back to politics

It's been a bit since I've commented on politics, and a lot has happened. Most notably, this past Saturday was Hillary Clinton's official concession speech for the Democratic nomination, though conciliatory hasn't been her hallmark adjective. Meanwhile, here are some random notes I've been reading:

  • The Wall Street Journal notes the immense difference in crowd draw between McCain and Obama. McCain on average draws 600 people to rallies, often held in restaurants or high-school gyms. The largest rally the reporter can recall was about 1,400 people. Obama, on the other hand, has held more than a dozen rallies with over 20,000 people attending. Two dozen in the 10,000 range. His small rallies, writes reporter Laura Mecklor, are 2,600-ish. The difference is striking, a massive disparity in celebrity. It also doesn't necessarily transfer to votes, a theme she explains in her article.
  • Laura Bush again as how to be gracious. In an interview with ABC News, Jonathan Karl questioned her on women in Afganistan (more donors needed), her legacy as First Lady ("the most popular figure associated with the Bush administration" - but she won't be running for office), and her comment on the women in the presidential race. Though she stuck by her party, she graciously complemented Hillary Clinton's hard campaigning, and chose to interrupt Michelle Obama's comments in the best light, noting how quickly verbal missteps are pounced upon. Nice job, Mrs. Bush (ps - Cokie Roberts thinks so too)
  • Vice-presidential picks. Most interesting one I've heard for McCain? Colin Powell. Takes (some) of the steam from Obama breaking barriers for a black man, and adds a moderate feel to McCain's take on the war.
  • Obama won't pick Hillary.
  • The innocently titled www.meetbarackobama.com is funded by the Republican National Committee.
  • Examples of the poles in Christian politics. Brian McLaren writes of younger evangelicals who don't want political culture wars at the center of their faith. The same factor, viewed from the other side, is "seeking safe ground from difficult issues," guilty of hiding the "offensive truths of the gospel."