I just read an important new report on the status of the presidential transition teams over at the Huffington Post.
In a nutshell: Obama has developed a complex, intricately run transition team to help prepare immediately the transition to the White House should he win the election, while McCain has…done virtually nothing, something which is unprecedented in modern presidential politics and is a perfect example of what we’ve known all along: Obama is the safe choice, McCain is the risky choice:
As the 2008 campaign nears its conclusion, the presidential transition efforts of the two major candidates have become a study in contrasts: Sen. Barack Obama has organized an elaborate well-staffed network to prepare for his possible ascension to the White House, while Sen. John McCain has all but put off such work until after the election.
Why does McCain hate Mississippi?
A senior University of Mississippi official reacted Wednesday to the news that Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., wants to postpone Friday’s presidential debate, saying that such a move would be “devastating” for the university which has already invested millions in preparation for the debate.
Andrew Mullins, special assistant to university Chancellor Robert Khayat, told ABC News that the Ole Miss campus has been transformed to accommodate the candidates and the press. Road blocks are in place on campus and in the community and the debate set for the candidates has already been constructed. He said the university has spent roughly $5.5 million getting ready for the debate.
Joe Biden sets the stage nicely for the debate Friday night with a blistering talk on foreign policy in Cincinnati, Ohio today. The great thing about our ticket is that our VP candidate can give a speech like this with credibility and gravitas and actually knows whereof he speaks. Contrast that with Sarah Palin being set up in photo ops with foreign leaders (the first time she’s ever met a foreign head-of-state, by the way).
Not Biden, who lets McCain have it on foreign policy and national security:
“… the policies he would pursue as president would be wrong for America – nowhere more so than with our security and standing in the world.”
“John is more than wrong — he is dangerously wrong. On a question so basic, so fundamental, so critical to our nation’s security, we can’t afford a Commander-in Chief so divorced from reality and from America’s most basic national interests.”
Ouch. Much more below:
As amusing as this is, I actually don’t disagree with the McCain camp: they probably have underused it. Most people don’t follow their press releases or responses to day-to-day campaign issues. But the more they flog this horse in the convention and ads, it’s probably smart for them. What else does he have?
In January, McCain made it clear that voters who felt the economy was the most important issue shouldn’t vote for him. He’ll understand:
“Even if the economy is the, quote, number one issue, the real issue will remain America’s security,” [McCain] said. “If it’s not the most important issue in the minds of many voters, America’s security will remain the number one issue with me. And if they choose to say, ‘Look, I do not need this guy because he’s not as good on home loan mortgages,’ or whatever it is, I understand that. I will accept that verdict. I am running because of the transcendent challenge of the twenty-first century, which is radical Islamic extremism, as you know.”
There are a bunch of lunatic right-wingers who are calling for McCain to pick a pro-life running mate. The CNN story “Conservatives upset over abortion rights VP contenders”, are typical in nature. Lots of quotes from angry folks like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Gerson, with John McCain saying something amorphous like:
When a voter in Las Cruces, New Mexico, asked whether he would pick a running mate “conservatives can actually rally around,” McCain said, “I will nominate a person to be vice president, my running mate, who shares my principles, my values and my priorities, and that’s the best that I can tell you.”
and then, AND THEN CNN refuses to actually mention, hey, did you know John McCain is anti-choice? Kind of extremely so? Like, it might actually shock you how anti-choice he was?
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Remember all the speculation that McCain will pick his VP the day after Obama gives his acceptance speech?
Well, the day after his acceptance speech, McCain will be in Dayton, Ohio, holding what has to be the biggest rally he’s ever had:
A little more back-and-forth on this because it’s important. Turner did some further critiquing of Obama’s response team, and got it almost entirely right (even if Armando is cited). Five follow-up points for the Obama team:
1) Stop being so deferential to McCain
You don’t have to keep pretending like he’s a great guy with a bad campaign, or that he was once a good guy who’s lost his way, as David Axelrod did today:“It makes you wonder whose behind all this because this isnt the John McCain we expected.” Or with the campaign’s use of sentences like: “John McCain is an honorable man running a dishonorable campaign.” He’s calling your candidate a traitor to this country, why are you being so nice? You don’t have to worry about reminding people about his service, McCain does that by himself plenty. Hit him and hit him hard.
2) McCain = Bush 3rd Term.
If Obama isn’t saying that in every speech (the way he used to – and it was working!), he’s not doing his job. It hurts me to admit that Armando was right about something, but he’s right about this.
3) McCain is totally out to snacks on the economy.
Seriously guys, his chief economic adviser said it’s all in our heads, and McCain himself hasn’t got a clue. In an interview he was asked what the first thing he’d do to solve the economy is and his response was “Cut spending.” REALLY?! C’mon now.
Repeat the following:
I have been somewhat scared of the notion of Romney on the ticket, and my fear was confirmed by Nate Silver’s analysis about what that would do to the electoral map. I know he’s a flip-flopping opportunist who, frankly, people hate. But my fear was about what that would do in three states in particular: Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada – the latter two have substantial Mormon populations, and the Romney name goes far back in Michigan.
Given that fear, it seems to me it would be smart for McCain to pick Romney, right? Not so fast: