Presidential election minus 19 weeks

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Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,113 comments on “Presidential election minus 19 weeks”

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  1. Pancho, Obama can follow the lead set by the FEMALE President of Chile. Yes, it is a symbolic act, but it has to be done. The ‘Oil Man sounded very please. He had a win as Chile was a major whaling nation.

    [SANTIAGO, Chile: President Michelle Bachelet pushed to permanently ban whaling along Chile’s sprawling coast at the opening Monday of the weeklong International Whaling Commission meeting. Bachelet endorsed making Chile’s coastal waters — more than 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) long and up to 200 miles (322 kilometers) from shore — a whale sanctuary. The proposal still must be approved by Congress.]

    [Meanwhile, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet signed a bill aiming to set up a whale sanctuary in national waters. Accompanied by ministers from several other countries, including the UK’s Lord Rooker, Ms Bachelet signed the largely symbolic bill at an old whaling station on the Chilean coast.]

  2. Finns – I don’t disagree with you in principle. I just think that with regards to an international agreement Obama’s political capital is better spent pragmatically, on developing a post-Kyoto agreement, rather than on fighting Congress in an attempt to get them to ratify something that they will not.

    The point was made above that B Clinton’s administration was part of the drafting of Kyoto 1, and did sign it, but it was not ratified. I don’t see what Obama doing similar would achieve. I see more in advantage taking the smaller positive moves that he can in the short term (see the policy linked above) and working towords something structurally more important post-Kyoto.

  3. Ron,

    Read Obama’s policies @

    Under the energy and evironment heading you can read his quite extensive environmental plan, including

    “Re-Engage with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change:
    The UNFCCC process is the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem and an Obama administration will work constructively within it.”

  4. 17 Pancho Yep there’s another issue that will race into the top ten issues. Talk about power issues. Obama has absolutely no come back for the HIGH QUALITY issues being thrown up. The Republicans are CERTAINLY going to STORM HOME with this stuff. It’s all over for the Democrats. Pack up your bags.

  5. 66 Al The major issue is over Obama’s election seal, which looks similar to the U.S. Presidents seal. It’s going to bring down the Democrats. Massive landslide to the Republicans.

  6. GG

    It’s worth reading the Daily Kos link that was embedded in the Crikey story because it helps to clarify the facts – as opposed to the spin.

    “The FACT, however, is that he did have an active role in the passing of this legislation. Just because he missed the final vote when the bill was sure to pass doesn’t mean that he had no role in its passage.

    Ironically, John McCormick alludes to this very fact in his quote above when he says “While the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee authored provisions that ultimately made it into the law…”.

    As we all know (but these pseudo-journalist-wannabes apparently don’t), a bill of this magnitude goes through an intense process of initial drafting, countless additions and edits, consensus-building, and finally passage. The passage part is often, ironically, where a Senator plays the smallest role — for legislation that has already passed in a previous incarnation (as in this case, see below), and which is sure to pass by a landslide, adding the ninety-third “yea” vote has absolutely no impact beyond cosmetics.

    And what about Obama’s claim in the ad regarding veterans health benefits? It turns out that he submitted two amendments to the bill that would have enhanced health benefits to active servicemen and returning vets and co-sponsored an amendment that would have started bringing some troops home.”


  7. dogb,

    Not according to the rest of the Crikey post.

    “Did he contribute to it in some way that might be reasonably referred to as extending healthcare for wounded troops who’d been neglected? It certainly doesn’t seem that way, as even Obama supporters at the Daily Kos discovered…”

    The Daily KOS found that Obama had tried to insert several amendments which didn’t make it into the bill — one about screenings for service members returning from deployments, and one for easing the discharge of service members found to have personality disorders. Another part of the bill, calling for inspector general reports about hospital facilities, had come from a different bill Obama had sponsored.

    As you know, DailyKos has a reptutation for being a fawning and uncritical supporter of Obama. So what do you think.

  8. 63 Greensborough Growler. Yes and there’s another election winning issue. It will dominate the election, and McCains age and health won’t have any impact at all.

  9. GG. I do see you point but IMHO the fact that his amendments were defeated doesn’t change the fact that he was at least interested enough to take part in the debate.

    I take that to mean he had a part to play. If you want to look at it differently I’ll agree to disagree on this one.

  10. Chris B,

    You whinge that no one should discuss or debate with me, yet now you want to discuss and debate with me. For goodness sake, get your morals and principles in order. People might start thinking that you want to start thinking. And, you don’t want none of that now, do you?

  11. “There’s no point posting anymore we’ve lost the election over the seal issue. Let’s go home.”

    Indeed ChrisB at 59, there is nothing as pathetic as a poorly performing seal!
    An 18 wheeler is tooling across the Nullabor towards Norseman. Emblazoned on the radiator muzzle a polished crest in chromed bas-relief flashes in the sunlight:


    Business had picked up since the highly publicised schlepping of the Rodent Family from the People’s Palace at Kirribilli. There was lots of interstate work these days. “KR” was an outfit much in demand.

    Unusual in that most truckies, particularly removalists, happily extend the courtesy of the road to trailing motorists, the real wheel mud-flaps display an iridescent:

    “Pass me at your peril, Pal!!”

    The cabin is aurally awash with the amplified tones of Bryn Terfel, the Welsh tonsillier; the driver sings along, interrupting himself on a regular basis with seemingly spontaneous bursts of resonant LOLs. His satellite tuned CB radio begins to crackle with static.

    “Ssszz, fhzitt, krrrk, krrrrk……”

    The driver reaches for the handset and depresses the button with his thumb.

    “You rang?”

    “Yeah, boss, there’s a whole bunch of Bludgers on my case here wondering when you’re gonna haul yer arse to a cyber-connected keyboard. WTF am I gonna tell ‘em??”

  12. GG

    Given that Obama submitted two amendments, “SA 2085 (“SEC. 703. POSTDEPLOYMENT MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SCREENINGS FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES”) and SA 2086 (“SEC. 593. DISCHARGE OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES FOR PERSONALITY DISORDER”)”, to that Bill, I think it is the conservatives that are making the misleading statements on this.

  13. Chris B,

    Have it your way.

    But, I would be interested why you post here when you don’t want to engage/debate with other posters unless you are sure they will agree with you?

    I think Al@ 66 put it best.

  14. Thanks, Grace. Whatever it takes to double-shuffle the bastard back into gear again. He’s been ghosting in “angel” for far too long.

  15. EC,

    KR is probably having a well earned sabbatical, recharging the batteries for a further flurry later on when the POTUS campaign really warms up. Either that or he has discovered other more worthwhile pursuits such as family and friends or even work.

    Like you, I look forward to his return. Things are far livelier and more fun when he’s around.

  16. GG

    The amendments I quoted were from the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008”

    Obama also sponsored S. 713, the “Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act of 2007”, which was passed.

  17. Grace,

    The other link on that Crikey has this:

    “About 46 seconds into the ad, we are told that Obama “passed laws” that “extended healthcare for wounded troops who’d been neglected,” and in the usual manner of these political commercials we are given a little citation at the bottom. The citation reads “Public Law 110-181 1/28/08”. That law is the only federal legislation cited in the ad — the other two items mentioned were from the Illinois legislature and referred to other issues raised in the ad.

    Public Law 110-181 was the 2008 defense authorization bill. It passed the Senate by 91 to 3 in January, with six Senators not voting. Among those six absentees was Barack Obama. So he cites a bill he didn’t even vote for. Did he contribute to it in some way that might be reasonably referred to as extending healthcare for wounded troops who’d been neglected? It certainly doesn’t seem that way, as even Obama supporters at the Daily Kos discovered when they tried to answer some of the bloggers who pointed to Obama’s citation of the bill. They found that Obama had tried to insert an amendment that had to do with screenings for service members returning from deployments, and one that would ease the discharge of service members found to have personality disorders, but neither amendment passed. Another part of the bill, calling for inspector general reports about hospital facilities, had come from a different bill Obama had sponsored”.

  18. #52 – Diog, my wife kept asking me why the USA didn’t “invade” Zimbabwe to restore democracy like it did with Iraq. I was lost for answers. What should i tell her. I told her maybe the USA got too much tobacco already. have I missed something?

  19. No oil there, Finn, so there’s no need to bestow god’s gift of Democracy is there?
    His lovliness goes on and on……

    “Bonus Quote of the Day
    “Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

    — Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove, quoted by ABC News, describing Sen. Barack Obama to Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club.” (polwire)

  20. Finns

    Rant for the Day

    Your wife doesn’t have sufficient appreciation of the subtleties of US foreign policy. The US promotes democracy when the outcome will provide for benefits for all mankind (ie US business interests). Democracy is not to be encouraged when the new regime would subvert the wishes of God’s own people (ie US politicians). It works out best that way.

    Some might quibble that there are similarities between Mugabe and Saddam, but aren’t torture, assassination, jailing of dissidents, the odd ethnic purge and machete-wielding death squads the hallmarks of good, strong government? Sure there were the occasional excesses of a few enthusiastic supporters but the violence was always in self-defence. Quite commendable the restraint shown really.

    That’s the kind of leadership the US has installed all over the world, such as Haiti, Chile, the Phillipines and Nicaragua. Those leaders managed quite well without having elections, which really would just have been an expensive exercise much better spent on US contracts. And it’s worked out incredibly well in all those countries without “democracy”. These people don’t REALLY know what’s best for them and it is better just to let the US of A tell them.

  21. EC, Pancho Left et al,

    I am prepared to bring my prediction deadline forward from September to the end of August.

  22. #93, Diog, tq for your rant. will inform the wifey accordingly of your wisdom.

    btw, is it my imagination or Mugabe has taken up the Hitler mustache?

  23. A top adviser to Sen. John McCain said that a terrorist attack in the United States would be a political benefit to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a comment that was immediately disputed by the candidate and denounced by his Democratic rival.

    Charles R. Black Jr., one of McCain’s most senior political advisers, said in an interview with Fortune magazine that a fresh terrorist attack “certainly would be a big advantage to him.” He also said that the December assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, while “unfortunate,” helped McCain win the Republican primary by focusing attention on national security.


  24. Chris B,

    McCain has repudiated Black’s comments:

    “Mr. McCain condemned the statement at a news conference here. Mr. Black said in a statement: “I deeply regret the comments, they were inappropriate, I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration.’’

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