People skills

 Posted by at 21:42  Democrats, Election 2008, Politics
Jan 282008

I was not present so I have no way of knowing if this article and the accompanying picture depict how events actually unfolded, but they do present an interesting scene. They also show rather clearly which of the major Democratic candidates for president has the most political experience and the more developed people skills…

No Chitchat Between Clinton and Obama

Kennedy - Clinton - Obama
Kennedy - Clinton - Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) – So close, yet so far away – and so bitter.

Rival Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama came within a foot of each other just before President Bush’s State of the Union speech Monday night and managed not to acknowledge each other, and certainly not touch.

Clinton, clad in scarlet, crossed the aisle between their seats on the House floor and reached out a hand to greet Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Democratic icon whose endorsement she had courted only to lose it to Obama.

Kennedy shook her hand while Obama, wearing a dark suit and standing between the two, turned away.

The rivals then retreated to their seats, only the aisle and four senators between them.

It was the latest chapter in the increasingly nasty fight between the two leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination and capped a dramatic day.

Hours earlier, Obama received the endorsements of Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy, the brother and daughter, respectively, of President John F. Kennedy. They were joined by Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., the senator’s son.

The only Republican senator still running, John McCain of Arizona, skipped the address to campaign in Florida.

I hope this is not some sort of insight into Senator Obama’s personality. We currently have a petulant, childish president. We do not need another.


Speaking about the moment Tuesday morning, Obama advisor David Axelrod said in an interview on MSNBC the Illinois senator was not trying to snub Clinton.

“I think he knew that Senator Kennedy and Senator Clinton were friends,” he said. “This was obviously an awkward day from that standpoint, and I don’t think he wanted to stand there while Senator Kennedy was greeting Senator Clinton. And I think that was an appropriate sentiment.”

Update #2:

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the Illinois senator said all the talk swirling around the moment the two crossed paths Monday night is much ado about nothing. (Watch Obama comment on the moment.)

“I was surprised by sort of the reports this morning,” Obama told reporters. “You know there was the photograph in the Times about, sort of, me turning away. I was turning away because [Sen.] Claire [McCaskill] asked me a question as Sen. [Ted] Kennedy was reaching for her.”

“Sen. Clinton and I have very cordial relations off the floor and on the floor. I waved at her as we were coming into the Senate chamber before we walked over last night,” he continued. “I think that there’s just a lot more tea leaf reading going on here than I think people are suggesting.”

I guess snubs are in the eyes of the beholders.


 Posted by at 19:12  Politics
Jan 282008

Did anybody remember what tonight is? I didn’t… at least not until I checked to see what is on the television tonight. I doubt we’ll be watching.

combs012508.jpg  sack012508.jpg

Thank God it’s his last one and the last one we’ll be hearing from a Republican for quite some time to come!

(If, for some reason, you are interested, Think Progress has the text of the speech that Mr. Bush will be reading tonight.)

Update: The speech is playing in the background. Does it seem to anybody else that his heart isn’t really in it? He’s definitely just calling this one in. He’s tired. He’s ready for this presidency to be over. So are we.

Jan 282008

I’m sure you’ve seen this by now:

Breaking News: Rudy Giuliani hints at dropping out

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani appears to be pondering an end to his long pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination.

In a meeting in the back of his chartered plane en route to St. Petersburg, Fla., a short while ago, the onetime, longtime GOP front-runner told a small group of reporters, including The Times’ Louise Roug: “The winner of Florida will win the nomination.”

He then went on to predict he would win. And his spokeswoman, Maria Comella, said later he was speaking with confidence.

But that’s an unusually categorical statement suggesting that only a total first-place upset by Giuliani, who trails both Mitt Romney and John McCain in all major polls for Florida’s Republican primary tomorrow, will keep him in the competition, despite previous repeated vows to continue.

Giuliani’s campaign, which led in national polls when it began and stayed there for many months, is showing signs of serious financial fatigue. This month his top staffers are foregoing their paychecks so the maximum amount of money can be invested to salvage his political fortunes in the Sunshine State, which was where Giuliani’s late-state strategy was to kick into high gear.

So far, he’s yet to finish first anywhere and ended up behind Rep. Ron Paul in Iowa and Nevada.

In his meeting with reporters today, Giuliani added that, no matter what happens Tuesday, he definitely would participate in the Republican debate co-sponsored by The Times on Wednesday at the Reagan Library.

Mr. Giuliani does not stand a chance of winning the Florida Republican primary tomorrow, barring some unforeseen miracle. Miracles are, unfortunately, the domain of Mike Huckabee. Right now, it appears that Huck and Rudy will battle it out for third place.

My prediction: we’ll see a rather lackluster performance from America’s mayor in Wednesday evening’s debate followed by an announcement of his withdrawal on Thursday morning.

If Giuliani had really wanted to be President, he should have challenged George W. Bush in 2004. We are now too far removed from 9/11. His alleged heroics on that date were the only thing he had going for him. He waited four years too many.

Poor Rudy. He really thought it was his time. It wasn’t. He should have struck while the iron was hot.

Jan 282008

It seems that Mike Huckabee is not only a connoisseur of fried squirrel, he is also an expert when it comes to fried chicken.

This expertise is going to help him win Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and all the other great southern states where fried chicken is truly appreciated:

Huckabee challenges Romney over fried chicken

PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) – Mitt Romney’s failure to eat fried chicken with the skin on is nothing short of blasphemy here in the South, according to GOP rival Mike Huckabee.

Romney, of Massachusetts, dug into a piece fried chicken at KFC while campaigning in Lutz, Florida on Saturday, but not before peeling off what most would consider the best part — the crispy skin.[..]

Huckabee, looking ahead to a flotilla of southern states up for grabs on Super Tuesday, was told about the move by a reporter here in the Florida panhandle.

“I can tell you this,” he said, “any Southerner knows if you don’t eat the skin don’t bother calling it fried chicken.”

“So that’s good. I’m glad that he did that, because that means I’m going to win Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma … all these great Southern states that understand the best part of fried chicken is the skin, if you’re going to eat it that way.”

Damn Yankees just don’t know how to eat fried chicken.

I wish the Republicans would just hurry up and nominate Pastor Mike. They’ve got a real winner there – no doubt about it.

Jan 282008

It is becoming increasingly clear to most people that either John McCain or Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential candidate in 2008. The more they tear each other apart, the happier we Democrats become. However, when one of them accuses the other of being a Democrat… well, that’s just an insult to Democrats everywhere. I think we should demand an apology from Flipper Romney.

Romney Criticizes McCain Legislation

Mitt Romney & John McCain
Mitt Romney & John McCain

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Mitt Romney and John McCain accused each other Monday of harboring liberal tendencies, a charge bordering on blasphemy in the increasingly caustic campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney struck first on the day before the winner-take-all Florida primary, criticizing the Arizona senator for his legislation reducing the role of money in politics, for his position on immigration and for his support of an energy bill that he said would have driven up consumer costs.

“If you ask people, ‘Look at the three things Senator McCain has done as a senator,’ if you want that kind of a liberal Democratic course as president, then you can vote for him,” Romney told campaign workers. “But those three pieces of legislation, those aren’t conservative, those aren’t Republican, those are not the kind of leadership that we need as we go forward.”

McCain answered swiftly, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of “wholesale deception of voters. On every one of the issues he has attacked us on, Mitt Romney was for it before he was against it.”

He added, “The truth is, Mitt Romney was a liberal governor of Massachusetts who raised taxes, imposed with Ted Kennedy a big government mandate health care plan that is now a quarter of a billion dollars in the red, and managed his state’s economy incompetently, leaving Massachusetts with less job growth than 46 other states.”

McCain later told a Jacksonville audience that Romney has been “entirely consistent. He’s consistently taken at least two sides of every issue, sometimes more than two.”

You gotta give the old guy credit… That last remark about Flipper Romney taking at least two sides of every issue was priceless (and a direct hit).