And the fun continues…

Shock and awe.  That has to be what the reeling ex-Mjaority Leader Malcolm Smith is feeling right now.  And it just keeps piling on..

From the latest news reports, Smith has lost it all, even if the Democrats somehow regain control of NY’s Senate chamber.  The latest indictaes that even if the Democrats retake control, Smith will be ousted from any and all leadership positions.  Even the efforts of The One’s political team are sacraficing Smith in a counter-coup bid.  The problem with this is that if the Dems do regain control, then who will be elevated to the vaunted leadership positions?

That’s the question for the Democrats.  If not Smith, then who?  Carl Kruger and Tom Stachowski are two options, but the rumor mill, from many sources, seems to point to them flipping sides to join Espada and Monserratte.  But I would venture that if Smith is sacraficed, then these two would “remain in the fold,”   especially if they are offered the top two slots as President of the Senate and Majority Leader.  However, given their generally more conservative leanings, I doubt they will be acceptable to the City-crats.  Reuben Diaz sr could be the wild card in all this.  He’s stated that he won’t switch sides, but will he support a counter-coup  if Smith is involved?  Diaz was one of the “gang of four” who threatened Smith to back the GOP back in January.

Then there’s our accidnetal governor, David Patterson.  He’s losing ground at every turn.  The latest polls show him to be the least popular governor in the nation.  That’s pretty impressive given his predecessor’s antics, and the ancilliary hubub concerning former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.  Patterson is being put to the test here, and is failing each and every time.  Is it any wonder that AG Andrew Cuomo has not weighed in on this business?  Not really, as the weaker Patterson is, the easier his time to get the gubenatorial nomination will be.  Provided Patterson decides to run that is.

But it gets worse for the “reform agenda” Democrats.  NYPIRG, the NY Public Interest Group, a noted left leaning organization, has come out in favor of the GOP’s coup. “We believe, on first cut (the new rules) are another step in the right direction,” said NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner.  Ouch.  That one goes straight to the Democratic agenda.

Oh for sure some have come out vocally against this move, beyond the politicians that is.  A few hundred gathered at the Capital to voice their displeasure.  A survey of those involved, from watching the news coverage, shows the usual lunatic leftist, and a fine selection of various special interest groups who stand to have thier own agendas side lined by the loss of their political allies.

I fully expect this to end by Friday.  I doubt any serious legal action will happen, more so as AG Cuomo seems to be trying very hard to stay out of teh fray.  Going so far as to ignore Smith’s “extortion and influence peddling” charges against Espada and Monserratte.  No matter what the DNC robocalls are encouraging those involved to report to Cuomo.

Ah, NY politics.  Gotta love it.

Some reading links:

Fred Dicker (NY Post)

NY Post Coverage

Capital News 9

Joe Bruno on the events




If this was a Republican candidate doing this, or encouraging or supporting this sort of thing, the leftists would be up in arms, as would the mass media.  They’d all be screaming “fascism” and “censorship,” and “violations of first amendment right.”  Can you imagine the outcry?

But this isn’t a Republican doing this.  It’s Barack Obama’s campaign, and his well placed supporters.  Essentially, this boils down to threatening anyone who criticizes Obama in a TV, Radio, or print ad with criminal charges.  Can you say voter intimidation?  Can you say violation of free speach?  Ahhh, but according to those behind this assault, it’s all about “truth.” 

That’s the linguistic game being played.  It’s a double standard, all in how you spin it.  If a Republican does something like this, it’s all about “censorship” and “fascism.”  When a democrat does it, it’s about “promoting truth,” and “honesty.”  Bah.   It’s the same action, just spun differently.

And people honestly think that Obama is some sort of “new and fresh poltician.”  Nope, he’s an old school Chicago politician, in the best Richard Daly traditions.  Heck, his campaign staff are probably rumaging through cemetaries for additional voters.

Scoring the Debate

Well, it was an interesting debate on Friday. 

I must admit that I didn’t watch all of it.  I kept switching back and forth with the Red Sox game.  Probably should have stuck with just the debate.

Even so, I watched the majority of it.  It was intriguing to watch.  Two very different styles and tacts at play on a national stage.  On the whole, I call it a draw.  Neither candidate landed a “knock out blow,” or really grabbed the lead.  In part this may have been due to the moderator.

Let me take a moment to praise Jim Lehrer.  He is perhaps the last true jouranlist in mass media.  He played no favorites, and did his utmost best to keep the candidates on topic, and on time.  He even went so far as to “forcefully” cut off the candidates when they started into lengthy off topic expositions.  This was a very refreshing change from previous debates where various moderators would favor one candidate, or just allow them to ramble on and on. 

The back and forth between McCain and Obama was for the most part solid.  There were a few instances where Obama became petulant, and McCain got testy, but those were exceptions.  Even so, nothing new was forthcoming out of this debate.  In general it was the same old rhetoric, though McCain did float the concept of a spending freeze on the Federal Budget.  There was nothing new from Obama.

Stylistically, neither candidate got on a roll.  Obama was hurt by the time limits, and Lehrer’s strict adherence to them.  So he never got a rhythm going.  What works for rallies and stump speaches doesn’t work in a debate format.  In addition, Obama never got his thoughts together fast enough to really make a point.  Too many hems and haws and pregnant pauses.  So while he looked good on stage, he never quite got to conveying his positions.

McCain suffered from being unable to keep consistent in his style.  He avered between speaking to the audience (and the TV audience at large), and schooling Obama.  Responding to one question he would speak to America, laying out his positions, and in the next he would be scolding Obama like a teacher to an inattentive student. 

This debate as not going to sway anyone one way or another.  People will take away what they want to from this.  Obama followers will cro about how wonderful Obama looked and how he was smooth on stage.  McCain supporters will state that Obama showed his naivetee and inexperience, and just threw out buzz words with no substance.  Independents and undecideds will still be so.

Obama to choose VP soon

If you haven’t heard this by now, you need to come out from that cave up in the mountains.  The current news cycle is so slow, that everyone is talking about this every 15 minutes on TV and Radio.  Then there are all the articles in print and on the web, and all the blather on talk radio.  When the biggest aspect is not who he’ll chose (that only gets mentioned twoce an hour), but that he’ll be making the first announcement via text message, it shows exactly how slow the news cycle is, and how desperate some outlets are to pump out any “positive” Obama story.

But enough of that.  Here are my top suspects for the #2 slot:

1. Joe Biden (D-DEL).  A veteran Senator, well rounded in the foreign policy arena.  He’ll bring much needed foreign policy experience to the ticket, and give voters a bit of reassurance about Obama’s general lack of experience.  He’s a good debator, and always comes prepared.  Downside is he’s from Delaware, and is not a dynamic campaigner.

2. Evan Bayh (D-IND).  Bayh could help deliver an usually “safe” Republican state.  He’s also young and energetic, which would emphasize the “change” meme.  Main problem here is the lack of a consistent policy between Obama and Bayh.  Bayh supports restrictions on abortion, and supported the War in Iraq. 

3. Wesley Clark (former General). Wes would bring a wealth of foreign policy experience, and an undeniably olid background in military affairs.  He has the name recognition, and “face time” from his stint as an analysist on CNN.  Darwbacks are that Clark has been terribly inconsistent in his views, doesn’t campaign all that well, and doesn’t draw much from centrist Democrats or Indpendents.

4. Tim Kaine (D-VA).  Kaine is similar to Bayh in that he’s “young,” is a Democrat in a typically Republican State, and has executive experience as governor.  problem here is he has no foreign policy experience, and has only been governor for 3 years.

5. Bill Richardson (D-NM).  Bill has a lot going for him.  A former governor, and cabinet secretary, plus has the military background.  Richardson would appeal to centrist Democrats, Independents, and even some Republicans.  Problem here is two fold.  First, he was running against Obama for the Presidential bid, and was a close Clintonista at one time.  Second is policy differences, notably on gun control (Richardson has supported 2nd amendment rights).  The “issue” of having a Black-Latino ticket is not the issue it’s being made out to be.

5A. Sam Nunn (D-GA).  Somehow I forgot that Sam Nunn was in consideration.  Correcting that error now.  Sam is a intersting choice.  He has the chops on foreign policy and defense, and has been out of Washington for a while now.  He’s also a Southerner, which will help Obama in Dixieland.  drawback is that he’s a boring speaker, and doesn’t translate well into the energetic cmpaigner and debator the VP usually needs.

6. Bill Nelson (D-FLA). Another Bayh type, a Democrat in a Republican state.  But his low key style may not translate onto the national stage.  Though he has experience on various Senate committees, it probably won’t be the reassurance about experience voters are looking for.

7. Kathleen Sebilius (D-KA).  an interesting option.  She has good executive eperience, and she’s popular in Kansas.  She’s crossed party lines before, so could help the “not politics as usual” refrain.  Biggets problme would be it would be a direct slap at Hillary Clinton and her supporters. 

8. Chet Edwards (D-TX).  Nancy Pelosi’s “dark horse.”  A 20 year House veteran is not going to help push the “change” meme.  Conflicting policy differences, such as drilling in the ANWAR, and on foreign policy and defense matters don’t help.  He’d be a symbolic choice only, as his district includes Crawford, Texas, where the Bush ranch is.

9. Hillary Clinton (D-NY).  She still has a shot, but it’s a long one.  Hillary is a good/bad choice.  She’s good in that it brings her, her organization, and supporters over en mass, with very few defections.  The bad is that she’s such a divisive figure on the national stage, and would energize the opposition beyond what anyone else could. 

10. Jack Reed (D-RI).  Has the policy balancing aspects Obama needs in foreign policy and defense.  But he’s from Rhode Island, is little known outside of New England, and doesn’t gnerally campaign well.

It’s not worth mentioning Chuck Hagel (R-OK).  While the possibility makes the talkingheads wag and weave and bob nonstop, it’s just such an extreme long shot as to be all but impossible.  It’s like when McCain’s name was floated as John Kerry’s VP candidate in 2004.  Hagel will not jump ship from the GOP to run with Obama.