        - Rich Lowry, "National Review"

Palinize: to slander and caricature a working-class female public figure for the noble advancement of liberalism. Sarah Palin— self-made woman, and governor of Alaska — is being reducing by the left to a hickish, white trash mom of five... Why does the left and liberal media, in McCarthyite fashion, now seek to destroy rather than just oppose these public servants? There is the annoited's notion that the noble ends justify the slimy means, that whether the issue is abortion or affirmative action or any other hot-button social gospel, the supposed interests of the many override the common decency that should be afforded the few... To save the utopian vision of "two nations" John Edwards, presidential candidate, hundreds in the media passed on verifiable stories of his adultery, the financial support of his mistress, and his blatantly untrue assertions in public press conferences; by the same token to stop "one nation" Palin, the private life of a 17-year old girl must not only be aired, but distorted and in some cases invented... Being a mother of a Down syndrome child, raising five children, rising, without money or family influence, to the governorship on an anti-corruption and commonsense platform, in addition to trying to run the largest-sized state in the union, critical to both the energy and defense security of the nation, all that should have made liberals and feminists, if reluctantly, nevertheless appreciative of her success in a mostly male political world. Not this week, perhaps—but soon there will be a backlash against all this creepiness.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"

The general media bias is more blatant than usual this year. There was more media outcry about Sarah Palin's response to "gotcha" questions than to Joe Biden's talking about President Franklin D. Roosevelt going on television in 1929 after the stock market crash — at a time when FDR was not yet president and there was no television to go on.
        - Thomas Sowell

Imagine the reaction of the New York Times or the Washington Post had John McCain renounced his promise to participate in public campaign financing, proceeded instead to amass $600 million and outraise the publicly financed Barack Obama four-to-one, and begun airing special 30-minute unanswered infomercials during the last week of the campaign... Imagine the reaction of Newsweek or Time had moose-hunting mom Sarah Palin claimed FDR went on television to address the nation as President in 1929.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, on media double standards, "National Review"

The more savage the left are about someone, the more you can be sure that they feel profoundly threatened by that person. Their vicious reaction to John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential candidate is deeply revealing -- but about themselves rather than her. They have hurled smears, contempt, condescension, ridicule and every other rhetorical missile her way. You can get a sense of the stuff being spread about her from the rebuttal by the McCain camp to this story in the New York Times, which appears to have plucked rumours circulating about Mrs Palin and published them without a qualm. (How anyone continues to take the NYT seriously beats me.) Why do the left feel so threatened by Sarah Palin? Clearly, they see her place on the McCain ticket as a major threat to Obama and thus know they have to destroy her. The more venomous their onslaught, therefore, the greater the compliment they are paying her...
But there’s a deeper reason for the foaming vituperation of the left at Mrs Palin’s candidacy. It is the same reason that they lash out at all those who are not on the left: their profound lack of confidence in their own belief system. At some subterranean level, the left know they are wrong and that they cannot defend their own position. Which they simply cannot bear. This is because the left is always correct, everyone else is a conservative and therefore if they are wrong about anything they will also be -- a conservative! They'd rather pull out all their fingernails. Which is why they are so vicious: instead of reasoned argument with their opponents they resort to demonisation, intimidating and browbeating any opposition or dissent to shut them up altogether...
Maybe the selection of Sarah Palin will go pear-shaped. Maybe she’ll be found to have presided over a mafia cartel of illegal moose-slayers... But for the moment it seems to me that her selection is a political masterstroke. Which is why the left is in such a terrible rage.
        - Melanie Phillips, on her Spectator blog

There's a new affliction sweeping the nation, and it's known as Palin Derangement Syndrome. The phenomenon is similar to Bush Derangement Syndrome, a term coined by political columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe the personal animosity and irrational hatred directed at President Bush by his leftist opponents. But this time, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is the object of wrath... The attacks on Palin have ranged from patronizing to vicious to fantastical. She has been caricatured as an inexperienced rube, a baby-making automaton, an uneducated underachiever, a bad mother, trailer-park trash, a rightwing religious fanatic, a sexual fantasy, and of course, a fascist. No subject has been deemed taboo in the effort to take Palin down.
What her detractors don't seem to realize is that in the process of insulting Palin, they are insulting the majority of the country. If being a self-made success story, a working mother, a church-going member of a small-town community, and a believer in moderate to conservative political viewpoints disqualifies Palin, what does that say about mainstream America? The inherent condescension at the heart of the anti-Palin campaign is coming across loud and clear and it may actually be boosting her popularity...
Wendy Doniger, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School, wrote that Palin's "greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman" and denounced "the Republican Party's cynical calculation that because [Palin] has a womb and makes lots and lots of babies -- she speaks for the women of America...
A September 4 Rasmussen poll notes that "51% of American voters think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November." The media has been fixated on Palin for weeks and one is hard pressed to go a day without hearing some or another allegation being trotted out. The worst example was when mainstream media outlets ran with a lurid rumor originating with an anonymous diarist at the leftist blog Daily Kos that insinuated that Palin's son Trig was actually her grandson... Obama's worst enemy is not himself, or even Sarah Palin, but rather, the ranks of his own rabid supporters.
        - Cinnamon Stillwell, "SF Chronicle"

The base identifies with Sarah Palin as one of their own. The connection between them is one of shared cultural and religious values.  This sense of common identity transcends politics in a way difficult for some elites to grasp.  Many within the evangelical and conservative communities believe that she doesn’t need a massive amount of book knowledge because she shares their worldview and seems to be smart enough that if presented with a problem, she’ll figure it out and do just fine... Regardless of the fact that your opinions and those of George Will, David Brooks, Peggy Noonan and others are based on your honest appraisal of Palin’s demonstrated aptitude for high office, the base interprets a rejection of Gov. Palin as a candidate as a rejection of the values she represents and of the identity they share.  This perception, however inaccurate, is positively poisonous at a time when the conservative movement has lost its ability to communicate its message persuasively... The conservative movement’s future may depend on its elites’ ability to affirm the values and principles of the base while insisting that our leaders have the knowledge and experience necessary to apply those beliefs to complex political problems.
        - A letter to David Frum, explaining the Republican divisions over Sarah Palin

Many media commentators exude a conviction that Republicans have long played dirtier and more dishonest political hardball than do Democrats. Maybe, but I'm not so sure. We are often reminded of Republican sins ranging from the (accurate) Willie Horton ads of 1988 to the (over-the-top) "Swiftboating" of 2004. We hear a lot less about Democratic sins such as President Clinton's distortions of Bob Dole's position on Medicare in 1996 and the NAACP's stunningly scurrilous ad campaign in 2000 associating George W. Bush's opposition to a hate crimes bill with the racist murderers who dragged James Byrd behind a truck.
        - Stuart Taylor, "National Journal"

Most unintended pregnancies in the higher income and education brackets end in abortion. Remember that before you judge or poke fun at Sarah Palin. She's not the candidate whose daughter messed up. She's the candidate who didn't get rid of the mess.
        - William Saletan, "Slate"

According to the conventional wisdom, the Republicans are the party of joyless, fundamentalist prudes, while the Democrats are fun-obsessed libertines. Yet the GOP had a VP with a lesbian daughter, a President with two hard-partying Valley Girls and now their VP candidate is proud of her unmarried pregnant teenage daughter (which some Democrats have hopped on to make a political point). It wasn't meant to be like this.
        - Ian O'Doherty, "The Irish Indepedent"

"Every time you see her you think of her with her hair down and glasses off..."
        - Ray D'Arcy, on RTE's "The Panel", on Sarah Palin's "twinkle"

Governor Palin brings back many Northern Exposure memories. I was always so proud to portray the spunky, self-reliant, smart Maggie O’Connell. Maggie flew her own plane, shot her own moose, marched to the beat of her own drum. She was a breakthrough television character at the time. I am very flattered when the comparisons are made between Maggie O’Connell and Governor Palin. I created a character, but Governor Palin is the real deal.
        - Actress Janine Turner, on her work for the Palin campaign team, "National Review"


Right after the Super Bowl this year, we had Super Tuesday in the presidential primaries. Perfect timing! Now I can take all the time I was devoting to watching NFL analysis on ESPN and roll it directly over to watch presidential primary coverage and analysis on CNN. Have you watched this stuff? Bottom line: It’s sports coverage. The pundits dissect every detail in the hope of figuring out who’s ahead or behind, who has the momentum and where things are going right or wrong for Any Given Candidate. The 2008 presidential election is a sports event not unlike an NFL season. Only longer. A lot longer... Have you seen the CNN Politics TV set? It makes Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room look like an exercise in restraint. The CNN Politics set has managed even to make SportsCenter look low-tech. I’ve always marveled at the extreme stylistics of the “sports desk” on cable sports channels.
        - Jamahl Epsicokhan, "The Sports Event of 2008"

"My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it."
        - John Gross, with an all-purpose speech for presidential candidates

The Iowa caucuses are important, enormously, absurdly, outlandishly — scandalously! — important...  No
state should have this much power every four years. Sorry, that goes for New Hampshire, too... The first-in-the-nation primary elections should rotate. Pick some formula in which two different states get picked every four years. You could have rules accounting for geographic diversity — back-to-back events in North and South Carolina, for example, would be silly. But move it around so that the country isn’t held hostage by the same left-wing and right-wing populists every four years.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review" (Jan'08)

The truth is that what a few thousand Americans think in Iowa and New Hampshire does not trump the tens of millions in states like Florida, New Jersey, New York, and California. The Clinton and Giuliani campaigns were based on this fact, and could still work — as long as the perceived momentum achieved by Obama or Huckabee among tiny populations in these two early states, amplified and exaggerated by spin doctors on television, does not cause second and third thoughts in voters of these key mega-states, inasmuch as most have no firm or fixed views other than a desire to be associated with a winner. What comes across to the viewer is the near complete absence of any independent judgement; instead, the 24-hour buzz makes someone hot or cold, and the pundits adjust accordingly with praise or blame.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "National Review"

We pick presidents for their judgment and values. Anything that gives us a clue as to what those might be is not only fair game, it is the game.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"

"People are looking for a presidential candidate who reminds them more of the guy they work with rather than the guy that laid them off."
        - Mike Huckabee, on the Tonight Show

"I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
        - Hilary Clinton

If Hillary had been campaigning the way she's doing now this time last year instead of doing the queenlier-than-thou Barbra Streisand routine, she'd have won.
        - Mark Steyn, "National Review" (May'08)

Two 50-50 candidates slugging it out, but both Democrats — and so the party’s formidable skills at the politics of personal destruction and its fierce determination to win at all costs are now turned in on itself: As Edwin Glover said of the British defenses at Singapores, the guns are pointing the wrong way. The other day I gave a talk and a Democrat in the audience demanded that I disassociate myself from the sleazy attacks of some Republicans who’ve been referring to “Barack Hussein Obama.” I said I’d be happy to disassociate myself from (Clinton supporter) Bob Kerrey who’s been floating the whole nudge-nudge-Hussein-the-secret-Muslim thing.
        - Mark Steyn, on the Clinton-Obama contest, "National Review"

Dear old Nora Ephron's sneer over at The Huffington Post about whether Pennsylvania's embittered white men are more racist than they're sexist or vice-versa gets things completely upside down. The embittered white men are just about the only demographic weighing these candidates on their merits. The significant proportion of women and blacks in the Democratic base for whom identity politics trumps all is what's stopping either candidate from gaining the momentum that would have emerged in a contest between two squaresville dead European males. It's the identity-uber-alles blocs that prevent the black guy from finishing off the feminist or vice-versa.
        - Mark Steyn, after the Pennsylvania primary, "National Review" (Apr'08)

"The most important 'traditional value' in this election is keeping the Clintons out of the White House."
        - Greg Alterton, urging conservatives to back Rudy Giuliani

"There's something horrible and undefeatable about people who have no life except the worship of power... people who don't want the meeting to end, the people who just are unstoppable, who only have one focus, no humanity, no character, nothing but the worship of money and power. They win in the end."
        - Christopher Hitchens, predicting a Hilary Clinton win (Mar'08)

On Tuesday at Washington's Convention Center, Hillary Clinton made the best speech of her campaign... It was highly partisan, even polar, but it was a more thoughtful critique of the Bush administration, more densely woven and less bromidic, than she has offered in the past, and she used a higher vocabulary... Nobody noticed. A room full of journalists didn't notice this was something new and interesting. And they didn't notice because nobody is listening anymore. Mrs. Clinton is transmitting, but people aren't receiving. She has been branded, tagged. She's been absorbed, understood and categorized. People have decided what they think, and it's not good. It took George W. Bush five years to get to that point. It took her five intense months. Political historians will say her campaign sank with the mad Bosnia lie, but Bosnia broke through only because it expressed, crystallized, what people had already begun to think: too much mendacity there, too much manipulation.
        - Peggy Noonan, "The Wall Street Journal" (Apr'08)

Media reports speak of this being the most "diverse" presidential race ever with a woman, (Clinton), an African-American (Obama) and a Hispanic (New Mexico's Bill Richardson). But this is not ideological diversity, as all are liberals. This race shouldn't be about race, gender, or ethnicity, but ideas... Conservatives should be careful. The nonstop attacks on Bill Clinton did not keep him from winning in 1992, nor did his personal scandals prevent his re-election four years later. Using similar smear tactics on Hillary Clinton will only turn her into a victim and cause many not predisposed to vote for her to support her. Men can't run against a woman the way they run against other men.
        - Cal Thomas, "Town Hall"

As National Review's Jonah Goldberg pointed out, the mainstream media are always demanding the GOP demonstrate its commitment to "big tent" Republicanism, and here we are with the biggest of big tents in history, and what credit do they get? You want an anti-war Republican? A pro-abortion Republican? An anti-gun Republican? A pro-illegal immigration Republican? You got 'em! ...Over on the Democratic side, meanwhile, they've got a woman, a black, a Hispanic, a preening metrosexual with an angled nape – and they all think exactly the same.
        - Mark Steyn, on the diverse Republican contenders, "The OC Register"

At a time like this, we need the best qualified people at the top, whether they are Asian-American women, left-handed Hispanics or whatever. The whole bean-counting mentality — the first woman, the first black, the first this, the first that — is an unbelievably irresponsible self-indulgence at a time when Americans may soon be facing nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists.
        - Thomas Sowell

Republicans, as usual, seem to have more people who would make good presidents than people who would make good presidential candidates. Unfortunately for them, we have elections instead of coronations.
        - Thomas Sowell

I’m anxiously awaiting the eventual election of Hillary Clinton to see if the hysteria about global warming continues in her term. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be one of those issues that just mysteriously drop off the radar screen once a liberal Democrat is in, only to reappear when the next Republican is elected.
        - Letter to "National Review"

People say Rudy Giuliani has no background in foreign policy. I was left wondering whether a lifetime of fighting the Mafia is not exactly the right background for dealing with Islamic terrorism. As he said: the mullahs released the hostages in 1981 because they looked into Ronald Reagan's eyes and saw something they did not see in Jimmy Carter's. I saw that same something in Guiliani's.
        - David Frum, "National Review"

He has solved problems that were previously thought hopeless and achieved successes that others dismissed as impossible. He has made government work — and he has shown that he understands government's limits.
        - David Frum, signing onto Rudy Giuliani's campaign team


The first mainstream viable black candidate... The Obamessiah... But in the privacy of the voting booth, if you look at Obama in non-identity-politics terms, he seems a pleasant fellow who talks almost exclusively in gaseous platitudes.
        - Mark Steyn, on Barack Obama's shallow popularity

What made Obama so appealing was that he did not seem to be a conventional politician. He appeared to be genuinely thoughtful and in earnest about his desire to bring America, which has been repeatedly sliced and diced by political operatives for the past 14 years, back together. But this has gone out the window. Instead, Obama has become an almost permanent panderer to the worst instincts of the Democratic primary electorate, peddling protectionist snake oil and announcing plans for withdrawal from Iraq that have as much connection to the reality on the ground as Donald Rumsfeld’s pre-war planning did. He has also descended from the moral high ground right into the gutter. In many ways, his campaign in Pennsylvania was more negative than Clinton’s and he regularly distorts McCain’s statements for partisan advantage. You can say that this is just politics, but the whole point of Obama was that he was going to take us beyond that.
        - James Forsyth, "The Spectator" (Apr'08)

The essential problem coming to light is a profound disconnect between the Barack Obama of the candidate's speeches, and the Barack Obama who has actually been in politics for the past decade or so. Speechmaker Obama has built his campaign on the promise of reform, the need to change the culture of American political life, to take on the special interests that undermine government's effectiveness and erode trust in the system itself. Politician Obama rose through a Chicago machine that is notoriously the most corrupt in the country. As David Freddoso writes in a brilliantly cogent and measured book, The Case Against Barack Obama, the angel of deliverance from the old politics functioned like an old-time Democratic pol in Illinois. He refused repeatedly to side with those lonely voices that sought to challenge the old corrupt ways of the ruling party.
Speechmaker Obama talks about an era of bipartisanship, He speaks powerfully about the destructive politics of red and blue states. Politician Obama has toed his party's line more reliably than almost any other Democrat in US politics. He has a near-perfect record of voting with his side. He has the most solidly left-wing voting history in the Senate. His one act of bipartisanship, a transparency bill co-sponsored with a Republican senator, was backed by everybody on both sides of the aisle. He has never challenged his party's line on any issue of substance.
Speechmaker Obama talks a lot about finding ways to move beyond the bloody battlegrounds of the “culture wars” in America; the urgent need to establish consensus on the emotive issue of abortion. Politician Obama's support for abortion rights is the most extreme of any Democratic senator. In the Illinois legislature he refused to join Democrats and Republicans in supporting a Bill that would require doctors to provide medical care for babies who survived abortions. No one in the Senate - not the arch feminist Hillary Clinton nor the superliberal Edward Kennedy - opposed this same humane measure.
        - Gerard Baker, "The Times" (Sept'08)

If the Freedom of Choice Act passes Congress, and that's a big if, Obama has promised to sign it the second it hits his desk. (Here he is at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in 2007, vowing, "The first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing I'd do.") Though it's often referred to as a mere codification of Roe, FOCA, as currently drafted, actually goes well beyond that: According to the Senate sponsor of the bill, Barbara Boxer, in a statement on her Web site, FOCA would nullify all existing laws and regulations that limit abortion in any way, up to the time of fetal viability. Laws requiring parental notification and informed consent would be tossed out. While there is strenuous debate among legal experts on the matter, many believe the act would invalidate the freedom-of-conscience laws on the books in 46 states. These are the laws that allow Catholic hospitals and health providers that receive public funds through Medicaid and Medicare to opt out of performing abortions. Without public funds, these health centers couldn't stay open; if forced to do abortions, they would sooner close their doors. Even the prospect of selling the institutions to other providers wouldn't be an option, the bishops have said, because that would constitute "material cooperation with an intrinsic evil."
        - Melinda Henneberger, on Obama's extreme pro-abortion position, "Slate Magazine"

"While a relative owned slaves, another fought for the Union in the Civil War. And it is a true measure of progress that the descendant of a slave owner would come to marry a student from Kenya and produce a son who would grow up to be a candidate for president of the United States."
        - Bill Burton, spokesperson for Barack Obama

May I make an obvious point? If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, there will be huge pressure on the electorate to "do the right thing" and elect our nation’s first black president. So too, if Hillary is the nominee, there will be pressure to elect a woman — though less than in the former case, I believe... That’s what the message of the major media will be, in ’08: Show that you have a sense of history. And if you happen to favor the Republican nominee — well, you have no sense of history, at a minimum... But why not go for Condi Rice, and have it both ways?
        - Jay Nordlinger, "National Review"

There's something pathetic and embarrassing about our obsession with Barack Obama's race. So he's black. Get over it... And why is a man with a white mother considered to be "black," anyway? Is it for this that we fought so hard to get over Plessy v. Ferguson? Would we accept, if Obama's mother had also been Jewish, that he would therefore be the first Jewish president?
        - Christopher Hitchens, "Slate Magazine"

Aren’t most of the people begging for a “new conversation” on race the same folks who shouted “racist!” at anyone who disagreed with them during all the previous conversations?
        - Jonah Goldberg, after Obama's speech in defence of his pastor, "National Review"

This week's minor controversy about Barack Obama's claim that an uncle liberated Auschwitz was quickly put to rest by his campaign. They conceded that it was a great uncle whose unit liberated Buchenwald, 500 miles away. But other, much more troubling, episodes have provided a revealing glimpse into a candidate who instinctively resorts to parsing, evasions and misdirection. The saga over Rev. Jeremiah Wright is Exhibit A. In just 62 days, Americans were treated to eight different explanations... Mr. Obama told an Iowa radio station last October he didn't wear an American flag lapel pin because, after 9/11, it had "became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues . . . ." His campaign issued a statement that "Senator Obama believes that being a patriot is about more than a symbol." To highlight his own moral superiority, he denigrated the patriotism of those who wore a flag. Yet by April, campaigning in culturally conservative Pennsylvania, Mr. Obama was blaming others for the controversy he'd created, claiming, "I have never said that I don't wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins. This is the kind of manufactured issue that our politics has become obsessed with and, once again, distracts us . . . ." A month later Mr. Obama was once again wearing a pin, saying "Sometimes I wear it, sometimes I don't."
        - Karl Rove, on Obama's shifting stories, "Wall Street Journal"

The pundits are confused about Obama, suggesting there's a bit of everything in him — he's black, he's white, he's rich, he's poor... In fact, Obama is clearly one thing, above all others — he's an ambitious lawyers, a breed from which the ruling class is invariably drawn. Ambitious lawyer — that is his race, his creed, his religion, and possible even the colour of his skin. If you dig deep enough, you'll find it's his sexual orientation.
        - Declan Lynch, "The Irish Independent"

Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans.
        - Onion Headline

A chorus for his campaign.
        - Unnamed former Democratic startegist, on the media and Obama

Compared with MSNBC, Fox is Edward R. Murrow at his most idealized.
        - Jay Nordlinger, "National Review"

"We spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements. And summer programs… Do you know what summer camp costs?"
        - Michelle Obama, struggling to make ends meet on $500,000+ a year

"Like many young people coming out of college, with their MA’s and BA’s and PhD’s and MPh’s coming out so mired in debt that they have to forego the careers of their dreams, see, because when you’re mired in debt, you can’t afford to be a teacher or a nurse or social worker, or a pastor of a Church, or to run a small non-profit organization, or to do research for a small community group, or to be a community organizer because the salaries that you’ll earn in those jobs won’t cover the cost of the degree that it took to get the job."
        - Michelle Obama

"We’ve got to stop, because I heard you laughing, Mark Steyn."
"I know. I have never heard anything… I mean, if the premise is that too many people in America go to college and saddle themselves with gazillions of dollars in debt for no good reason, I would agree with that. But the idea that oh, my God, you know, I wanted to run this small non-profit, but I made the mistake of going to Harvard and Princeton, and I got hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, so I had to become a big corporate CEO, I had to found a multi-national company when all I really wanted to do was just be a nice, little grade school teacher, this is ridiculous... She somehow taught herself to be bitter about the terrific opportunities she’s had. How do you say…let’s say you’re a single mom, minimum wage waitress, working for tips in some diner. You’re listening to Michelle Obama talking about her problems. You would think this woman is nuts, that this woman has no understanding of what real misfortune and real tough choices are. And incidentally, I don’t think it’s tough to turn your back on hard jobs, and become a so-called community organizer. I don’t even know what a community organizer is. My own community manages to do without community organizers. I think it’s a rubbish profession, and it wouldn’t make any difference if they all went away tomorrow."
        - Hugh Hewitt and Mark Steyn, listening to Michelle Obama's interview

My fellow Americans, it is an honor to address the Democratic National Convention at this defining moment in history. We stand at a crossroads at a pivot point, near a fork in the road on the edge of a precipice in the midst of the most consequential election since last year’s “American Idol.”
One path before us leads to the past, and the extinction of the human race. The other path leads to the future, when we will all be dead. We must choose wisely.
We must close the book on the bleeding wounds of the old politics of division and sail our ship up a mountain of hope and plant our flag on the sunrise of a thousand tomorrows with an American promise that will never die! For this election isn’t about the past or the present, or even the pluperfect conditional. It’s about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that’s where all his accomplishments are... We meet today to heal the divisions that have torn this country. For we are all one country and one American family, whether we are caring and thoughtful Democrats or hate-filled and war-crazed Republicans... We were inspired by dozens of Democratic senators who declared their lifelong love of John McCain before denouncing him as a reactionary opportunist who would destroy the country.
        - David Brooks, parodying the Democratic convention speeches, "New York Times"


The country Bush leads is diverging from Europe: it is younger, more self-confident, more prosperous, more devout, more diligent, more democratic and, in short, more conservative. Europe must come to terms, not only with Mr Bush, but with the nation that has elected him. This is a president who really can speak for America.
        - Editorial in Britain's "The Daily Telegraph"

"What do you say to those who are concerned about the role of a faith they do not share in public life and in your policies?"
"I will be your President regardless of your faith, and I don't expect you to agree with me necessarily on religion. As a matter of fact, no President should ever try to impose religion on our society. The great tradition of America is one where people can worship the way they want to worship. And if they choose not to worship, they're just as patriotic as your neighbor. That is an essential part of why we are a great nation."
        - President Bush, at his victorious re-election press conference

Oh yes, the most hated man in the world has become the first President since 1988 to win over 50 per cent of the popular vote. In other words, it’s the perfect hat trick: a Republican President, a Republican Senate and a Republican House have been re-elected for the first time since President McKinley and the GOP Congress of 1900.
        - Mark Steyn, "The Spectator"

This is a Democratic party in which nostalgia for tradition is too often considered racism, opposition to gay marriage is bigotry, misgiving about abortion is misogyny, discussion about gender roles is sexism, and confidence in America's global purpose is cultural imperialism.
        - Editorial in the "Wall Street Journal"

The East and West Coasts and the big cities may reflect the sway of the universities, the media, Hollywood, and the arts, but the folks in between somehow ignore what the professors preach to their children, what they read in the major newspapers, and what they are told on TV. The Internet, right-wing radio, and cable news do not so much move Middle America as reflect its preexisting deep skepticism of our aristocracy and its engineered morality imposed from on high.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "American Exceptionalism", "National Review"

When liberals' presidential nominees consistently fail to carry Kansas, liberals do not rush to read a book titled "What's the Matter With Liberals' Nominees?" No, the book they turned into a bestseller is titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?" Notice a pattern here?
        - George Will

The Democrats have ceased to be a party of broad national appeal, capable of winning the hearts, minds and votes of middle America in those red states that the Republicans now dominate. The Democrats have become a party of elites, ethnic minorities and interest groups.
        - Editorial in Ireland's "Sunday Independent"

"I’ve always felt the Democratic party was a kind of alliance between the academics and intellectuals and working-class men and women. I think what happened is that in my lifetime, the academics won."
        - Philip Bredesen, Democratic Governor of Tennessee

"A traditional view of family, no abortion, no gay marriage, a central role for faith, gun over the mantel, low taxes, an assertive and combative view of American interests abroad."
        - Gov. Philip Bredesen, summing up the Republican Party platform in 30 words

H. L. Mencken once described a Puritan as a person who can't stand the idea that someone, somewhere is having a good time. Contemporary Democrats are people who can't stand the idea that someone, somewhere is experiencing good news.
        - Rich Lowry, "The Querulous Party" in "National Review"

For the apparent sake of clarity, and to reinforce one’s own smug sense of moral superiority, Americans are, in general, portrayed as religious rednecks who somehow balance crass consumerism with a fundamentalist spirituality that is only or a tree or two better than rock worship.
        - Editorial in "The Times" on European coverage of the election

The frightened and clueless... self-righteous, gun-totin', military lovin', sister marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport ownin' red-necks...who hijack the word patriot and liken compassion to child-molesting.
        - Brian Reade, doing a good job despisin' Bush voters, in Britain's "Daily Mirror"

Happily, The Guardian, the fever chart of the British Left, decided to arrange a controlled experiment in the effectiveness of the Bush-hating strategy. They targeted the voters of Clark County, Ohio, one of the swingiest counties in a critical swing state, by getting Guardian readers to send them letters explaining why they shouldn't vote for Bush. Antonia Fraser, John Le Carre and other celebrated Guardianistas put pen to paper and marshalled their arguments... In 2000, Clark County went narrowly for Al Gore. On Tuesday, it went decisively for Bush. The local Republican chairman claimed that Fraser and co had done a grand job of rallying the county's Bush voters and getting them to the poll. Thank you, Guardian lefties! Had they launched Operation Massachusetts, Kerry would have lost his own state.
        - Mark Steyn, "Bush Hatred Flops Big", "The Australian"

"The American Revolution was fought for a reason."
        - Linda Rosicka, Director of Clark County Board of Elections

"The Guardian (may have) directly delivered Clark County for Bush. And hence Ohio for Bush. And further hence, America for Bush. So by extension, you can also blame The Guardian for the bombardment of Falluja, the invasion of Iran, the invasion of Syria, thousands of Islamofascist nutters blowing themselves up everywhere from Baghdad to Bank Tube station, dirty bombs and anthrax in Canary Wharf and Times Square, a swift retaliatory and punitive response from the USA on the central mosque in Mecca and world war three."
        - Rod Liddle, "Give Us Conviction and Choice", "The Times"

Do you think we are going to get anything like as excited about our own democracy as we have been about the Yankees’ one? The obsession with American voters was a pathetic act of collective media hubris and vain self-importance. They pressed their noses up against the window of a party they weren’t invited to... getting upset about it in Britain is impotent and embarrassing. Can we stop it now? Nobody is listening.
        - AA Gill, "The Times"

While you may be depressed about the election results, take a minute to reflect on the fact that you live in Denmark.
        - BBSpot Geek Horoscope

The division across the western world is between those of any faith or none who are prepared to tolerate everyone else, and those whose faith rejects tolerance. It is a division between the godly and the worldly, as Simon Schama has put it. On the same side as the godly are to be found a large number of secularistas — militant secularists quite unaware of their own religiosity whose dogmatic intolerance seeks to stamp out religion altogether. It is a divide between triumphalism and tolerance. We are now suddenly being forced to confront that divide, right across the western world and even in the most orderly, prosperous parts of the richest country in history. Bigotry is not only for impoverished peasants.
        - Minette Marrin, "The Times"

The truth is: there is a conservative majority in this country not because the religious right is a majority but because the Republicans have also been able to corner the market on the themes of achievement, individualism, energy, action. And they have also won over those who disdain the politics of resentment, whining and permanent criticism... At home, the Democrats spoke too easily of people injured by fate or economic transition or social injustice, while scanting the positive things that people can and will do to change their own circumstances, to beat the odds, to rise above their own limitations.
        - Andrew Sullivan, "The New Republic"

"For the record people, it is actually possible for an educated person to *choose* to be Republican. Get off your high horses and accept the fact that people think differently from you. Don't dare insult my beliefs unless you have a logical argument to come at me with."
        - Young Republican college student in Pennsylvania on election day, seen on "National Review"

"I really think it's not alarmist to say that if Bush is reelected to another four years, it may be the end of life as we know it. Certainly it will be the end of life for many species, including huge numbers of the species Homo sapiens. Nothing has ever caused me such sustained anger, fear, and sadness as the current administration, and the future they're driving us all toward."
        - Nicole Krauss

I am a registered Democrat. I disagree with George W. Bush on gay marriage, stem-cell research, a woman's right to choose, and, to a lesser extent, a host of other issues, but I am supporting him unreservedly for president. We are in a protracted war with Islamofascism and I do not trust John Kerry to lead us in that war for one minute. Also, I think my party has been hijacked by a cult of know-nothing isolationism out of the 1930s. But if they win, I hope the hell I'm wrong.
        - Roger L. Simom

Other disparaging labels, including "stupid" and "moron" were hurled at Bush voters by various lefties. If so many people — more than 59 million — who voted for President Bush are stupid, what does this say about our costly and monopolistic public school system? The condescension and elitism expressed by the left displays intolerance at its worst. The left is again exposed as hypocritical, preaching tolerance and inclusion, but practicing intolerance and exclusion of all ideas not in conformity with their own. Has it never occurred to liberals that they might be objectively wrong?
        - Cal Thomas, "The Washington Times"

The exit polls were so badly wrong, they initially suggested there were only seven Republican voters in America. The reason for this now appears to be that, whenever an elector said he had just voted for Bush, the exit pollster didn’t count it because he thought the voter was either mad or just kidding. It’s thought that up to 50 million votes were missed because of this method.
        - Armando Ianucci, "Six Secrets of Bush's Victory", "The Times"

Whatever else the re-election of Bush signifies, it was a smack in the face for the intelligentsia. In America they were all at it, from old Chomsky to that movie-maker who looks like a mushy jumbo cheeseburger. Today, I suspect, the intellectuals are impotent because so many of them are no good. In America it is a sign of the times that their leader is the mobile cheeseburger of Michael Moore.
        - Paul Johnson, "The Spectator"

"Bipedal, carbon-based life forms in Nebraska are sexually dimorphic and pair off in long-term commitments called - forgive me if I mispronounce this - 'marriage'? Can you please describe, in as simple terms as possible, the concept of barbecue?"
        - Rich Lowry, on the inability of Liberals to get 'value issues', "National Review"

You cannot be against gay marriage and remain a liberal in good standing. That is the line in the sand these days, and if you even think about crossing it, the Left will save you the trouble and kick you out. It doesn't matter that 49 percent of Americans are okay with gay civil unions. Nor does it matter if, like me, your problem with gay marriage has nothing to do with religion. Those who showed up at the polls to vote for all those state initiatives defining marriage as between a man and a woman are still dismissed as ignorant and dangerous tools of the Christian Right.
        - Catherine Seipp, "National Review"

I think the great irony of this election is that for all the talk of how the bigoted Right won, the Left's loss has sparked far more bigotry. Their clever trick is to defend their hatred of the religious by calling it a hatred of bigotry itself — a rationalization no liberal would tolerate from any other kind of bigot
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"

"There’s 57 times as much money on the Left as on the Right. Fortunately, these people are living in cloud cuckooland and don’t always spend their money well."
        - David Horowitz, founder of conservative think tank "Center for Popular Studies"

"I think now that slavery is taken care of, I'm for letting the South form its own nation... Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy."
        - Bob Beckel, Democratic political consultant, on "Fox and Friends"

The November 9 "Washington Times" reported that Canada's immigration information website usually gets 20,000 U.S. hits daily. The day John Kerry conceded, that number rocketed to 115,016 before easing back to 65,803 November 4, still triple the normal figure. If a democratic election's losers ponder emigration, does that make the winners divisive? Does anyone truly believe that if John Kerry had prevailed, Republicans would advocate seceding from blue America? How many Republicans would consider moving say, to the low-tax, relatively pro-life Republic of Ireland?
        - Deroy Murdock, "Unhinged Left", "National Review"

While sneering at Americans’ geographical ignorance of the rest of the world is commonplace in Britain, only a tiny minority of Europeans could point out Minnesota, Iowa or Kansas on a map of America. Furthermore, living as they do on a continent that contains the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, the Nevada desert, New York City, the Midwest prairies, and almost every conceivable type of flora and fauna, form of natural beauty, extreme of temperature, and girt by the globe’s two greatest oceans, Americans have less need to holiday abroad than any other nation on Earth.
        - Andrew Roberts, "The Times"

If only Britain had the problems that supposedly beset the American democratic system: two parties slugging it out over important issues, including the role of the state, appropriate levels of taxation, and national defence against terrorist attack. How we would like, on this side of the Atlantic, to have the problems of America's returning officers this week in trying to deal with rocketing voter turnout.
        - Stephen Robinson, "The Daily Telegraph"

The point about Christianity in America is not that it is extreme or fundamentalist (though such people certainly exist), but that it is pervasive and people seriously try to live by it. Religion in America is probably the biggest building block of a very patriotic and community-minded society, one in which there is much stronger local government, far higher individual and business contributions to charity, a stronger desire to be respected by neighbours and much less welfare dependency than in Europe. In this sense, Americans are more old-fashioned than we. It is also a society much more at ease with the benefits of technology than ours, one in which the internet is used on a colossal scale to exchange ideas and information among like-minded people, helping them to organise over the huge land-mass. In this sense, Americans are more modern.
        - Charles Moore, "The Daily Telegraph"

Some say that America has stepped back into the past. I don't think so. As so often with that country, what happens there, will start to happen here.
        - Charles Moore, "Values Election",  "The Daily Telegraph"

I'd like to say just one more thing, about the Kerry presidency: It's a little like preemption. You don't know how bad it would have been; you can't prove that it would have been a disaster. But thank goodness it did not come to a test.
        - Jay Nordlinger, "National Review"


"Kerry wins, Kerry loses... civil war."
        - Jon Stewart, on possible outcomes for the election, "The Daily Show"

A nation that finds this kind of thing funny is not about to descend into internecine warfare.
        - Niall Ferguson, on the success of Jon Stewart, "The Telegraph"

"When we went in, there were three countries: Great Britain, Australia and the United States. That's not a grand coalition. We can do better."
"Well, actually, he forgot Poland."
        - Senator Kerry and President Bush, during first 2004 Presidential Debate

"Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending. I want Bush to decide."
        - Zell Miller (Democratic Senator)

"We have some SUVs. We have a Jeep. We have a couple of Chrysler minivans. We have a PT Cruiser up in Boston. I have an old Dodge 600 that I keep in the Senate... We also have a Chevy, a big Suburban."
       - John Kerry's response to how many cars he had after urging Americans to be eco-friendly

Senator John Kerry does not impress. Whereas the president has difficulty in stringing two words together, the Democratic candidate can say nothing in fewer than four long sentences, which is worse.
        - Michael Portillo, actually urging Americans to vote Democrat, "The Times"

Today's Democratic Party is the party of America's poorest people and of its very richest. Today's Democratic Party is the party of America's most politically radical people and also its most politically conservative.
        - David Frum, "Bad for the World and Bad for America", "Telegraph"

All America's enemies — Chriac, Shroeder, al-Qaida — are endorsing John Kerry. They know that he is the man to render American power impotent.
        - Bruce Anderson, "All Ego and No Credo", in "The Irish Independent"

Any argument that John Kerry makes is right, if it means he wins the White House.
        - Le Figaro (of Paris)

"Let's talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I'm talking about the establishment media, not Fox — but they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all. There's going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that's going to be worth maybe 15 points."
        - Evan Thomas, Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor

Like some primitive people, the American and European liberal left seems to believe it can appease the savage gods of Al'Qaeda by sacrificing a scapegoat called George W Bush. Appeasement only increases the appetite for atrocity... the Democrats' foreign policy boils down to wishing that 9/11 hadn't happened and the belief that getting rid of Bush will glue the world back the way it was.
       - Eoghan Harris, in Ireland's "The Sunday Independent"

In this oppositional sort of age, when it is often easier to be defined by what one is against rather than what one is for, I have to say it is his enemies who most justify Bush's reelection. The hordes of the bien-pensant Left in the universities and the media, the sort of liberals who tolerate everything except those who disagree with them. Secularist elites who disdain religiosity except when it comes from Muslim fanatics. Europhile Brits who drip contempt for everything their country has ever done and long for its disappearance into a Greater Europe. Absurd, isolationist conservatives in America and Britain who think the struggles for freedom are always someone else's fight... The United Nations, which, if it had its multilateral way, would still be faithfully minding a world in which half the population lived under or in fear of Soviet aggression. Above all, of course, Middle Eastern militants. If your bitterest enemies are the sort of people who hack the heads off unarmed, innocent civilians, then I would say you are probably doing something right. This may sound petty. It is not. This constellation of individuals, parties and institutions has very little in common other than the fact that it has contrived to be wrong on just about every important issue of my adult lifetime.
        - Gerard Baker, "The Times"

We learned more about John Kerry's kindness to children and small animals than we did about his Iraq policy at the Democratic convention. He did not say that we were wrong to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Neither did he say that we were right... he suggested that President Bush had "misled" America into war with Iraq. As Dick Cheney notes, he is accusing the president of reaching the same conclusion, based on the same data, that he did.
        - National Review editorial after Democratic Convention

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
        - President Bush, in a supposed 'Bushism'

"We will double our special forces to conduct terrorist operations."
        - Senator John Kerry, in an actual 'Bushism'

November 2 promises to be another in a long line of elections decided by those Americans who are the least engaged, least interested in, and least informed about politics. And even if that's an overstatement, the media will work very, very hard to convince the public and the politicians that "moderates," "swing-voters," "independents," and "undecideds" are the heart and soul of American politics... this irony is completely lost in the public debate; the more strongly held your beliefs, the less seriously the media take you. What's ironic about this is that people of strong political or ideological views tend to know what they are talking about more than people who have no strong views at all. This is a fact confirmed by common sense. You need to know about something before you can have strong feelings on it.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "Democracy Is Not a Chinese Restaurant", "National Review"

All of the Democratic contenders say that George W. Bush "divides" Americans like never before and that they — and only they — will be able to unite Americans. Phooey. Well, half phooey. It is true that George W. Bush divides America. But so did Bill Clinton. So would have a President Gore if his voters only understood that pesky butterfly ballot. And, so will any of the Democrats running, if they manage to win the election... Which brings me to the phooeyness of the rest of this "divided America" nonsense. Until you've got more than 600,000 American bodies stacked up like cordwood, spare me the "more divided than ever before" talk. We have this phrase in political discourse which is very useful. It goes like this: "since the end of the Civil War"...
Which brings us back to this Democratic mantra of "bringing America together." Americans are divided because they disagree with each other. If you think unity is the highest political value, you need to ask yourself: Would you rather have national agreement on positions you fundamentally oppose, or would you rather have divisiveness with a chance for victory another day? If you answered honestly, stop complaining about America being divided.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "Diversion Diversions" in "National Review"

You’re not going to find John Kerry inspiring unless you’re married to him or he literally saved your life. Obviously, neither of those is a strategy that can be rolled out on a national level.
        - Michael Kinsley

"Get the f*****g pony and put it in the hotel room … if you can't get a pony get a goat but I want it in women's lingerie … and in that case you do have to stay with the goat or the goat will f*****g eat the lingerie and the joke will be ruined."
        - Jim Loftus, 'pranking' fellow Kerry staffer Marvin Nicholson, "Inside the Bubble"

"John Kerry talks about seeing two Americas. The is mirrored by the fact that America sees two John Kerrys."
        - Dick Cheney, speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention

The other party's nomination battle is still playing out. The candidates are an interesting group with diverse opinions: for tax cuts and against them; for NAFTA and against NAFTA; for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act; in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.
        - George W. Bush fires an opening salvo at Senator John Kerry

"I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
        - Senator John Kerry, 'explaining' why he voted against funding US troops in Iraq

His vote against the first Gulf War was, he says, a sign of his support for the first Gulf War. Whereas his vote in favor of the Iraq war was a sign of his opposition to the Iraq war. And his vote against funding America's troops in Iraq is a sign of his support for America's men and women in uniform. On the same principle, I think the best way voters this November can demonstrate their support for John Kerry is by voting against him.
        - Mark Steyn, "Kerry still can't get his Stories Straight", "Chicago Sun Times"

We're not the only ones who've noticed that Mr. Kerry's statements on Iraq aren't so much "nuanced" as simply irreconcilable... everything he has done and said only reinforces his image as a sailor who tacks with the political winds.
        - Wall Street Journal editorial

You opposed the 1991 Gulf War even though Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, had invaded another country, and France and Germany had supported the war. In the current conflict no WMDs have been found, France and Germany oppose the action, and Saddam hadn't invaded another country. Yet you recently stated that knowing what you know now, you'd nonetheless authorize the use of force: even though you voted against funding it. Could you please reconcile these positions?
        - Peter Kirsanow, "Twenty Questions for John Kerry", "National Review"

Every time you think it can't get worse in Iraq, take a look at Darfur. Sudan is the kind of foreign policy the United States would have if it followed the "secret plan" of John Kerry and catered to the French and German politicians who seemingly crave Bush's defeat.
        - Dennis Boyles, "What a 'Sensitive War' looks like", "National Review"

It's hard to remember a time when one presidential candidate so completely controlled the agenda of the other. If they were cellmates, Kerry would be doing Bush's laundry by now. John Kerry's whole foreign policy is cemented to the notion that allies are everything. And yet he spends precious time ridiculing America's allies as a "coalition of the bribed" and letting his surrogates call the Iraqi prime minister a Bush puppet.
         - Jonah Goldberg, "The Kerry Syndrome", "National Review"

A few Democrats pin a vague hope on the so-called "debates" - which are actually joint press conferences allowing no direct exchange between the candidates - but most are much more cynical. Some really bad news from Iraq, or perhaps Afghanistan, and/or a sudden collapse or crisis in the stock market, and Kerry might yet "turn things around." If you calculate that only a disaster of some kind can save your candidate, then you are in danger of harboring a subliminal need for bad news. The unfortunately necessary corollary of this - that bad news for the American cause in wartime would be good for Kerry - is that good news would be bad for him.
        - Christopher Hitchens, "Flirting with Disaster", "MSN Slate"


The contradiction at the center of Kerry's political persona is that he now wants to pretend that Vietnam was a noble war populated by American heroes, when he made his name by smearing it as an unworthy war waged by war criminals. Kerry can probably never fully resolve that contradiction, although he could make a start by repudiating and apologizing for his 1971 remarks. But that might require more moral courage than Kerry has ever mustered, in Vietnam or after.
        - Editorial in "National Review"

"John Kerry's campaign seems to be summed up this way: 'I went to Vietnam, yadda, yadda, yadda, I want to be president.' He would have the American people ignore his 19-year Senate record."
        - Terry Holt, Bush Campaign Team

As a correspondent pointed out to me in an e-mail, each episode of the HBO series Band of Brothers, begins with a voiceover in which the narrator says of the World War II soldiers portrayed in the program: "I was not a hero, but I was surrounded by heroes." In contrast, what John Kerry is saying in essence about his "band of brothers" is that "in Vietnam, I was a hero, but I was surrounded by war criminals."
        - Mackubin Thomas Owens, "National Review"

"If you challenge the heroism of someone who served in Vietnam, you're a liar and a Republican stooge. But if you make unfounded and undocumented claims that the people you served with are war criminals, you're.... the Democratic candidate for the Presidency."
        - Lona Manning

The media have made such a bugaboo about "negative" statements or "attacks" that you might think political campaigns are supposed to be nothing but happy talk. But which is worse, that some unpleasant facts come out during a campaign or that someone is allowed to lie his way into the White House, with all our lives in his hands, on the basis of image and spin.
        - Thomas Sowell

"So, the Boston Globe has called upon Bush to denounce the Swift Boat veterans' advertisements because they're allegedly telling lies about Kerry. Will the Boston Globe now call upon Kerry to denounce Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 because it tells lies about Bush?"
        - Duncan Campbell

Where Mr Bush wangled himself into the Texas Air National Guard and became a fighter pilot, Mr Kerry volunteered for Vietnam service in 1966, which was very patriotic, courageous and creditable.  However by volunteering instead of waiting to be drafted, Mr Kerry was allowed to choose his service.  He chose the US Navy, where only pilots were seeing much combat and he wasn’t a pilot... Mr Kerry is to be admired for his undoubted heroics under fire, but it is relevant to point out that he faced action despite every effort he made to avoid it, and he then bailed out at the earliest opportunity. He was an accidental hero. Meanwhile, Mr Bush’s own Vietnam survival plan had him flying F102 fighter planes all over Texas.
       - "John Kerry: Accidental Hero", "The Tallrite Blog"

The Kerry campaign is delighted with the overall perception that its boy gallantly volunteered to do his duty and emerged a war hero, while - it chortles - Bush skulked within the comfort of the Air National Guard in Texas. In fact, like many well connected white boys, both tried (understandably) to avoid action in Vietnam by volunteering for safe branches of the US armed forces. Bush joined the air force reserve in Texas, to protect the US from Mexico; Kerry volunteered for the US navy, at a time when it seemed the Vietnamese were as great a threat to American seamen as Papa Doc's Tonton Macoute were to the Eskimos of the Yukon.
        - Kevin Myers, "The Irish Times"

Even odder things are happening to Kerry's "left." Michael Moore, whose film Kerry's people have drawn upon in making cracks about the president, repeatedly says that you can't comment on the Iraq war - or at least not in favor of it - if you haven't shown a willingness to send a son to die there. Comes the question - what if you haven't got a son of military age? Comes the next question - should it only be veterans or potential veterans who have a voice in these matters? If so, then what's so bad about American Legion types calling Kerry a traitor to his country? The Democrats have made a rod for their own backs in uncritically applauding their candidate's ramrod-and-salute posture. They have also implicitly subverted one of the most important principles of the republic, which is civilian control over military decisions. And more than that, they have done something eye-rubbingly unprincipled, doing what Reagan and Kissinger could not do: rehabilitating the notion of the Vietnam horror as "a noble cause."
        - Christopher Hitchens, "John Kerry's Dubious Vietnam Revisionism", "MSN Slate"

If we cannot make judgments about the alleged crimes committed in battle unless we were there, how can we make judgments about their heroism? Is the fog of war so selective that it can conceal the bad a man does, but not the good?
Maybe we should count the side with the most shrapnel in its collective body and declare it the most qualified to lead the country? ...We do not live in the world of 'Starship Troopers' where only veterans are allowed to vote.
        - Jonah Golbderg, "Unless You Were There", "National Review"

The charge is the journalistic equivalent of an assassin's bullet for Dan Rather. Had he refused to go to war in defense of these documents, he might have survived. But the inevitable fact is that he will be drawn into a war he cannot win. The very best he can do is defend the slender possibility that these documents could be real. At this point it seems impossible that he can prove they are real. Indeed, Rather has already largely conceded all this. His defenses are all about how you can't prove the documents are false, as if the burden of proof for a journalistic icon is for other people to prove what he says is wrong rather than for him to prove it is right.
        - Jonah Goldberg, on the CBS fake documents scandal, "National Review"

Worse than being duped, worse than cobbling together a highly politicized hit-piece during a war and in the waning days of an election, worse than the shady nature of the "unimpeachable" sources and the likely sordid origins of the story, and worse even than the pathetic nature of CBS's "expert" witnesses — worse than all that was Dan Rather's ten-day denial of reality, culminating in the surreal half-admission that the phony documents could not be verified as accurate. That's the equivalent of saying that a corpse cannot be proven to be alive... Millions of Americans learned long ago that there are probably more liberals on Fox than conservatives on PBS, NPR, CBS, ABC, and NBC combined — and the former are honest about politics in a way the latter are not.
        - Victor Davis Hanson, "The Bankrupt Generation", "National Review"


We began the year 2000 having been told that every computer in the world would crash. We ended the year waiting a month past the national election to find out that George W. Bush was our President, thanks to the outdated technology of how we cast a vote.
        - Anxiety Center

Al Gore is a dishearteningly right-wing Democrat who favors the death penalty, welfare "reform," an anti-missile system, and sanctimonious religious blather. And he is the candidate I support. The alternative is far worse: G.W. Bush is a shallow, unprincipled, inarticulate corporate shill. That's why I'm voting Nader. Here in New York, where Gore is way ahead, I have that luxury. But if anyone in a battleground state votes Nader, I'll hold him personally responsible for the end of affirmative action, the eroding of habeas corpus, and the loss of reproductive rights. And for every time some chic European sexpot intellectual mocks me for living in a country with a baboon president.
        - Randy Cohen

Al’s sneering disdain for Dubya in the first debate isn’t just personal distaste but emblematic of his arrogance in government: We’ll give you tax credits: but only if you live your life the way we say, from cradle to grave, from pre-school child care to seniors’ health plans.
        - Mark Steyn, "Chicago Sun Times"

For the most part compassionate conservatism is little more than pork wrapped up in schmalz.
        - Andrew Stuttaford, "National Review"

On energy policy, Mr Gore criticised Mr Bush's proposal to extend oil exploration to the Alaska Wild Life Refuge to reduce dependence on imports. But Mr Bush was unrepentant and said it was better to open up "a small part of Alaska" instead of having to import one million barrels of oil daily from Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
        - The "Irish Times", after the first Presidential debate

The double standard in the initial response from mainstream media to the Lieberman candidacy has been too glaring to ignore. Let George W. Bush make one brief visit to Bob Jones University and he receives months of acid criticism because that school forbids interracial dating and expresses disrespect for Catholicism. Meanwhile, Mr. Lieberman prays every week in Orthodox Jewish congregations that refuse to recognize any marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew, reject conversions by non-Orthodox rabbis, insist on divided seating between men and women, and defy all notions of Barbara Boxer-Maxine Waters "morality" by opposing the ordination of females.
        - Michael Medved

When you are your own worst enemy, someone who tells you that other people are the cause of your problems is no friend. Already media and political slimes are trying to dig up dirt from the youthful days of Texas Governor George W. Bush. Apparently this is a continuation of the spin-masters' attempts to confuse private actions with public illegalities like perjury and obstruction of justice. Personally, I could not care less about Governor Bush's youth. I am just happy to be alive after some of my own youthful actions.
        - Thomas Sowell

"There is too much money in politics!" is one frequent question-begging assertion. Too much compared to what? More money was spent advertising re-runs of "Seinfeld" than was spent by both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in 1996.
"Money can buy elections!" is another equally shrill cry. But innumerable wealthy candidates, rom William Randolph Hearst in the past to Steve Forbes more recently, have repeatedly gone down to defeat, despite greatly outspending their opponents.
        - Thomas Sowell

No American will ever be able to seriously say again 'my vote doesn't count' The American people have spoken... its just going to take some time to figure out what they said.
        - Bill Clinton

My grandmother can vote correctly, why can't yours?
        - Bush supporter slogan

Anybody who isn't confused by this doesn't really understand it.
        - Bill Clinton

I had a horrible night last night. I dreamed that aliens from outer space landed and said, 'Take me to your leader.' I didn't know what to do.
        - Jay Leno

"I believed in a lot of what he says until he said it."
        - Will Durst, on Al "The Human Dial Tone" Gore

America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests, and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.
And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
        - George W Bush, Inaugural Address 2001.

"In fact, when you look at the voting behavior of states - based on 2000 per capita income - 11 of the 13 wealthiest states voted for Gore while 15 of the poorest 17 states voted for Bush."
        - Daniel Gross "Slate.MSN.Com"

In 1951, Winston Churchill won a Conservative majority in Britain with 48% of the vote as against 48.8% for Clement Atlee's Labour party. In 1974, Harold Wilson formed a Labour minority government with 37.1% of the vote, even though the Conservatives under Edward Heath won 37.9%.
        - David Frum, showing that victory doesn't always go to the most votes, "National Review"

Disenfranchisement is something the government does to you. It's not something you do to yourself. If you can't figure out how to fill in the ovals or punch the chads - and some minority of voters will always botch it - that doesn't mean your right to vote was rescinded. It means that you didn't take your right to vote seriously enough to pay attention to the instructions.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "The Myth of the Disenfranchised"

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