Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting the Parties Started

As Obama starts out campaigning and McCain starts out his convention -- and we await McCain's pick (Sarah Palin?) -- a few thoughts from last night. (Regular readers know we mainly concentrate on Nebraska politics, but we can branch out a little today.)

Feel free to throw in your two cents (we're sure you will) -- this is ours: weren't impressed with Obama's speech. The location looked very cool and was impressive on the wide shots. The build-up was magnificent. But the speech itself? No flow. Very choppy. More negative than we've ever heard him.

We expected one of his soaring Hope and Change vision things and instead got bogged down in how horrible McCain is and the standard list of Democrat bitches. Oh, and his grandparents are from Kansas. (And wouldn't you feel slighted if you were from Hawaii? He was born and raised there, but if you asked someone, they'd probably say he was from either Topeka or Chicago.)

A few reasons for our disappointment in the speech probably had to do with the fact that it had to follow the great Hillary and Bill speeches. You can either like or hate their messages, but the delivery and flow of both speeches hit the mark. And another problem had to be the setting. Obama got lost amongst the 80,000 people. When they showed a wide shot, you never knew where it was he was standing.

As far as the stuff he said, none of it was a surprise (of course partly because we heard about half of it from Keith Olbermann before Obama even got out there...). Bush is bad, McCain will be Bush, McCain doesn't "get it", I'm young and hip and I do.

A couple of our favorite lines afterwards came from the NRO's "The Corner":
Instead of "I Have A Dream", it was "I have a grievance."

After Obama's "This election isn't about me, it's about you" line:
Is Obama breaking up with us?

And if you were wondering, don't expect much out of McCain either. The guy gives a terrible speech and is rotten with a teleprompter. But hopefully you'll be able to see where he's standing in the hall.

[Update, Friday afternoon: Hey, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan agrees with our assessment. See her "flop-a-lini" review here.]


As we mentioned a while back, Leavenworth Street will be represented at the GOP's gig in the Twin Cities next week. While Street Sweeper will not be attending, L. St. part-time correspondent, and full-time political consultant, Jordan McGrain will be sending us updates on the goings-on.

He will have camera in-tow, so if you're there and see him, be sure to show your him your mug and maybe get your face on the blog.


As you may have seen, Omaha City Council President Dan Welch announced his retirement (is that the right word?) from the City Council the other day. Millard School Board President Jean Stothert -- who lost her campaign for the legislature to Governor wanna-be Steve Lathrop by 12 votes -- has already announced she is running.

Attorney Jon Blumenthal also told us he will announce next week whether or not he will run.

But Welch also creaked the door open just a smidge wider on his decision whether or not to run for Mayor. He has said he is 50-50 on whether or not to make the plunge.

Our take on all this: Hal Daub is running hard for his old job and is already raising money. Councilman Jim Suttle has all but announced his decision to run. But many of the monied interests in town don't think Suttle can beat Daub.

So those many, who still want someone to take Daub out and can supply the cash to help do so, are (we'll say "probably") whispering in a number of candidates ears. How much cash will it take?

Dan Welch? Jim Vokal? Scott Hazelrigg? Shane Osborne?? Who could take out Daub?

And with all the above Republicans, you know they have to walk on eggshells around Daub, who is the patriarch of the Nebraska GOP these days. It's a tricky dance. But with the obligation to raise money very very soon, we should know how this is all going to shake out before the November election. After that could be too late.


Anonymous said...

Stick to Nebraska politics. Even Kristol and Buchanan went nuts for the speech. You just sound petty otherwise.

Here is a good piece on Palin:

The Legislature has hired Steve Branchflower, a retired state prosecutor, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Monegan firing. That includes looking at accusations that Palin, her aides and her husband had pressured Monegan to fire a state trooper who went through a divorce with the governor's sister.

interesting pick indeed.

Anonymous said...

Shane Osborn doesn't live in Omaha. Hard to be Omaha's mayor if you don't live in the city...although he might be eligible to be mayor of Beijing. Just wanted to point that out.

Street Sweeper said...

YOU can keep Kristol and Buchanan. They don't speak for me.

I was honestly thought it was poorly written. The delivery was fine. But it had no flow, no theme to grab onto. It seemed like a bunch of one-liners tacked onto each other to see which would stick.

Again, I'm comparing to previous Obama speeches and the Clintons' speeches. I found it lacking.

Anonymous said...

Wow, disowning of one Reagan's speech writers? Do you disown Reagan as well?

Is this the new Republican party?

Right Wing Professor said...

Sarah Palin is an inspired choice. That hissing sound you hear is the air rushing of the the Democrat convention bounce. The Alaska 'investigation' is a desperate attempt by the Dems to sully Palin's reformer image.

Anonymous said...

Actually Professor,

The investigation is being done by a number of Republicans in office. Did you get your PHD at Devry? ITT?

Anonymous said...

So what line of attack will McCain go with? His whole previous line of attack has been experience against Obama. So he chooses a VP candidate who has two years experience? Street Sweeper, can you explain this one to us please?

Anonymous said...

Don't tell me it's you and not me. If it's anyone, it's me.

Alright, George, it's you.

You're damn right it's me!


And folks, when you are a Governor, that's called executive experience. You're running the show. It may be two years, but still vastly outweighs Obama's nicole ritchie-thin resume.

Anonymous said...

So McCain's strongest argument is experience, and how he picks someone who has had 2 years experience? Mixed messaging indeed.

Right Wing Professor said...

Harvard, moron. What grade school did you go to?

Point stands. They hate Palin because she's shaken up corrupt Alaska politics.

Anonymous said...

Harvard huh? Grade school eh? I would expect more from a Harvard educated professor. Taking on corrupt politics, by being endorsed from a corrupt politician. This could be a good experienced move for sure:

You gotta love Ted "The Tubes" Stevens. I'm sure she has been busy cleaning up Alaska.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin beat an incumbent Republican Governor in Alaska. She has not attempted to interfere with any of the Federal or State investigations of "alledgedly corrupt" elected officials from and in Alaska. Anyone know why? Because she is a reform the Republican Party Governor and sat and watched corruption go unchecked and it made her sick. So, she ran for Governor to "Change" the way business was being done in her state (the idea of change is not copyrighted by Dems!).

This is an excellent pick (though I still would have preferred Mitt Romney as VP) for McCain because he has for years been at the forefront of reform in the Senate. He has the experience, she has the youthful vision.

In light of Obama the Dreamer of Hope and Change choosing Biden (the epitomy of Washington establishment), McCain and Palin are a "Dream Team" for people hoping for a new brand of politics and a new way of doing business in Washington.

And, before you can get into any of your Big Business money rhetoric, 2 things:

1) Without "Big Business", you would not have large employers of the masses.

2) It takes money to win elections.

Anonymous said...

So she is a reform candidate who is currently under investigation by her own legislature?

If the War in Iraq and Afghanistan is so important as John McCain argues, why would he choose someone who has no foreign policy experience?

Is the McCain camp ceding experience?

Klev Landsteamer said...

@StreetSweeper: Next time you give a public speech please announce it on this here fancy website. I'd love to listen to what you think is a "good speech"

Until then, I will choose to value the opinions of those who do not cloak their biased opinions in anonymity. I said good day sir!

right wing rant said...

If the pick is Palin, it's over.

McCain wins by 6-7 points.

Street Sweeper said...


I gave examples of speeches I thought were better. You must have missed that when you were thinking up your witty retort.

And how do you know you HAVEN'T heard me speak publicly...

One Out In The Third said...

Obama's speech was the same old political "Neverending Circle Speech" we have been hearing every 4 years. He started out telling everyone how bad the times are and how government tells us we are "on our own." Then he lays out the story of how he/government will change things/save us...then brings it home telling us that we as individuals have to be personally responsible.

Obama hit it on the head...we have to be personally responsible. That's the American way. You don't need Mr. Obvious to come to your house and draw a picture. Otherwise everything else was the same old spend and tax liberal BS. His delivery is slick...but like Kleeb he is "all hat and no cattle."

McCain's pick leaves me scratching my head at the moment. I guess he picked Palin to "level the playing field."

Eric said...

From what I know about her (very little), I don't think Palin is a bad choice. I do think it is a little strange that each candidate seemed to pick a running mate who is a lot like his opponent. It kind of undercuts their main lines of attack. Maybe this is a start to a more positive campaign? Yeah, probably not.

OmaSteak said...

McCain's pick of Governor Palin just put him over-the-top on November 4th. Sweeper's analysis of Obama's acceptance speech is dead on accurate and Obama just blew what little chance he had despite all the mainstream media efforts to make it look/sound better than it actually was.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:38,

McCain does not need a running mate that has experience in military or foreign policy, because he has that experience, himself.

Obama needed an old white guy that has been in the Senate for 30 years because he has no military or foreign policy experience.

What Palin brings to the table is what McCain did not. She is a mom. She has experienced the joy of labor and delivery and is about to experience the pain of having her first born son head off to the Middle East to serve his Country and honor the soldiers that came before him and will follow in his foots steps. She has Executive Branch experience in that she served as Mayor in her hometown and has managed the budget for the state of Alaska for 2 years as its Governor.

When you combine McCain's life experience, work experience and political experience with Governor Palin's life experience, work experience and political experience you can't be beat.

I understand how the democrats in Nebraska would immediately jump to the no experience conclusion. That is all they have running in Nebraska this year, candidates with no life experience (except running for office), no work experience (except running for office), and no political experience (except running for office). Wait, that fella that is in college in Lincoln does have some experience, he has served his adopted Country, honorably, in Iraq. I've heard that 2 out of 3 ain't bad, but 1 out of 3? Pathetic, just plain, pathetic!

I bet Michelle Obama and Joe Biden's heads exploded this morning! I wonder how that was for the DNC hangover?!

Julie Schmit-Albin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Street Sweeper said...

This is not a message board, it is section for comments. If you have a comment, you are more than welcome to post it. However, please do not cut and paste press releases. If you would like, you can send that directly to me at my email address and we will take a look.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't Ink cut and pasted plenty of press releases before about Lee Terry? What's the difference?

Eric said...

Julie? That wouldn't be NRTL Julie would it?

Street Sweeper said...

Whether he (or she) has or hasn't, they've at least been put into his own words.

The deleted one was a straight press-release, down to the headline and quotes.

Take those quotes out and put them in your own words, and suddenly you have a "comment".

Not a big deal, but that's the deal.

Eric said...

Anyhoo, if that was Julie Schmit-Albin of Nebraska Right to Life, you guys should help her out. It seems that they don't have access to their own website over there at NRTL because they're in the process of working on a new one (by the way, you might want to find yourself a new provider if they're leaving you without access for this long). The last press release on their site was from April 2007. It is kind of sad that New Nebraska Network was the only place (that I could find) hosting their candidate survey/endorsement document for the primary.

So, getting back on topic, I'm sure NRTL is happy about the Palin pick since neither Presidential candidate shares their views on stem cell research. Many a Nebraska candidate has been denied an endorsement for that position but the National Right to Life has nonetheless endorsed McCain - this has to make it feel a little better...wait, is Palin against stem cell research? I can't find that info anywhere.

Street Sweeper said...

As I stated before, if her email machine is working, any and all comments (just about) are welcome. Just no press releases in the comments section.

Republican in Millard said...

Jean Stothert will make a great councilmember. She is one of the most fiscal conservative people you will ever meet. She has carried the water for the Republican party in running agianst Steve Lathrop. This Blumanthol guy will not have a chance against her. When he walks door to door he will say, "I have lots of expirience, I'm an attorney at Baird Holm" EVERY DOOR IN MILLARD WILL SLAM SHUT!!!!

Street Sweeper said...

Since I'm the helping type, I'm going to resubmit the deleted comment for that person in an acceptable form.
(This will not be done again...)

Julie Schmit-Albin said...

Senator McCain knocked it out of the ballpark with his selection of Governor Sarah Palin.

She will have broad appeal to the independent, individual spirit of Americans. This is a woman who is known for her personal integrity and she and her husband's welcoming of their fifth child who has Downs Syndrome speaks volumes about her character.

Governor Palin's life experience will embolden women who feel pressured to abort their unborn children who may have physical or mental challenges.

She is living proof of a woman who has achieved much career-wise while embracing the gift of children. That alone will resonate well with women voters.

-Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director
Nebraska Right to Life

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julie Schmit-Albin said...

Thanks Sweeper, I just got back on and didn't know you had a policy against direct press releases. Thanks for the assist. I will adjust comments in the future. So anyway, we're pumped by the Palin pick.

Street Sweeper said...

Again commenters, this section isn't your personal space to push your blog. If you want to submit something to us, via email, we'll take a look and consider putting it in our links section.

Street Sweeper said...

No problem Julie.
Thanks for the comments.

macdaddy said...

Palin has more time in as governor than the big Zero had as a community organizer, which is the only experience he can tout as executive. Oh, and he didn't think he was very good at it. And we won't even get into Biden's executive experience which consists of none.

Brilliant pick by McCain. That McCain bounce you hear is all the Hillary voters who are pissed that Obama didn't even vet their candidate for VP.

asecurityguard said...

Picking a governor under investigation to be your running mate? A sure sign of being senile

aligner said...

The Palin pick is eerily looking like that show on ABC when Geena Davis became president - when the old guy president keels over and then the gimmick VP pick actually becomes prez. Hell, she kicked ass in that show. Palin even looks like Geena Davis. Are we sure it's not her? Get the script writers on this thing and let's get it on!

Anonymous said...

ASG: If that's all you got, good luck.

Anonymous said...

Millard Republican,

Jean Stothert carried water for the GOP against Lathrop? She pretended she wasn't a Republican for most of the race. It was hers to lose, and she lost it. She may be a fine person, but don't tell me Republicans owe her for braving Steve Lathrop. Losing by 14 votes is an embarassment. We owe her nothing.

Speaking of doors slamming shut, what happens when people realize she voted for the largest tax increase in Millard history?

Millard Republican said...

To Anonymous: You sound like a paid staff member of a certain Baird Holm Attorney running against Jean. Is Susie Buffet funding your bosses campaign, too? Jean Stothert has helped create one of the best school districts in the state that spends less per pupil than the rest of the other Metro Districts. Oh she helped dedicate Millard's newest school Ronald Wilson Reagan Elementary, yup she must be a raging

Anonymous said...

McCain picked Palin, someone he meant first about 6 months ago and then for the second time last week. Wow. He knows her really well, "looked her in the eye and got a sense of her soul". Bad choice, wont help at all with women voters (according the ones I have talked to).

Anonymous said...

I want Suttle to run. Not that I want him to win, I just want to see him publicly answer some questions a little birdie told me. Suttle, you got some splainin' to do.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22,

I can't imagine what women you were talking to. Perhaps board members at Planned Parenthood that are afraid a strong Republican will stop Nancy Pelosi from sending millions and millions of dollars to your National Executive Director (who btw, used to be her Deputy Chief of Staff)? Maybe it was Members of Emily's List. You know, the Pro Abortion Rights group that speaks for women across the Nation-or at least thinks they do.

Come on Anon, out with it, what women think Palin is worthless? Are you brave enough to name them?


man at work said...

Anon 10:33 a.m.

1. Most jobs are created by small business.

2. Fearing retaliation, big business avoids partisanship. Cf. the refusal by both CNN and Fox to run the ad linking Obama to Ayers, the unrepentant former terrorist.

asecurityguard said...

Courtesy of Daily kos...
"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said [State Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla]. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

This is the STATE SENATE PRESIDENT (WHO IS A REPUBLICAN) in Alaska. Even the locals dont like her and think she isn't ready to be 'a heartbeat away' from the most important job in the world. On behalf of all Dems, thank you John McCain.

Anonymous said...

Check out this

Anonymous said...

McCain is expected to waste the time of the Mississippi Governor on Sunday by making a tour stop to try and score some political points (or maybe he's going to check and see if he has any homes down there he might need to have boarded up.) Real nice McCain. Put votes above the safety of people. Then, he may give his acceptance speech from a "devestated area hit by the storm." Again, very classy. I'm sure if a powerful storm similar to Katrina or Rita hits the gulf coast, a speech by McCain is precisely what those folks will need in the early moments of the recovery. Obama's right. McCain does care. He just doesn't get it.

macdaddy said...

ASG: courtesy of Anchorage Daily News:

Palin went up against the Republican establishment and whooped all their butts as well as one or two Dem butts. Think maybe there's some bad blood there? Think maybe Ms. Green is part of the establishment? Can you say sour grapes? Maybe you should read the comment section on that story and see what Alaskans are saying about her and her 80% approval rating. Be careful of getting all your info from Daily Kos.

See, here's the thing: The bottom of the Republican ticket is more accomplished and better qualified than the top of the Dem ticket.

macdaddy said...

Anon 12:25 Give me a break. McCain goes and he's wasting people's time. Bush doesn't go and he's insensitive. If he'd gone, he would have been wasting people's time. If McCain didn't go he'd be insensitive.

If the Left wants to be taken seriously, they should have some consistent positions and quit criticizing just because they can. Or didn't you get that memo from the post-politics Our Lord and Savior Obama?

Beware of Baird Holm!! said...

We don't need another Baird Holm attorney in politics. Remember Susie Buffet's ONE CITY, ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT? Baird Holm made millions while trying to force mandated busing and destroy local control, Then we have Baird Holm again suing the state for OPS to get tens millions of dollars of tax dollars for a failing district, now we have Baird Holm against the Ward Connerly Amendment to get affirmative action out of state institutions. Now a Baird Holm attorney wants to be a city councilman as a one event Mr. Blumenthal attended for the GOP before he became interested in running for council. Does anybody see a pattern here?

lnk said...

We're starting to see the effect of the DNC convention and Palin pick:

Zogby poll, 2020 likely voters conducted Friday and Saturday:

McCain 47
Obama 45

Interesting that David Broder today said Obama's speech was "disappointing". He also said it lacked "theme music" and contained "no phrase or sentence that is likely to linger in the memory of any listener."

Damn, I wish I had watched it.

Anonymous said...

I guess Jim Esch's "stomach issues" as a result of his Afghanistan trip have subsided. (Supposedly, that's why he cancelled his talk to the Nebraska delegation at the DNC.)

Seems like he was out in full force at Club Nico Friday night. How did he feel Saturday?

Miraculous recovery nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

To MacDaddy - Bush did go after Katrina. And he did waste people's time. Or did you forget that silly back-patting publicity stunt with the completely unqualified, soon-to-be disgraced political crony Bush appointed to head FEMA? Howabout his depressing flyover photo-op. Forget about that one too buddy? And you have some nerve to talk about the left being taken seriously. What a joke. The nutjob you people have nominated for president (who your lord and savior Rush Limbaugh said he would oppose in favor of HILLARY CLINTON) has nominated the least qualified vice presidential candidate since Dan Quayle. But I suppose McCain's choice may have the effect of reducing the chance of the vice president shooting someone in the face while hunting. But seriously, since when does reporting on the iditerod race, playing the flute in a beauty pageant and leading a state with a population of LESS THAN THE OMAHA METRO for 19 months prepare you to be one (fragile) heartbeat from the presidency? You talk about the left getting real? What planet are you on?

macdaddy said...

What has Obama run, besides his mouth, that qualifies him to be the actual President?

Anonymous said...

What is Club Nico and why was Esch there Friday night after he was too sick on Thursday morning to even face the Nebraska Delegation at the DNC? Maybe he got bad news from his buddy Chris at the "D-trip" and that is why he hauled a** out of Denver. I am confused, didn't Esch tell his supporters on his blog that his friend Chris was coming to "check out" his campaign here in Omaha? It seems that Jim Esch actually meant that he was going to go and stalk Chris in Denver.

Was Esch actually invited to any of the Convention Parties that he ate at the trough of or did he sneak in for the free booze? If you looked at all the Corporate Sponsors (evil bastards according to the Esch campaign), they are all supporting Lee Terry for Congress. I doubt they invited Jimmy to any of their parties to eat any of the food or drink all of the booze that they were paying for since he has bashed them at every opportunity.

No one, including the Press thinks that Jim Esch had a 3 week long buzz, I mean bug, from Afganistan. Everyone thinks he was just hung over. Are you all proud of Jimmy now? For the sake of all in Denver, I am just glad that you Dems were all traveling via public transportation after swillin' all that booze!

Have fun at your "all excluded" Parade downtown this morning!

lnk said...

Still gloating Obamatons?

The Gallup Poll out this morning shows:

Obama 49
McCain 48

It's dead even guys--nice "bounce" from Denver.

lnk said...

When are we going to see something other than a lot of cheap talk from the Obama and Esch forces?

They spend a huge amount of time talking up Project 10,000--their plan to register at least 10,000 new voters (all Democrats, of course, since they don't turn in the applications that are signed by people choosing the Republican party.)

As of August 1, how are they doing?

NE2 voter registration:

Republican 42%
Democrat 38%
Independent 20%

This is unchanged since August 1, 2007--one year ago.

I see a lot of talk, but little results, from the Eschanistas.

lnk said...

Correction @9:00 a.m.--it is the CNN Poll.

Anonymous said...

I would like to be the first to congratulate the Right Wing Republicans who like to play the role of moral authority for nominating the first GRANDMOTHER for V.P. of the United States. Nice judgement McCain. Nice vetting McCain. Not so nice attempt at covering up your teenage daughter's pregnancy Palin. But what would you expect from a beauty queen turned sportscaster?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:24--what are you talking about? They (McCain and Palin) issued a statement confirming the pregnancy. The daughter will give birth to the child--I think that speaks volumes about their values.

I'm bet I know what you'd do: abort it, even at five months.

Right Wing Professor said...

But what would you expect from a beauty queen turned sportscaster?

As opposed to a sportscaster turned drama queen?

(Note: if you don't watch MSNBC, don't start now, but you won't understand this, either)

I'm amused the way the local dems have gotten all moralistic about unwed teenage mothers. You know, like the mother of a certain presidential candidate? Here's a bet, though; the dad won't high-tail it out of there within a year.

Anonymous said...

Technically, Jean Stothert didn't just vote for the biggest tax increase in Millard history, she spearheaded it. Did you see in yesterday's paper that now she wants more?!?

Jon Blumenthal grew up in Millard schools...I don't think his loyalty is in question.