Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Sadly, I missed the CNN/YouTube debate last night and am now dredging through the galaxy of video clips floating in Cyberspace in an effort to piece everything together.

I'll pass the conch to David as far as offering a more succinct and relevant appraisal of the Guv's performance but my general first impressions are that the format was brilliant.

Sure, you can't have melting snowmen ask questions about global warming at every debate (although I strongly encourage it). Nevertheless, this go-around seemed to be refreshingly devoid (as much as humanly possible) of the usual canned questions = canned answers format. It's good to see presidential candidates showing a pulse every now and then, even if it takes some guy dressed as a redneck lumberjack asking about Al Gore in order to do it.

On paper (literally, looking at the transcript), Richardson seems to have held his own. Although, true to form, it looks like he struggled for face time with his answers appearing few and far between. Once again, Big Bill earned the unanimous "most disappointing performance" nod from CNN's online panel of experts. But, from what I've seen, it probably wasn't that bad. Or was it?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What about Women's Rights?

Monday the AP quoted Richardson as saying, "I believe my platform is the strongest pro-women’s platform and it shouldn’t be based just on the fact there’s a woman in the race," and that voters hearing his agenda would be swayed.

Unfortunately voters didn't get to hear Richardson's ideas about abortion rights at two public events put on by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Clinton, Obama and Elizabeth Edwards showed up, and though all seemed more interested in arousing pro-choice support without giving solid action plans, it's too bad Bill didn't take the opportunity to prove himself and get specific. It seems especially important for a candidate from a rural state to step up and talk about how to guarantee birth control and sex education in the more isolated, more conservative parts of the state/country. Especially when reports of pharmacists, based on their own beliefs, refusing birth control or Plan B to women with no access to another drug store become more and more common.

Candidates, on both sides of the issue, talk a good game about how important their view point is, but rarely does one take the opportunity to really put themselves on the line to stand up with solutions. Clinton even seems to demean the issue by calling women's rights "human rights." Technically, sure. But until the human race steps up to care for the ones who take the brunt of burdens of unplanned pregnancy calling womens rights, human rights is the same as lumping people under animal and asking PETA why they aren't feeding hungry orphans in Sudan.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Republicans & Republican'ts

I've always secretly wished that voters would flock to the polls in November and, improbably, elect "Mickey Mouse," "Your Mom" and/or "Ponch from CHiPs" to the US presidency via a feverishly cynical write-in campaign.

Turns out, Your Mom has about as good a chance as anyone to at least win the Republican nomination. According to a new AP/Ipsos poll, the leading candidate for the GOP nod is currently "None of the above."

Ouch. Rudy G and Fred "Law & Order" Thompson are the closest to None of the Above (23 percent) at 19 percent, followed by McCain and Romney. Rudy has been in a free-fall since the Spring but McCain appears to be the one that's dead in the water, what with empty coffers and an exodus of campaign advisers. I'll bet that lipstick-smeared, Neo-Con face-lift isn't looking so pretty in the mirror these days.

The Dems,for now, are looking solid. But even with the toxic fallout from G-Dub coating all things Republican, Democrats always seem to find a way to shoot themselves. Nevertheless, the AP quotes University of Iowa poli-sci guy David Redlawsk as saying "Democrats are reasonably comfortable with the range of choices. The Democratic attitude is that three or four of these guys would be fine."

In case you're keeping score at home, Bill Richardson is probably the "or four" Redlawsk references. Despite his best efforts (see this week's "There's Something About Bill" in SFR), the Guv hasn't managed to cripple his campaign yet.

In the meantime, Big Bill is spending the first half of this week in New Hampshire at various "job interview" and "Women for Richardson" events. Tomorrow is an off-day, presumably to be spent in mental preparation for his "All Day" appearances on Thursday and Friday in Des Moines.

Give the man credit. Most people are ready to leave Des Moines after 20 minutes, let alone two full days. According to the latest campaign schedule, Richardson will spend Saturday in "Iowa" (no specific cities or events are mentioned, maybe it's a euphemism) before jetting off to South Carolina on Sunday in advance of the DNC Presidential Debate on Monday. That debate could be big (for better or worse) for the Richardson camp considering SC is the campaign's weakest early primary/caucus state to date.

But hey, at least he's not getting beat by None of the Above.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Catcher in the Rye

If you build it, they will come. If there's some press coverage and maybe a few votes to gain out of coming, all the better.

Governor Bill paid a visit to the "Field of Dreams" from...uh...Field of Dreams earlier this morning during a visit to Dyersville, Iowa. Right about now, he's conducting a "Presidential Job Interview" at the Cedar Lodge Steak House in Manchester. Then another Job Interview at the Pizza Ranch in Independence, followed by one more interview at the La Chiquita Mexican-American Restaurant in Waterloo.

Cedar Lodge Steak House? Pizza Ranch? La Chiquita Mexican-American Restaurant? Me thinks that the Guv might be in danger of falling off the (chuck) wagon. Either way, he'll wash down his Iowa binge by mid-afternoon with an appearance at the Cedar Rapids BR4P headquarters. Then it's on to Cincinnati then Detroit this evening.

Tomorrow morning is more Detroit before a "Walk Through" at the Sparks Farmers Market in Nevada. Friday is Reno, Elko, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Saturday will be spent in New Mexico before Richardson heads out to Chicago on Sunday, culminating a campaign swing of eight states and at least 14 cities in five days.

Hey, you gotta burn calories somehow.