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An Occasional Note On The 2008 Campaigns

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

An Occasional Note On The 2008 Campaigns

::A little help for our friends in Iowa::
So many undecided Iowans! So little time! What to do? Well, Iowans could go to this really simple page that makes their decision easy:

It’s a table of candidates’ positions on particular issues. Moving your cursor into a cell highlights the row (issue) and the column (candidate), so it’s easy to see how other candidates stand on the same issue and how the candidate you’ve selected stands on other issues.

At the time of my writing this, the bottom of the webpage states: Last updated October 22, 2007. One would hope that the issues—such as drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, withdrawing troops from Iraq—are so important that no candidate has made any serious changes to their stance since October.

Another good site is, which basically took the data in the www.2decide table as at July 22, 2007, and runs a script—open-source—on that data from your input regarding the weight of importance you place on each issue and whether the candidate supports or opposes the handling of the issue the same way you do.

Once you submit your choices, the results come back as a table, both ranking the candidates in order of how they match up with your choices and listing which issues you and the candidates disagree on. An important second line also lists the issues on which the candidate’s views are unknown, so that you can do further research to refine your decision.

It’s a pity the two sites haven’t been kept up-to-date, but the guy who created the script was called up for another round of active service with the Marines, from his status as Individual Ready Reserve, so I’m guessing he’s got bigger things on his plate. His blog hasn’t been updated since September.

:: Kucinich throws the dice::
It came as a big surprise to Edwards’ supporters that Dennis Kucinich this week told his supporters to give their second-round vote to Senator Obama if their numbers weren’t sufficient to make Kucinich viable in the Iowa caucuses in the first round. Kucinich’s explanation was that he and Obama both stood for one thing: Change.

Another explanation might be that Kucinich wants to hurt Clinton’s chances as much as possible, and the bigger the victory for Obama, the more likely that is. Edwards is capable of winning Iowa without anyone else’s candidates crossing to his side as a second preference on the night. A third-place showing for Clinton would be a shocker.

::Why Iowans really turn out to the candidate events::
Happily unemployed back in relatively toasty California, I can’t say I envy the reporters traipsing around in buses in snowy Iowa, left to sit outside because the campaigns have been restricting foreign press coverage to pool coverage—that is, one reporter, photographer, videographer only is allowed into the event and they have to share their stuff with everyone else.

But are Iowans going to the campaign events to get to know the candidates, and listen to their stands on the issues? I doubt it. More than likely they’re there for the photographs they can have taken with the candidate, the memorabilia they can sell on eBay or pass down to their grandchildren, or the slight chance some TV camera crew might interview them about how they’re voting.

The media, of course, wouldn’t dream of shucking that particularly golden ear of corn because political campaigns are the hand that feeds them. Of all the money being spent, huge amounts are going into advertising on the radio, television, and in the papers. So why would you out it all as a sham so long as you’re in the position to keep the illusion stoked and feed your coffers at the same time?

::Angel carries bullet to Huckabee’s foot::
Earlier this year, Mike Huckabee described to an audience at the National Rifle Association’s conference in DC how an angel took the bullet he fired at an antelope in a shooting contest and he won!

“And somehow, by the grace of God, when I squeezed the trigger, my Weatherby .300 Mag, which has got to be the greatest gun, I think, ever made in the form of a rifle -- for my sake in hunting, I've never squeezed the trigger and not gotten something -- did its work, and somehow the angels took that bullet and went right to the antelope, and my hunt was over in a wonderful way.”

Now, it seems, his angel whispered something in his ear and carried a bullet into his foot.

How else to explain the bizarre antic this week of showing a negative TV ad to the media at the same time he was announcing that he wouldn’t be airing it for the public. I can’t say I blame him for being frustrated with the media. Whenever they had been talking about the negative ads Mitt Romney was airing about Huckabee, they would always show significant portions of them, enough to influence viewers’ opinions.

Huckabee has been lured into appearing on the Jay Leno show tonight, so one can only wait and see of he needs angelic help to get that wounded foot into his mouth.



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