McCain on Meet the Press

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rdowns, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #1
    I thought this was his last chance to speak to the American public and try and reverse his campaign meltdown. I thought he did a pretty poor job and just regurgitated the talking points that have not been working.

    Brokaw asked some pretty tough questions and McCain avoided answering most of them. I thought he had a real opportunity to score some points with undecided voters but he chose to not anger the base. Examples

    Refused to comment on Limbaugh's reaction to Powell endorsement. He could have used this as an opportunity to spank Limbaugh and rise above the fray but he didn't.

    Could have used the question on Palin's $150,000 wardrobe to say the party made a mistake and this is the kind of waste I am campaigning against, especially given the dire economic times we are in.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    I'll have to wait until it's up on YouTube or something. How would you say his demeanor was?
     
  3. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    He was pretty even tempered. There were a few questions where his facial reactions told you he was pissed. I think he lost a huge opportunity here.
     
  4. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Cheers. I'll watch them after I do the dishes. :D

    Meanwhile, there's a summary here for those on dial-up or with slow connections.
     
  6. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    It'll be interesting to know, after the election, who was responsible for this awful campaign and the decision to pick Palin. They started eyeing Palin already in 2006, long before the primaries, and something tells me she was picked for him by the almighty theo-cons, and would have been the VP candidate no matter who won the primaries.

    McCain was destroyed by a catch 22. The only way he could have posed a serious threat to Obama in GOP-hostile times, would have been to align himself close to the middle in the hope of winning over independents and moderate democrats, while failing to energize the base (as if these subhumans deserved anyone's attention). But the only way he could win the primaries, was to sell his soul to the devil and move all the way to the far right. And in doing so he alienated all the independents.

    I've never seen such an epic FAIL, in any election, in any country I keep an eye on. To see such cluelessness on the highest national level in a large, developed country is frightening. I don't know, maybe the US has always been a banana republic but foreign media were spared the gritty embarrassing details back then... but this year, when the whole world is more interested than ever before (because we can't wait for the Bush era to end), info is more abundant and accessible than ever before. And I think that most people are shocked, and that this election process is doing serious damage to America's image. The smearing, the blatant lies, the negative campaigning, voter fraud, voter suppression, the ignorance and incompetence of one candidate in particular... it's like something out of Zimbabwe or Albania. I think that most foreigners who follow this campaign are rethinking their view of politics in their own countries. I used to whine about Swedish domestic politics and the dubious competence of some politicians, but after following this US election, I will never complain again.
     
  7. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #7
    I'm sure he said "Joe the Biden" at one point.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    Well, that's harsh. You'd think the voters were preparing to elect McCain and Palin, when in fact they're preparing to do something nobody would have seriously predicted even a year ago.

    I find politics everywhere to be pretty difficult to defend, but what a great many people outside of the US don't understand about our political system is that the virtually constant political season was effectively designed in by the framers of the Constitution. If any other country holds a national election every two years, then I have not heard of it. Yes, it does go on and on, and we do in the end get kind of sick of the campaigning by the time election day rolls around. But rest assured that almost the moment this election is in the books, we'll start talking about 2010 and 2012. That's just the way it's done here -- and always has been.

    I don't see the justification for criticizing an electoral system in a country in which you do not live, especially when it is so clear that every national electoral system has its own flaws and peculiarities. Please don't make me account for them.

    I also suspect that people abroad are digesting far too much TV coverage of this election. The "banana republic" remark is very, very strange. To those of us who actually live and vote here, this election looks very different. It's a political earthquake unlike any I've seen in my lifetime. It's a major turning-point election. Maybe people looking in from the outside can't see that; if they don't, it's not our fault.
     
  9. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    He did.


    MR. BROKAW: Do you honestly think that Barack Obama would have as his advisers--Warren Buffet; Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve under Ronald Reagan, who is widely credited with saving the economy at that time; Bob Rubin, former Treasury secretary; and even Chris Buckley, the son of the godfather of the modern conservative movement--both endorsing his economic policies and help shaping them if they thought he was a socialist of some kind?

    SEN. McCAIN: All I know is that Senator Obama's record is very clear. It's his record, not Volcker's record, not anybody else's. He started out in the lefthand lane of American politics and has remained there. He has been judged the most liberal United States senator. Biden's number three. "Joe the Biden" is number three. Bernie Sanders is number two. And, and I respect that. But let's not, let's not call it anything but it is.
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #10

    Agreed, but as I've maintained before, in my opinion the best coverage is online and from the blogs and press where you can get into the nitty-gritty of analysis. Not from TV.

    Not all of us who are overseas are skating over the surface, but understandably, many of us are disgruntled by the occasional expressions of American exceptionalism.

    In many ways that some Americans occasionally fail to fully understand, is how your government's policies have far-sweeping effects on all of us.
     
  11. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #11
    If you have Sky it's on channel 505 (CNBC) at 10pm
     
  12. JG271 macrumors 6502a

    JG271

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    #12
    I'm currently watching some of the clips online, he keeps looking like a deer in headlights when the interviewer shows the older clips. His many contradictions are being shown up, and he hasn't fully answered most questions or explained himself in many cases. Not looking very good...
    He's still going on about housing, which is a major problem but only one part of it.
     
  13. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #13
    I was cleaning my kitchen while it was on and mostly listened. A very different perspective as I watch the clips online that I only heard earlier.
     
  14. jplan2008 macrumors regular

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    #14
    Well, I live in the U.S. and the political process here is flawed. I don't think it's necessary to compare it with other countries to see that, it's pretty clear on its own. But as BV alluded to, the hypocrisy of our "spreading democracy," and telling other countries how to behave makes comparisons valid.

    I agree that this election is a "major turning point election." But I don't think that means there will be many significant changes in how we conduct ourselves if Obama is elected. We will still conduct terrorism around the globe, insert ourselves with force in other countries, our foreign policy decisions will be based on economic self-interest, we will still have a tax and economic system that favors the rich and corporations, we still won't have a participatory democracy, vast numbers of adults still won't vote, corporations will still control the media and how any debates are framed, we will still warm the globe, etc, etc.

    But there will be improvements in all-of-the-above with Obama, and they'd be worse than ever with McCain.

    I hope that the changing of the demographics of the country, and the Internet will have a big effect in the long-term. That will hurt the GOP more, but I'm not sure that anyone in power is happy about that. The Democratic Party doesn't really represent the interests of ordinary people, either.

    I think that even if Obama weren't the nominee, we'd have some other sorts of racist attacks this year by the GOP -- the fact that in 40-ish years, whites will be the minority in this country must be terrifying them. The fact that many are fact-checking at least some of the talking points on the Internet also means they need to change their whole strategy. The only possible strategy is all-in with negativity, charges of anti-Americanism, lies and racism -- always a big part of their strategy, but worse this year. I expect it to only get worse over the coming years, and that's why Obama's message of unity is so crucial, and why I'm excited about his presidency. His policies are better than we've had, and certainly better thought-out, but there's nothing radical about them.
     
  15. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #15
    Am I the only one who's creeped out by McCain's freaky renegade thumb? Everytime he talks, that gnarled digit of his is pointing straight up, like he was on a heavy dose of viagra but due to some weird crosswiring phenomenon, the erection went straight to his thumb.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    I see these as three, essentially unrelated points.

    First, I don't believe you get the flavor of much but conflict from blogs, and not much better from the traditional media. Even here, if you did nothing but watch the cable news stations, you'd get the impression that it was war in the streets or some such.

    As for "American exceptionalism," it helps to understand that this is a recently minted term created to describe a very specific slice of conservative ideology. It is not mainstream thinking; in fact I'd guess that maybe less than 5% of Americans could even define its meaning, and not many more would agree with it the ideas represented by the term even if they did know what it meant.

    Finally, I believe many of us appreciate that the outcomes of politics in this country have a profound impact on the rest of the world. That does not however excuse distorted characterizations of the political process in the US, which I find that people outside the country seem to understand only vaguely at best.
     
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Depends on the blogs and press you read.

    Evidence of which I see in many articles, assumptions and views, even occasionally in this forum.

    I would argue that many of us have a clearer understanding of the issues and positions than many of your own citizens.
     
  18. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #18
    Maybe you don't, but your politicians do. They make a big deal out of sending observers to other countries to make sure that there's no foul play in elections. Therefore it's only fair that America is subjected to similar scrutiny.

    TV? Nah. I have no use for that kind of watered down info. Swedish coverage is meaningless, and American TV coverage is kind of tabloid-ish and shamelessly partisan. I follow this over the web (Politico, Drudge, FoxNews, CNN, RealClearPolitics, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, FiveThirtyEight, HuffPost, NYP, WSJ, WP etc). Yeah, most of those are partisan too, but at least I balance it by observing both sides.

    Strange? Well, a banana republic is a country whose government is primarily concerned with economics benefiting a colonial or corporate power, rather than values of democracy and social welfare. In a wider sense, it's used to describe a country where the democratic process is a little chaotic, ad hoc and corrupt.

    I think the US fits both definitions to a tee, and these are some of the observations I base that assessment on:

    1) Developed countries typically have a voter turnout of approximately 75%. In Sweden we have a voter turnout average of 86%. In the US, you have a voter turnout of 54%. This puts you behind actual banana republics like Brazil, Costa Rica and Venezuela. The fact that only half of the voters bother to vote is usually a sign that the faith in the democratic process is extremely low.

    2) The US has a long and sordid history of voter suppression and caging: Poll taxes and literacy tests (pre-1965), felons are banned from voting (the US is the only democracy in the world that does this), ex-felons are disenfranchised in many states, and then there's partisan election directors, phone jamming, voter names systematically removed from ballots, disinformation ("the voting place has changed", "voting has been pushed back to a later date", "skip this election" flyers etc), and whatnot. Nearly all these schemes appear to target Dem voters in general and black voters in particular. If you think these practices are somehow commonplace and "all part of the game" in developed countries, let me tell you about the worst case of fraud reported in a Swedish election: In 2006, two election workers in an immigrant neighborhood were caught handing out pre-sealed envelopes where the ballots had already been inserted. That's illegal -- you're supposed to insert the ballot and seal the envelope yourself, in the privacy of a booth. This was A) an isolated incident that affected only a few dozen votes, and B) 90% of the immigrants vote for that party anyway.

    3) You don't have a standardized voting procedure. It differs from state to state, county to county. You have a myriad of different voting machines, some electronic, some from the Cretaceous era. Some ballots are punch cards with 'chads' that fall out, invalidating the vote. Other ballots are so (intentionally) complicated that many voters don't understand them. Some 2 million votes are spoiled in every US presidential election. That's nearly 2% of the votes! In an election where the difference in popular vote is often less than 2 points!! By contrast, in the 2006 election in Sweden, 2,216 out of 5,650,416 votes were invalidated. That's 0.04%.

    4) In most democracies, candidates for the highest position (typically prime minister) have to work their way up the party ranks for decades, and are thus perpetually vetted. Stuff like experience, affiliations, eloquence, leadership qualities etc. never comes into question during an election because these are people the public already knows well. In the US, "where anyone can become president", some of these political candidates come completely out of left field (actors, body builders, hockey moms...) and it becomes a race against time for the media and the public to find out just who the hell this person is and if he/she has what it takes. Palin had a 15 minute conversation with McCain and he was sold, only later does everyone realize that she's a complete jackass who's stunningly unqualified.

    5) In most democracies, there is a well conceived plan behind the campaign message, the proposed policies and the talking points. In this election, you have a candidate who's making it up on the fly. In one of the televised debates, his response to serious questions was "I know how to do that" (e.g. how to fix the economy, how to capture Bin Laden etc). He goes on and on about some irrelevant douchy 'domestic terr'rist' that his opponent crossed paths with years ago. And then some plumber who calls himself Joe stops by and bam, suddenly he is the main fixture of the campaign, the campaign slogan and the main talking point. It's beyond bizarre. McCain wants to be the boss of 300 million people and commander-in-chief over a huge war machine and a nuclear arsenal, and he's talking about some f***ing plumber!

    Now that's a banana republic if I ever saw one.
     
  19. jplan2008 macrumors regular

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    #19
    Hey, now, don't exaggerate. We've now learned that before offering her the position (but after his advisors had decided on her and it was nearly a done deal), he talked to her for over an hour. Gosh darn it, you betcha that's enough time to learn her maverick-i-ness.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/magazine/26mccain-t.html?pagewanted=7&_r=1&sq=draper%20mccain&st=cse&scp=2

    According to Salter, the senator took the governor down to a place where he usually had his coffee, beside a creek and a sycamore tree, where a rare breed of hawk seasonally nested. They spoke for more than an hour. Then the two of them walked about 40 yards to the deck of the cabin where the McCains slept. Cindy joined them there for about 15 minutes, after which the McCains excused themselves and went for a brief stroll to discuss the matter. When they returned, McCain asked for some time with Schmidt and Salter. “And we did our pros and cons on all of them,” Salter told me. “He just listened. Asked a couple of questions. Then said, ‘I’m going to offer it to her.’

    Then, from the same article, the NYT author told this story:

    The following night, after McCain’s speech brought the convention to a close, one of the campaign’s senior advisers stayed up late at the Hilton bar savoring the triumphant narrative arc. I asked him a rather basic question: “Leaving aside her actual experience, do you know how informed Governor Palin is about the issues of the day?”

    The senior adviser thought for a moment. Then he looked up from his beer. “No,” he said quietly. “I don’t know.”
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #20
    Not that much. Press coverage tends to be superficial and the bloggers are generally editorialists.

    Can you be more specific?

    I wouldn't make such broad generalizations about what is understood by people in a country in which I do not live.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    The US is hardly the only country to supply election observers, which I'm sure you well know. And how this relates to the points under discussion is a mystery to me.

    Thank you, you've illustrated my point perfectly. You don't get "balance" from reading a wide variety of biased reporting. What you get is vividly illustrated conflict.

    Too weird to warrant a response. I was going to make the point that national chauvinism is hardly unique to the US, but I think that point has been made for me.
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #22
    WOW, just watched him wriggle out of a question on why in 2000 AND 2004 he stated (video evidence was shown) that those who live at a certain comfort level can and should pay more in taxes. How'd he get out of it?

    Change the subject to spending of course!

    :rolleyes:
     
  23. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #23
    finally getting to watch it now.

    As I type, the words "my friend" fall from his mouth... Arghhhhhhh

    Who the hell is Joe The Biden, me thinks he's being say 'Joe the plumber' way to often.

    Can't believe his response to the polls, just because he doesn't like them he ignores them. That is just dumb and bloody scary.

    Now, can somebody explain to me what he has against 'spreading the wealth'? surely only 5% or so of the population would see that as a bad thing.
     
  24. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #24
    Socialism is a strong buzz word to the GOP. "average joe" GOP supporters apparantly dont think to look at how policy will affect them as long as they can hate a word.
     
  25. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #25
    I see... Reminded me of an email I got today.

    As for his comment about Michigan been on of only two states with declining populations, that is only true if you look at the 2006-07 figures (other is Rhode Island). However if you look at the figures from 2000-2007 then the story is a little different. The 2000-2007 figures for Michigan show an increase of 1.3%
     

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