Uh-oh. Trippi figured it out.

Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for Howard Dean and John Edwards,
just figured out what McCain was doing with the Palin choice.

Don’t LOL. Palin Pick Is About Taking On Washington — Not About Gender

I have seen a lot of commentary on why John McCain’s pick of Alaska
Governor Sarah Palin is a cynical and transparent ploy to bring
disaffected women who supported Hillary Clinton to his cause – and why
this ploy would fail.

But I don’t think John McCain and the people around him are that stupid…

The McCain campaign plans on making an assault on Barack Obama’s
strength as a change agent. And challenge, what the McCain campaign
will describe as, Obama’s weak or non-existent attacks on corruption
within the Democratic party and other institutions throughout his

The McCain/Palin duo will challenge Barack Obama’s claim of “a new
kind of politics” and chastise Obama and Democratic Vice Presidential
Nominee, Joe Biden, for their “silence” in taking on corruption in
their own party in Illinois, Delaware and Washington, DC.

Read the whole thing. I just hope that the Obama campaign is too arrogant to take Trippi’s advice.

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August 31st, 2008 by admindude

How the GOP Convention should deal with Gustav.

Gov. Palin in Kuwait.

Many GOP pros are worried about holding their star-spangled convention in Minnesota while Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. They fear the storm will remind people of governmental ineptness following Katrina, will create horrible visuals of wealth and excess while others are fleeing from their homes, and will completely distract the nation from the hyped roll-out of McCain/Palin.

As long-time readers know, I’m a marketer by trade. And in the world of image and public relations, every crisis presents a huge opportunity. We all hope and pray that the storm dies off before hitting our shores. But what if the best-case scenario doesn’t materialize and we have another Katrina-level disaster unfold?

Here’s my professional advice.

Let Gustav be the anti-Katrina. With the guidance of Louisiana’s new governor Bobby Jindal, the local authorities are all over this one. Evacuation of New Orleans has already begun and all Federal agencies are ready to pounce. It has already been announced that Bush probably won’t attend the convention so that he can be on the scene immediately.

So where does the RNC convention fit in? Proceed with the various meetings, roll calls, etc., but in a workmanlike manner. This business has to be done. Proceed with speeches, but completely change the script. Sure, talk about politics as an aside, but run each night like a telethon to help the Gulf Coast. Ask entertainers to volunteer time for an unpolished song or two to gather viewers for the fund-raising effort.

If the storm is particularly bad, I would publicly invite Obama to give a brief speech encouraging his supporters to chip in. The message: we as a nation are all in this together.

By Monday, both McCain and Palin should be near the worst damage. While McCain fills a sandbag or two, he can spend most his time helping local politicians, comforting families and raising awareness of the situation.

But here is where America gets to know the real Sarah Palin. With her husband, she works in the field, shoveling muck, bailing water and cleaning up damaged homes. No makeup, flashy clothes or elaborate hairdo. Instead, she will be kind of messy, kind of sweaty, kind of tired. And she will become a hero to millions.

But what if a reporter tries a gotcha question on her? “Quick! Who’s the president of Kyrgystan?” Her response: “why don’t you pick up a shovel and make yourself useful.”

Can you imagine the contrast with the polished, image-enslaved, inside-the-beltway pols? The contrast with the media’s narrative of her being a lightweight beauty queen? It would be a PR revolution, but one based not in flash, but on unflinching authenticity. This woman hunts caribou and eats mooseburgers. A little manual labor would be a cinch – and she would still look good doing it.

Conventions have become tired, wasteful and foolish affairs. This is the opportunity to reinvent the entire concept, albeit on the fly. Schedules would have to change by the hour. McCain and Palin might have to do a last-minute jump on a plane to get to the conference for swift speeches. Or just do them by video, stuck in the muck with their fellow Americans.

If the RNC were to follow this advice, they would change conventions from here on out. And they would make Denver’s Obamapalooza look like the vain, waste of time it was.

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August 31st, 2008 by admindude

Leadership we (can’t) believe in

It’s so hard to get good help these days.

Obama disavowed his campaign’s first response, telling journalists that “I think that, uh, you know, campaigns start getting these, uh, hair triggers and, uh, the statement that Joe and I put out reflects our sentiments,” he said.

Earlier in the same availability, however, he told reporters that John McCain “wants to take the country in the wrong direction. I’m assuming Gov. Palin agrees with him and his policies” — echoing Burton’s claim that “that’s not the change we need; it’s just more of the same.”

Obama’s penchant for publicly rebuking his staff stands in sharp contrast to his declarations about how important they are to his management strategy, as well as the all for one, one for all mentality that he encourages in them.

Addressing his campaign at his Chicago headquarters days after clinching the Democratic nomination in early June, Obama lauded his team members for working hard, setting aside their egos and not blaming each other for snafus.

With someone at the top of the ticket who doesn’t know what his staff is doing (and is more than willing to blame them for his mistakes), why are the Democrats stressing Palin’s alleged lack of executive experience?

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August 31st, 2008 by admindude

A PAC to call our own

I noticed a distinct lack of cultural diversity in the bumper stickers over at John McCain’s online store. They have  “Navy Veterans for McCain” (of course) and “Values Voters for McCain” and “Estamos Unidos – McCain” (that whistling sound you hear is Russell Pearce‘s head about to explode), but they didn’t have a sticker that really spoke to my demographic.

Fortunately, that can be remedied with a little Photoshop work.

And in the interests of equal time,

And finally, continuing the outreach…     

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August 30th, 2008 by admindude


Congressional approval ratings are in the tank.

Presidential ratings are only slightly better.

Faced with this reality, Obama picked Joe Biden, the ultimate Washington insider, as his running mate, while McCain chose a VP from as far away from Washington D.C. as you can get and still be on the North American continent.

Washington media, steeped in the machinations of Beltway politics, just doesn’t understand how fed up people are with business as usual in politics and has questioned McCain’s choice as “reckless” or “desparate”. However, Nate Silver of The New Republic seems understand just how much of a difference the Palin nomination can make in this race to the people outside of the Capitol.

But Palin isn’t merely playing at being ordinary, the way that Bill Clinton (Rhodes Scholar) or George W. Bush (son of a president) or Hillary Clinton (wife of a president) might. She really, really comes across that way — like someone who had won a sweepstakes or an essay contest. Her authenticity factor is off-the-charts good; her biography sings.

Reagan, Carter and Clinton all understood that in order to lead Washington D.C., you must portray yourself as being from anywhere else BUT Washington D.C. This country has an inbred fear of professional politicians that goes all the way back to King George II; we want our leaders to be formed from the same clay as the people whom they lead. This year is shaping up to be a realigning election, and by choosing Palin, McCain has set the electoral clock back to 1980: Now we have an outsider, a reformer, a man woman of the people totally untainted by Washington politics with whom the electorate can relate to on a level that transcends policy.

McCain likes to style himself after T.R., but by choosing an outsider with a rural background who’s hell-bent on reform, McCain may be regarded by history as the McKinley to Palin’s Teddy Roosevelt.

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August 30th, 2008 by admindude

Saturday Movie Blogging – A Fistful of Dollars

I mentioned the original, I mentioned the most recent copy, and now it’s time to mention the best copy.

Listen for hints of “The Ecstasy of Gold” theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the opening music in this scene.

“My mistake, four.”

And with that line, a star was born.

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August 30th, 2008 by admindude

Friday Music Blogging: North to Alaska.

With today’s news, I really had no choice. Here’s Dwight Yoakum covering the Johnnie Horton classic, “North to Alaska” (casually seguing into “Ring of Fire”).

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August 30th, 2008 by admindude

A Iron Lady to call our own

And Todd Palin is no milquetoast kept man, that’s for certain. He’s a part-Eskimo oil rig worker who’s also a champion snowmobile racer and now stays home to raise the kids.

He seems the perfect embodiment of this classic Robert A. Heinlein quote:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Who wears the pants in that family? They both do!

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August 29th, 2008 by admindude

Sarah the Riveter.

New Design available at the ExLg Cafe Press store:

Buy it here!

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August 29th, 2008 by admindude

Way to go, Maverick.

You had to see this one coming.

(Yeah, I know, kind of weak. But I’m on deadline, jeez.)

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August 29th, 2008 by admindude