... apparently, a white woman.
Before John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate, white women favored Barack Obama over John McCain by 8 percentage points. Among all women, in an ABC News poll, Obama enjoyed an 18-percentage-point lead.
Today, the same poll shows white women now favor John McCain by 12-percent. That's a 20-point swing!
Is Sarah Palin the ultimate modern woman or her polar opposite?, AdWeek asks in an extensive article today.
As a woman tapped to be vice president, Palin has already made history for the GOP; the move measures up to Obama's candidacy for Democrats. At the same time, by dint of being a woman, she's an immediate symbol of modernity, which provides a lot of cover for her staunchly conservative views (no abortion even in the case of rape or incest, for example, and no sex education in schools).
A lot of people criticized McCain for the pick, and suggested merely tapping a woman for the pick would not be enough to lure women who were ideologically mated with Obama. So far, they're wrong.
How do you celebrate the year-long effort to recover from a tragedy?
The new I-35W bridge will reopen Tuesday. Now, how do officials open it? Should midnight roll around and the barriers be removed some evening? Should there be a ceremony of some sort? And how would you celebrate the incredible work of rebuilding the bridge while not minimizing the deaths of 13 people in the collapse of the I-35W structure last August?
And what do we call the new bridge? Should it have a name besides "the 35-W bridge"?
If you favor a ceremony, who would you invite? Assuming the governor is there, do you invite any of the DFL lawmakers who engineered the dismissal of his transportation commissioner over the tragedy? If there's a ribbon to be cut, who cuts it?
For a case that appeared to test the limits of one's religion within the workplace, a decision today by the Minnesota Court of Appeals didn't have that much to say.
Several Muslim cab drivers have objected to being forced to take passengers who may be carrying alcohol. Under the Metropolitan Airports Commission rules, cabbies have to take whatever passenger gets in the taxi, or they have to go to the back of the airport taxi line (sometimes hours long) and hope they get luckier next time.
According to court documents, there have been 5,222 recorded incidents of cabbies refusing a fare, although it's not clear how many of those are Muslim cab drivers who object to carrying alcohol on religious grounds.
The drivers proposed a special light on their cabs to identify taxis that are intended to be alcohol free, but the MAC said such a move might lead to passengers boycotting those cabbies. Instead, it imposed additional penalties for refusing service -- a 30-day suspension for the first incident, a two-year suspension for the second.
And then there is the constitutional question of whether a taxi driver can assert his freedom of religious expression.
The court wasn't asked about that -- yet -- and didn't address its merits. Instead it refused to overturn a lower court ruling against a temporary injunction on the penalties while the cabbies appeal to the MAC. The court also refused to consider whether the MAC violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Call it a bounce, call it the inaccuracy of polling, but more than a few Barack Obama supporters are sweating bullets now that polls are showing that the Republicans aren't just going to hand the White House over.
Somebody must be blamed. Former Saturday Night Live writer Adam McKay has found just the suspect -- the press.
What is this house advantage the Republicans have? It's the press. There is no more fourth estate. Wait, hold on...I'm not going down some esoteric path with theories on the deregulation of the media and corporate bias and CNN versus Fox...I mean it: there is no more functioning press in this country. And without a real press the corporate and religious Republicans can lie all they want and get away with it. And that's the 51% advantage.
Think this is some opinion being wryly posited to titillate other bloggers and inspire dialogue with Tucker Carlson or Gore Vidal? **** that. Four corporations own all the TV channels. All of them. If they don't get ratings they get canceled or fired. All news is about sex, blame and anger, and fear. Exposing lies about amounts of money taken from lobbyists and votes cast for the agenda of the last eight years does not rate. The end.
"But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people."
That was Sarah Palin, of course, rescuing the good ship McCain.
And it worked, according to the Rasmussen polling firm:
... fully 68% of voters believe that "most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win." And -- no surprise -- 49% of those surveyed believe reporters are backing Barack Obama, while just 14% think the media is in the tank for Sen. McCain.
Conservative commentator James Pinkerton see the same reality in the evils of the media, that his ideological opponent -- McKay -- sees:
In seeking to rally a majority of the voters, McCain has put forth a clear definition of the elite: It's the media, including all those who make up the "chattering class" of commentators, think tankers, opinion leaders, and activist socialites. This is a significant shift for McCain, who once cultivated those same chatterers; as recently as three years ago, he could joke that the press was "my base." But over the past few years, he seems to have figured that being the liberals' favorite conservative--appearing on the cover of Esquire magazine, guest-hosting "Saturday Night Live"--was fun, but that was no path to the White House.
In a story today, Time Magazine says a review of press coverage of the two candidates found 31% of the stories about Obama rated as "negative," only slightly less than the 38% described as negative about McCain.
A quote in that story from a GOP strategist, however, is worth noting:
"Attack the media is what you do when you're losing."
If both camps are laying into the press, who's winning?
September 11, 2001 is nearly synonymous with New York City, and appropriately so. Washington, to a lesser extent has a claim, and even Shanksville, Pennsylvania is linked forever with the day four hijacked jets were used as missiles.
But Boston? Not so much, even though two of the jets departed from Logan Airport, filled with mostly New Englanders.
Today, a memorial to the passengers on the planes was unveiled at Logan Airport, where people proved that time does not heal all wounds.
"I didn't expect it to be as heart-wrenching as it was," said Katherine Bailey, a Lynnfield resident whose husband, Garnet Edward, died aboard United Airlines Flight 175. "We've been to so many services and memorials, but this makes me realize that my memories are not buried as deep in my heart as I thought they were."
Coincidentally, another 9/11 memorial is about to open. The Pentagon memorial features a bench in a park for every victim.
One wonders how these memorials will be viewed 100 years from now.
Photo: Getty Images(4 Comments)
Time to start a new category: Gaffes from the politicians.
Here's entry #1.
We presume what the young Meghan McCain meant to say was "nobody knows war more than my family." And even then, 4,155 families in the U.S. might still disagree.
You can find her blog here.(4 Comments)
There is hope for the bald.
Reuters reports that New Zealand's national airline is planning on advertising a service to speed-up check-ins by tattooing the ad on bald heads. Each baldy will get $666 for two weeks worth of work.
Sarah Palin has avoided the media since she was tabbed for the #2 spot with John McCain, shortly before the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
Now, a "truth squad" has been formed with Republican women to -- as the press release stated -- "counter recent attacks on Governor Sarah Palin, her family, her friends and her record of accomplishment. The Palin Truth Squad will set the record straight against Internet and liberal smears of Governor Palin."
Two Minnesotans are on the squad, 6th District congresswoman Michele Bachmann and state Rep. Laura Brod.
The group is headed by former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, who has had her run-ins with the media over her role not only as a state official, but as a mother. Whatever scrutiny Gov. Palin has gotten in the dual role, Swift got first.
She used state employees to babysit her kids, and used a state helicopter to ferry her home to see her sick daughter (she lived in Williamstown, about as far as you can live from Boston and still be in Massachusetts).
Eventually, though, Swift gave up. Mitt Romney was in the process of putting together an organization to run for governor, and Swift announced her intention not to seek re-election in the face of the pending challenge.
Time Magazine said the move saved her political career.
The Boston Globe, in a profile last year, said she is "alternately viewed as the victim of the merciless Boston media, a symbol of the failed promise of feminism, or an accidental leader who stumbled bullheadedly to her political demise."
Well off the political radar, but only slightly less intriguing than Gov. Palin, Swift is staging the comeback of the original Governor Mom.(13 Comments)