Day: May 13, 2009

The White House Correspondents Dinner Performance of Barack Obama

President Obama "brought down the house"  last Saturday night at the annual White House Correspondents Association to no one’s surprise!

The President poked fun at just about everyone, including Hillary Clinton,  Joe Biden,  Michael Steele,  Rush Limbaugh,  John Boehner,  and Michael Bloomberg, and also made fun of events that have occurred in  his time in office, and also poked fun at himself.

He also spoke up in support of print journalism and journalism in general,  declaring  that while no President likes all things that are published or reported about him and his administration,  still journalism is an important tool in promoting accountability and honesty in government.  He pointed out that journalism makes the complex world we live in much more understandable and relevant,  and educates the American people by providing the knowledge we need to make for a better society and world.

His usual articulate self,  Obama made the event last Saturday night very enjoyable and also very memorable!

The Republican National Committee Losing All Credibility

Michael Steele, the chair of the Republican National Committee, has had many problems in his leadership of his party, including elements of the party which have repudiated him. 

He is not in total control of the machinery of the RNC and he tends to put his foot in his mouth constantly in public statements and appearances.  He does not promote confidence in his ability to grow the Republican party from its base, and Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh seem more significant in the GOP now than their party leader.

Additionally, a report now out says there will be a special meeting of the RNC next week and they will adopt a resolution declaring the opposition party to be the "Democrat Socialist party",  rather than the Democratic party!

This is ridiculous and divisive, and will not help the GOP to revive its fortunes.  They seem unable to see reality, that they NEED to appeal to the broad base of Americans, not just to the social conservatives and the South and Appalachia.  When, oh when, will they come to understand that the future lies in moderation, not right wing extremism?

David Paterson: A Disaster as Governor of New York

Governor David Paterson of New York, who succeeded disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer a little over a year ago after Spitzer was connected to a call girl scandal, has totally collapsed in public opinion in the past few months, ever since his poor handling of the issue of who should be the successor to Senator Hillary Clinton, particularly his lack of care in dealing with a possible candidacy of Caroline Kennedy.  His selection of Kirsten Gillibrand is not inspiring, and she faces a likely primary challenge from any of three former colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Recent polls indicate that most New Yorkers would actually rather have Spitzer back in place of Paterson, despite the scandal, an amazing comedown for Paterson. 

Additionally, a recent poll shows that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has made quite a record of leadership and reform in the past few years, leads Paterson by 62 percent to 17 percent and has support from every demographic group including African Americans  (by a total of 22 percent)!  These are amazing statistics and show that Paterson basically would need a miraculous recovery in the next year before the primary, an event highly unlikely.

Cuomo also leads Rudy Guiliani by six points in the poll, and no matter who else might run for the GOP nomination, New York is a strong Democratic state, so it is likely that the Democratic nominee will win the gubernatorial race by a large margin.  Right now, the betting money would be that Andrew Cuomo, the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo, will be the next Governor of New York!

Florida Governor Charlie Crist Running for the Senate

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, in office only 28 months, has decided to abandon his office and run instead for the US Senate seat of Mel Martinez, who is retiring in 2010.

By taking this step, Crist is essentially leaving Florida in the middle of an economic crisis and opening up the gubernatorial race to other members of the Florida state cabinet, but at this point, Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Attorney General Bill McCollum,  and Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson do not exactly excite the state, and neither does Democrat Alex Sink, the Chief Financial Officer.  One cannot be sure which other Republicans or Democrats will enter the race, but if the Democrats could somehow win the governorship and some open state legislative seats, then reapportionment could help the Democrats after the Census of 2010.

The Senate race looks like an easy one for Crist, although he is being challenged by former Florida House Speaker and conservative Marco Rubio in the primary at this time.  Kendrick Meek, black Congressman from Miami, is the most well known Democrat in the race, but it seems likely that Crist will win the seat.

His running for the Senate indicates to many observers that Crist has White House ambitions, probably more likely for 2016 than 2012.  He will become a voice for Republican moderation, however, and one never can predict the future of a governor who is very charismatic and retains high public opinion ratings despite the tough Florida economy.

In any case,  the Florida races for Governor and Senator will be important to watch, with Florida soon to become the third largest state in population sometime in the next decade.

Cheney, Torture Defense, and Party Loyalty

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is creating a major controversy as he continues to attack the Obama Administration as making America unsafe, and defending torture, despite many FBI and CIA agents who say it does not work and never has provided any crucial information to intelligence agents.

Members of his own Republican party, including Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina most recently, make it clear that they do not agree with Cheney.  Neither does former Independent Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura,  who told Larry King that if had the opportunity to waterboard Cheney, within one hour Cheney would admit to the murder of Sharon Tate LOL, who was murdered forty years ago in California by Charles Manson, probably the most famous living prisoner in America!

Cheney is also leaving no doubt that he is trying to eliminate moderates from the GOP, including stating  that in  his mind Colin Powell is no longer a Republican because he endorsed Barack Obama for President.  Cheney feels Rush Limbaugh is more a Republican than Powell.  That kind of mentality is destructive.

These twin crusades of Cheney will serve to undermine any revival of the Republican party in the near future, and will add to his image of being both the most controversial and also most condemned Vice President in American History!