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Think you’re more qualified to be VP then Sarah Palin?

Well, take the Brainfall.com quiz and see if you are!

Quiz: Are you more qualified to be VP than Sarah Palin?

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Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama

I’ve been a tad busy today, so I didn’t hear about retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama until this afternoon. That’s big news for Obama, and bad news for Mccain. I know there are folks down there on the progressive side of the ledger who still say that Powell was complicit in the Bush Administration’s false information on Iraq and will never forgive him for that, but opinion polls in the US still show him with a very high favourable rating amongst the American public, and this endorsement will do a lot for independents and moderate Republican voters, as well as military voters […]

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Embed pollster.com and its US electoral map at your blog.

I’ve always liked these sites that allow you to see their predicted election results right at your own blog or website, with the ability to click on it and go right to their site if you want to. The latest site to do that is the popular US site Pollster.com, which tracks the electoral map trends in the US Presidential Race. Here’s what the embedded site would look like on your blog as of right now:

Just go to this page, and copy and paste the html code into your blog or website.

NOTE: You can adjust the width and the height within the html code to be able […]

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Sarah Palin a “game-changer”…for the Democrats.

So my blogging colleague Antonio over from Fuddle-Duddle has been trying to tell me how much of a game changer this Sarah Palin pick would be for McCain and the Republicans.  He never expressly said it would help the Republicans and McCain win the Presidential election, but I got the feeling he believed it was a positive for the McCain campaign.

There is no doubt from what I’ve seen that she does excite the Republican wingnuts base, and why wouldn’t she? She’s anti-abortion, she’s for teaching creationism in schools alongside evolution in science class, she’s pro-oil drilling and anti-environment, she’s for teaching abstinence-only to teenagers and not safe-sex courses. Your prototypical right-wing social conservative Republican, in otherwards.

The problem is though that the pick may not do much for them if it motivates the Democrats even more, as well as turn off the independent voters… and that appears initially to be happening. We have had 5 national polls released since her pick.  Four of those polls show a WIDENING of Obama’s lead,  to outside of the Margin Of Error. I’ve said before that I think regional polling and what those overall effects on the electoral college are a lot more important then the national polling #’s, since the President isn’t picked on national popular vote, but like it or not, national polls drive the media narrative down there as much as they do here in Canada, and the narrative coming out is this pick has failed to so far connect with anyone beyond the Republican core voters.

One of the reasons for Palin’s pick turning out to be a bit of a train wreck is with all the negative stories that have come out on her at the same time. Other voters apparently see it as a stunt or a gimmick. Some people are even speculating that she might be forced to resign from the pick because of all this controversy. Personally I doubt it will come to that as it will enrage the same Republican wingnuts base that McCain needs if he has any hope of winning.

So while the Palin pick may be a game-changer, it may not be for the Republicans or McCain – at least not in the positive sense.

UPDATE: A hilarious picture from Talking Points Memo, on their view of the Palin impending train-wreck.

UPDATE 2 @3:25pm: A couple more national polls that show an expanding lead for Obama.

UPDATE 3 @4:48 pm: Paul Wells calls this whole sordid episode a gong-show. That might be underestimating the furore surrounding the pick. But remember, the Republican wingnuts base love her!

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The road to the White House for Obama is easier then McCain.

I read this interesting bit at Daily Kos from Kos himself, discussing how Obama can win the White House even if he loses Florida and Ohio, an Achilles heel for the prior 2 Democratic candidates, Gore and Kerry:

Without Florida and Ohio, and keeping all the Kerry states (252 EV – ed), all Obama has to do to win is win 18 more Electoral Votes. He currently leads in these states:

Virginia (13) Iowa (7) New Mexico (5) Colorado (9) Montana (3)

Obama trails narrowly in:

Nevada (5) North Dakota (3) Missouri (11) Indiana (11) North Carolina (15) Georgia (15)

So there’s plenty of combinations that would get Obama to […]

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John McCain needs to smarten up.

I think it was fellow progressive/liblogger Steve over at Far and Wide who told me not to underestimate John Mccain’s poor showing in the Republican primaries in Iowa as an indicator of how he might do in New Hampshire and the rest of the country, because he barely campaigned in Iowa or threw money at it, and was concentrating elsewhere.

Fair enough. But, if McCain continues to issue boneheaded statements like this, count me as being even more skeptical of his chances:

According to Wilford Brimley, voting for John McCain is the right thing to do.”Wilford Brimley is our response to Chuck Norris,” McCain said on his campaign bus. “He’s […]

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Assessing the Iowa presidential primaries.

So, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee ended up winning their respective primaries last night in Iowa. I was pleasantly surprised to see Obama win in a state that some might view as not being conducive for him to win in, but his message apparently resonated with a lot of young voters, who it appears turned out in big numbers to vote for him. What was even more surprising was that John Edwards appears to have edged out Hilary Clinton for 2nd place. I have said previously that perhaps he was the candidate US progressives could get behind, and it appears, at least in Iowa, that his message, which combine progressive and populist politics, was effective and did indeed have US progressives lauding his campaign. The early loser of this campaign has to be Hilary Clinton. It wasn’t too long ago some people seemed to be talking of a coronation for her as the Democratic presidential candidate, but the Clinton juggernaut took a big hit last night. That isn’t saying she can’t win the nomination, but she and her team are going to have to work a bit harder then previously thought.

As for the Republicans, you have a very interesting character in Mike Huckabee. It appears that the Republican Party establishment don’t want him to win, for a variety of reasons. The conservatives in the Republican Party dislike him because they believe him to be the American equivalent of a Canadian Red Tory – one that will enact government programs or raise spending to solve problems, rather then slash government spending and reduce it to the bone, as many of these folks believe is necessary. One prominent conservative even calls Huckabee a “Christian socialist” for that exact reason.

The other reasons for the Republican Party establishment disliking Huckabee is over his foreign policy stances, as well as the very public religious aspect Huckabee brings to the race (he is an ordained Baptist minister, and is not afraid to espouse his views on the campaign trail). A few weeks ago, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post wrote that the problem is that the GOP was fine to have the evangelicals support “when it was just a resource to be cynically exploited every few years in demagogic anti-gay get-out-the-vote campaigns. But now the holy-rolling monster the GOP’s Dr. Frankensteins have created has thrown off the shackles (and) fled the lab. And the party doesn’t know what to do.”

Expanding on this aversion to Huckabee from the Republican establishment was Markos Moulitisias, writing at his site, the big liberal Democratic blog Daily Kos:

Huckabee isn’t a corporate con — he isn’t even a millionaire! — and he certainly isn’t a neocon. His foreign policy would actually be predicated on liberal ideals of respect, trust and cooperation — poison to those who get their foreign policy from Soldier of Fortune magazine T-shirt ads: “kill ’em all and let god sort them out”. He’s a theocon, the very people who empowered the corporate cons and neocons the past two decades by their tireless on-the-ground activism while the others kept their fingernails clean in their Wall Street and think tank corner offices. Now that the theocons are threatening to take their turn at the helm of the GOP, it’s amusing how the rest of the -cons in the GOP are suddenly less than thrilled and willing to play ball.

What’s even more amusing to me is that the person the Republican establishment has anointed as the person to stop Mike Huckabee from winning is Mitt Romney, whose Mormon beliefs are viewed with great suspicion by the very same evangelicals which Huckabee used to win Iowa last night. Unless John McCain revives his campaign in New Hampshire from the poor 4th place showing in Iowa he had, the Republican establishment may have no choice but to stick with Romney as their “anybody but Huckabee” candidate.

Quite frankly, my opinion is that any of Edwards, Clinton or Obama could beat whoever the Republicans pick in 2008 (and of course, my view is that any of those 3 could run the US better then Bush has, or any of the Republicans).  I think Bush has so poisoned the waters for the Republicans to the large majority of the country that they will lose the Presidency and have smaller minorities in both branches of Congress.

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Edwards: The champion of the US progressive left?

This particular story caught my eye in the newspaper today about John Edwards, the vice-presidential candidate in 2004 who is again running to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in the Nov 2008 elections. In this story, he is portrayed by Stuart Rothenburg, a US political analyst, as being the candidate for the “working class” and the “left” – as if that is supposed to be a negative, and that his positions will risk “ripping the nation apart “even further apart than Bush has torn it.”

And what exactly are some of the positions Edwards has been advocating that has at least this one political pundit warning of further […]

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