Commentary Magazine


Posts For: November 4, 2008

A Cause Greater than Himself

To the end, John McCain was the patriot. I have never heard a concession speech as eloquent or gracious as the one he gave.  He is clearly a man at peace with himself.    There is almost nothing Barack Obama could say in victory that will match McCain’s selfless grace in the face of defeat.

To the end, John McCain was the patriot. I have never heard a concession speech as eloquent or gracious as the one he gave.  He is clearly a man at peace with himself.    There is almost nothing Barack Obama could say in victory that will match McCain’s selfless grace in the face of defeat.

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John McCain Concedes

He offers a heartfelt and generous concession and recognizes the historic nature of Barack Obama’s victory. By calling for support for the new President he once again puts country first. He looks tired and a bit glum as one might imagine after such an arduous journey. He had the great misfortune to be running at the moment in history that was simply not his.

The mention of Sarah Palin lifts the spirits of the crowd. She looks about ready to cry. He lets it be known that her career is far from over.

After all the criticism and venom of the campaign he leaves with a patriotic, high-minded and decent finish.

He offers a heartfelt and generous concession and recognizes the historic nature of Barack Obama’s victory. By calling for support for the new President he once again puts country first. He looks tired and a bit glum as one might imagine after such an arduous journey. He had the great misfortune to be running at the moment in history that was simply not his.

The mention of Sarah Palin lifts the spirits of the crowd. She looks about ready to cry. He lets it be known that her career is far from over.

After all the criticism and venom of the campaign he leaves with a patriotic, high-minded and decent finish.

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The Concession

A magnificent speech by John McCain, one of the greatest men ever to contest the presidency.

A magnificent speech by John McCain, one of the greatest men ever to contest the presidency.

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Hard Times in Colorado

As if the national picture were not dismal enough for conservatives, we’ve taken a beating on several fronts in Colorado. The Colorado Civil Rights Initiative appears to have gone down to defeat—the first time voters have rejected a ban on racial preferences in any state—as did two initiatives aimed at reining in unions and one pro-life initiative.

Obama’s success at expanding the electorate has tipped the ideological balance. As Colorado went tonight, so goes the nation. We are no longer a center-right country.

As if the national picture were not dismal enough for conservatives, we’ve taken a beating on several fronts in Colorado. The Colorado Civil Rights Initiative appears to have gone down to defeat—the first time voters have rejected a ban on racial preferences in any state—as did two initiatives aimed at reining in unions and one pro-life initiative.

Obama’s success at expanding the electorate has tipped the ideological balance. As Colorado went tonight, so goes the nation. We are no longer a center-right country.

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President Obama

History is made. There will be time to be disputatious. This is not that time. A member of a minority group, making up 12 percent of the population, a population that did not even solidly possess the franchise until the 1960s, will win the presidency in a landslide with the largest vote total in American history. It’s a breathtaking achievement for Barack Obama and for the United States.

History is made. There will be time to be disputatious. This is not that time. A member of a minority group, making up 12 percent of the population, a population that did not even solidly possess the franchise until the 1960s, will win the presidency in a landslide with the largest vote total in American history. It’s a breathtaking achievement for Barack Obama and for the United States.

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It Is Historic

You can’t help but be touched. Many Americans disagree with his policy positions and have legitimate concerns about his outlook and preparation. But that is dwarfed at this moment. Let no one say this is not a remarkable country which defies expectations and confounds its critics.

You can’t help but be touched. Many Americans disagree with his policy positions and have legitimate concerns about his outlook and preparation. But that is dwarfed at this moment. Let no one say this is not a remarkable country which defies expectations and confounds its critics.

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MSM’s Tongues Are Now Loose

Tom Brokaw just said, “The Obama camp took several pages out of the Karl Rove playbook.” Maybe the LA Times now thinks it’s safe to release the tape?

Tom Brokaw just said, “The Obama camp took several pages out of the Karl Rove playbook.” Maybe the LA Times now thinks it’s safe to release the tape?

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Debating Palin

On Fox Bill Kristol points to poll numbers (facts, by gosh) to demonstrate that among voters who considered Sarah Palin to be an important factor, McCain benefited slightly. Juan Williams contends she “failed” to bring in Independents and women and was not, at the end, considered by a majority of voters to be qualified. Fred Barnes jokes that her greatest contribution was as a boost to investigative reporting — sending reporters scurrying to all corners of Alaska in search of clues to her background and views.

My take: in the end she helped prevent an utter blowout by energizing and turning out the base. In time she should pursue a national role she will have time to define her own appeal and demonstrate her newly improved proficiency on national issues. But the Republicans don’t have many “stars” let alone recongizable figures. They would do well to nurture and develop the most famous and beloved (at least by the base) one which they have.

On Fox Bill Kristol points to poll numbers (facts, by gosh) to demonstrate that among voters who considered Sarah Palin to be an important factor, McCain benefited slightly. Juan Williams contends she “failed” to bring in Independents and women and was not, at the end, considered by a majority of voters to be qualified. Fred Barnes jokes that her greatest contribution was as a boost to investigative reporting — sending reporters scurrying to all corners of Alaska in search of clues to her background and views.

My take: in the end she helped prevent an utter blowout by energizing and turning out the base. In time she should pursue a national role she will have time to define her own appeal and demonstrate her newly improved proficiency on national issues. But the Republicans don’t have many “stars” let alone recongizable figures. They would do well to nurture and develop the most famous and beloved (at least by the base) one which they have.

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One Big Loser

Keith Olbermann. Think about it. His entire shtick is based on maintaining and sustaining a percolating state of rage against George W. Bush and the Republicans for an hour. What does he do now that his dream president has taken office? Does he have a curveball?

Keith Olbermann. Think about it. His entire shtick is based on maintaining and sustaining a percolating state of rage against George W. Bush and the Republicans for an hour. What does he do now that his dream president has taken office? Does he have a curveball?

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Re: I Was Right

There are perfect storms in politics. An unpopular incumbent President, a financial crisis, a telegenic and history-making candidate against a less than articulate and gripping one, and many other smaller tactical errors and choices. There are lessons to be extracted for future Republican contenders and voters. But a result this overwhelming stems from multiple factors.

There are perfect storms in politics. An unpopular incumbent President, a financial crisis, a telegenic and history-making candidate against a less than articulate and gripping one, and many other smaller tactical errors and choices. There are lessons to be extracted for future Republican contenders and voters. But a result this overwhelming stems from multiple factors.

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Re: The Fulfillment

John, I agree. And the truth is, given Obama’s fluidity on everything from guns to abortion to public financing, his blackness is the only inescapable certainty of his future presidency — and it is an unalloyed good.

John, I agree. And the truth is, given Obama’s fluidity on everything from guns to abortion to public financing, his blackness is the only inescapable certainty of his future presidency — and it is an unalloyed good.

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I Was Right

On Friday, I offered ten reasons why McCain might win. If they had mattered, he might have won. But they didn’t, and he didn’t.

On Friday, I offered ten reasons why McCain might win. If they had mattered, he might have won. But they didn’t, and he didn’t.

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That Is It

Fox just predicted Obama wins Ohio.

Fox just predicted Obama wins Ohio.

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Better To Lose Big?

Well sometimes a close loss is worse than a thumpin’. There are few “woulda, shoulda, coulda” second-guessings. But a blow out, as this appears to be, certainly sends a message and removes doubts as to legitimacy of the winner. There will be plenty of blame and recriminations, but there can be little doubt that for now Americans have had it with the Republican Party as currently constituted. The Republicans in the Senate may have enough to hold back the worst of it, that is the liberal runaway agenda, but they will not withstand the full force of the electorate and the mandate they have given the Democrats.

Well sometimes a close loss is worse than a thumpin’. There are few “woulda, shoulda, coulda” second-guessings. But a blow out, as this appears to be, certainly sends a message and removes doubts as to legitimacy of the winner. There will be plenty of blame and recriminations, but there can be little doubt that for now Americans have had it with the Republican Party as currently constituted. The Republicans in the Senate may have enough to hold back the worst of it, that is the liberal runaway agenda, but they will not withstand the full force of the electorate and the mandate they have given the Democrats.

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The Fulfillment

America, it appears, is on the verge of electing a black man as its president. It cannot be gainsaid; the immensity of this single cultural moment dwarfs almost any other in my lifetime. Its positive social impact is incalculable; it was only eight years ago that Al Gore traveled to Harlem to kiss Al Sharpton’s ring, which was only seven years after Sharpton had provoked a riot on 125th street that led to a fire that killed seven people. Sharpton was, at that point, by default the most important black politician in America. Obama’s ascension to the White House, if it does nothing else, may at last bring down the curtain on  race hucksters like Sharpton, whose power has always been rooted in the political alienation of inner-city blacks.

America, it appears, is on the verge of electing a black man as its president. It cannot be gainsaid; the immensity of this single cultural moment dwarfs almost any other in my lifetime. Its positive social impact is incalculable; it was only eight years ago that Al Gore traveled to Harlem to kiss Al Sharpton’s ring, which was only seven years after Sharpton had provoked a riot on 125th street that led to a fire that killed seven people. Sharpton was, at that point, by default the most important black politician in America. Obama’s ascension to the White House, if it does nothing else, may at last bring down the curtain on  race hucksters like Sharpton, whose power has always been rooted in the political alienation of inner-city blacks.

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Early Popular Vote

16,ooo,ooo+ votes: McCain 50%, Obama 49%.

Remember, Obama has not yet won a 2004 red state.

16,ooo,ooo+ votes: McCain 50%, Obama 49%.

Remember, Obama has not yet won a 2004 red state.

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Re: Well, That Could Be It

Fox, which was holding off, called Pennsylvania for Obama, too.

Fox, which was holding off, called Pennsylvania for Obama, too.

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Senate

Mitch McConnell wins and Liddy Dole loses. The Dole loss is a sign the map has changed. McConnell’s win along with Collins suggests that the Senate may be “safe” — that is short of fillibuster territory. McConnell will soon become, it appears, the face of the Republicans in Washington and the only thing standing in the way of a runaway Democratic train.

UPDATE: Saxby Chambliss is leading but John Sununu has gone down to defeat.

Mitch McConnell wins and Liddy Dole loses. The Dole loss is a sign the map has changed. McConnell’s win along with Collins suggests that the Senate may be “safe” — that is short of fillibuster territory. McConnell will soon become, it appears, the face of the Republicans in Washington and the only thing standing in the way of a runaway Democratic train.

UPDATE: Saxby Chambliss is leading but John Sununu has gone down to defeat.

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“I think that’s against the law, but that’s okay.”

So said the CNN anchor to Pennsylvania voter Ron Jones, who admitted to voting “a couple of times.”

So said the CNN anchor to Pennsylvania voter Ron Jones, who admitted to voting “a couple of times.”

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Well, That Could Be It

NBC has called Pennsylvania for Obama.

NBC has called Pennsylvania for Obama.

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