"Beat the rookie with the Veteran"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's been a pleasure everyone...

Thanks everyone for reading... this past year has been one of the best of my life, and I've enjoyed meeting a number of great friends.  I leave you with the statesman and American hero:

Remarks from Senator John McCain
November 4, 2008

Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.

My friends, we have -- we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer in my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day, though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought as hard as we could.

And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends. The road was a difficult one from the outset. But your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I am especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother and all my family and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign. I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.

You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign. All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude, and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.

I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I have ever seen and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength. Her husband Todd and their five beautiful children with their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.

To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly month after month in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life. And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.

I would not be an American worthy of the name, should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century. Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it.

Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.

And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history, we make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meghan says it better than I ever could...

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2008 AT 12:31 PM
"Musings on Politics from a Pop Culture Girl"

When I started the Blogette last year, I wanted to show people what happens behind the scenes in a national campaign. I did this because I love my family and I knew that it might surprise people to see how normal this experience can be. I know this has been a difficult campaign for a lot of people. I know there are many who just want to get past the last eight years. And I know there are people who are so desperate for change they will do anything to get what they think is a better deal.

I make no excuses for the state of politics today. But I want everyone to know that my dad is more than ready to be the President this country needs right now. Everyone always assumed Iraq would be this campaign's number one hurdle. The only thing I respect more than people's opinions about how to proceed in Iraq are the men and women who are bravely serving our country in harm's way every single day. My Dad is the only candidate with real military experience who has the support of an overwhelming majority of current service members. And if you really want to know how much I trust him, remember that I have two brothers who are serving, one of whom is about to redeploy. Of course, all of this is easy to miss, because this election is clearly about moving past the current administration and fixing the economy.

If you honestly think someone with extremely limited experience will solve the severe problems we have in this country then, by all means, vote for Senator Obama. If you want to give complete control of our government to the Democrats who have made a real mess of things over the last two years they've controlled Congress, then go ahead and vote for Senator Obama. And, if you really believe that our taxes should be higher and that government should have a bigger role in our lives, vote for Senator Obama.

Some of you have asked me how I can support my Dad or call myself a Republican when times are so tough, especially since my own personal beliefs don't always sync with the GOP. Well, I have asked myself that same question a lot. But I support my Dad through it all because I know this: my Dad will be unlike ANY other Republican president. My father has the experience, leadership skills, and proven dedication to serve. I only wish people could understand that Dad will bring about the change everyone is so hungry for in a much more real way than Senator Obama could ever possibly hope to do at this stage in his political career.

So, forget everything you've heard or seen. Just know this: everyone wants change. And while some people can only talk about it, my dad will bring it. Don't give up on him. He is never going to give up on you. And by you, I mean every American. Regardless of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or political ideology; a vote for John McCain is a vote to change our country for the better. Don't hope for a better future. Vote for one.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What Obama thinks about refurbishing our nuclear stockpile...

He's going to be on a collision course with our military...

This, along with a threat of a 25% cut of defense spending will directly effect our national security...

Remarks by McCain After Economic Roundtable

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain today delivered the following remarks as prepared for delivery after meeting with economic and business leaders in Cleveland, OH:

I just finished meeting with my team of economic and business advisors. We have been meeting throughout this campaign, discussing the state of our economy and what we need to do to get this country back on track. This is a team of extraordinary leaders in business and government, with great insight into what we need to do to rebuild confidence, restore economic growth and create millions of new jobs. They, and many others, have helped me develop dynamic new economic policies, and in a McCain Administration they will continue to advise me and help enact these important actions to get our economy moving again.

I have been through tough times like this before and the American people can trust me -- based on my record and results -- to take strong action to end this crisis, restore jobs and bring security to Americans. I will never be the one who sits on the sidelines waiting for things to get better. I believe that to lead, you must put forward your vision of our future, and that is what I have done.

With one week left in this campaign, the choice facing Americans is stark. My economic goals and policies are very clear -- One, I will protect your savings and retirement accounts and get this stock market rising again. Two, I will keep people in their homes and fix our housing market. Three, I will create millions of high-paying jobs through tax cuts that spur economic growth -- particularly for the small businesses which create 70 percent of all new jobs in this country.

The first thing we must do is protect peoples' savings, investments and retirement accounts by stopping the declines in the stock market, and by getting the credit markets moving again so people can get home, car and business loans. To do this, we need pro-growth and pro-jobs economic policies, not pro-government spending programs paid for with higher taxes.

This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is that he thinks taxes have been too low, and I think that spending has been too high.

My approach is to get spending under control and cut taxes to encourage individuals to invest in our markets or buy a home, and to encourage businesses to hire more workers. Senator Obama's approach is to radically increase spending, and then raise taxes to pay for it. Today he claims that he will only tax the rich, but we have seen in the past that he is willing to support taxes that hit people squarely in the middle class, and with a trillion dollars in new spending, the most likely outcome is that everyone who pays taxes will be paying for his spending.

My approach will lead to rising stock market prices, a stabilized housing market, economic growth and millions of new jobs. Senator Obama's plan will destroy business growth, kill jobs, and lead to continued declines in the stock market and make a recession even deeper and more painful.

We need action today, even as we lay the foundation for growth tomorrow. To help put a floor on the stock market, we need people and institutions to start buying and holding their investments again. To incentivize investments, I have proposed that if you buy stock and hold it for a minimum of a year, your tax on that investment will be cut in half.

To help retirees, I will eliminate a rule that forces people to take money out of their accounts when the markets are at these low levels. Also when retirees do sell, they will be taxed at a low 10 percent rate versus a much higher personal income tax rate. These vital measures will promote buying, help companies raise capital and create jobs, shore up investment and retirement plans and get stock prices stabilized and rising again.

But we also need to do more to build confidence that American investments and retirement accounts are safe, so I will reform the markets and Wall Street. I will make sure that the SEC enacts and enforces rules that keep our markets safe and competitive. I will demand complete transparency into the accounts and activities at all banks and insurance companies so they cannot take on the kind of risk that brought down the financial system. We will have strict rules of conduct on Wall Street and if they are broken executives will be severely punished. I know -- and the smartest people in business and industry agree -- that these actions will restore confidence, get stock prices moving up again and increase the value of your hard earned savings and investments.

We also need to build confidence in our workers. Through my middle class tax cuts, I will let you keep much more of what you earn so you can save and invest it. A typical middle-class family of four making $42,000 a year with health insurance will get $4,350 more dollars under my plan than under the Obama plan.

We cannot fix the economy until we fix the housing and mortgage markets and I have a plan for that as well. When I am President, the government will get out of the banking business fast. My highest priority for the $700 billion rescue plan will be to protect the value of your home, which is where most American savings are invested. I have announced a plan to replace bad mortgages for deserving people with more affordable new ones guaranteed by the government. This will stem the tide of foreclosures that are hurting families, shore up banks with troubled loans, and set a floor under the housing market and get home prices stabilized and rising again.

I have said throughout this campaign that the best economic recovery plan is a secure well paying job. This morning we talked a lot about creating jobs. David Farr who runs Emerson Electric has told me how pro-growth tax cuts like those I have proposed will incentivize him and hundreds of businesses that have sent jobs overseas to expand their businesses and hire people right here in America.

Lou Anne Reger who founded and runs a steel company in Minnesota and Massey Villareal who employs 160 people in a computer services company in Texas echoed David's comments and also add that Obama's health mandate to require companies to provide the equivalent of a Congressman's insurance plan, or get fined, will force them to cut jobs and would cripple their businesses in the worst economy in generations. Let's make this very clear because Senator Obama has distorted my health care plan throughout this election. His plan will fine bus inesses and individuals so he can finance his version of government run healthcare. I will give every American a $5,000 health care credit, lower healthcare costs and let you take your insurance with you when you leave a job. That's the difference.

This election comes down to how you want your hard earned money spent. Do you want to keep it and invest it in your future, or have it taken by the most liberal person to ever run for the Presidency and the Democratic leaders who have been running congress for the past two years -- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? This is a dangerous threesome. They believe that $1 trillion of rescue financing is not enough and have already proposed another $300 billion spending spree they are calling a stimulus plan. I would rather give the great American middle class additional tax cuts and let you keep that money and invest it in your future.

As President, I will bring enormous talent -- like these great leaders here -- from outside of Washington to shake up the government and get it working to promote economic growth and jobs for the American people. My team and I will take action to put an end to this economic crisis, restore confidence in our markets, get stock and home prices moving up again, grow businesses, create jobs and restore the great American dream.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Know Hope...

OCTOBER 24, 2008
43% Isn't Nothing
Obama looks like a winner, but it's not over yet.

It's all going fast, the whirl of images on the screen, words on the page, data flashing by. Barack Obama's up here, his lead now in the double digits there. In green rooms on book interviews, I see quietly angry former Reagan staffers, defensive former Bush aides, harried McCain spokesmen, and almost-jaunty Democrats. A network correspondent with a reputation for fairness—no one knows how this reporter votes—came by one day and shrugged with frustration. Everyone asks me about media bias. Of course the media loves Obama, but I can't say it. I didn't take notes, but I think that's word for word. Soon after, I received an email from a different journalist who referred, in passing, to where many journalists stand.

Neither of these people is conservative. When nonconservatives see the Obama love, and refer to it without prompting, the Obama love is deep. Remember how John McCain used to refer jokingly to the press as "my base"? Now it's part of Mr. Obama's. But if Mr. McCain loses, the reason will not be press bias.

The press knows who the press is for, and it isn't generally the one to the right. This has been true all my life. What has also been true is that the Republican had to get around it with the truth of his stands, the force of his arguments, the un-ignorability of his words, the power of his presence. You have to go over the head of the interpreters and gently seize the country by its lapels. Mr. McCain never got much over their heads. This is not because they're so tall. His campaign was not so much about meaning as it was, in the end, a series of moments—a good interview with Rick Warren, a good convention, Joe the Plumber . . .

And yet: It's not over. For one thing, Mr. McCain has got to be reading Steven Stark's piece in the Boston Phoenix, which imagines the forces that could produce a McCain upset. What if Mr. Obama underperforms on Election Day, just as he did in the final primaries with Hillary Clinton? What if senior citizens turn out in record numbers and vote for the older guy, and the financial crisis seems to fade, and Mr. McCain finds new grounding on the issue of taxes, and the Obama campaign undermines itself with premature triumphalism . . .

Mr. McCain has endless faith in his ability to come back. He's been doing it for 40 years, from Vietnam, where, with the injuries he'd sustained and the torture he experienced, he might have died, was likely to die, and yet survived, to exactly a year ago, when he was out of money and out of luck. And then he won New Hampshire. When he says, "We got 'em where we want 'em" he must mean: They think they are looking at a corpse. No one in politics has so repeatedly relished coming back from the dead.

Not a single poll has Mr. McCain ahead. The RealClearPolitics average of national polls as I write, rounded off, is Obama 50%, McCain 43%. Actually Mr. Obama has 50.1%, and if that is true and holds, it would make him the first Democratic presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter to break 50%. But I find myself thinking of what that 43% means. It's a big number, considering that this is the worst Republican year in generations. Amid two wars, a deep economic crisis, a fractured base, too much cynicism, and a campaign with the wind not at its back but head on in its face—with all of that working against Mr. McCain, 43% of the American people say, right now, in these polls, they are for him. And there are a significant number of undecideds. Four years ago about 122 million people voted. Forty-three percent of 122 million is 52 million people, more or less. A huge group, one too varied to generalize about because it includes flinty elderly Republicans from New England, home-schooling mothers in Ohio, libertarianish Republicans in Colorado, suburban patriots outside the big cities, and many others.

They are the beating heart of conservatism, and to watch most television is to forget they exist, for they are not shown much, except at rallies. But they are there, and this is a center-right nation, and many of them have been pushing hard against the age for 40 years now, and more. For some time they have sensed that something large and stable is being swept away, maybe has been swept away, and yet you still have to fight for it. They will not give up without a fight, and they will make their way to the polls.

And they will be a rock-hard challenge to Mr. Obama if he wins.

This is the thing: If Mr. Obama wins, and governs as a moderate liberal, not veering left, not seeming to be the cap that pops off a kettle that's been boiling for eight years, but governs to a degree, at least in general approach, as Bill Clinton did—as a moderate Democrat well aware of the terrain—he may know some success. And he may be able to tamp down the insistence of the long-simmering left by the force of his own popularity, which will grow once he is president among grateful Democrats, and others. But if he goes left—if it comes to seem as if the attractive, dark-haired man has torn open his shirt to reveal a huge S, not for Superman but for Socialist, if he jumps toward reforms such as a speech-limiting new Fairness Doctrine, that won't yield success. It will yield trouble, and unneeded domestic arguments. We have enough needed ones.

In a way, Mr. Obama can more easily go left in foreign relations for the precise reason no one knows what going left is, because no one knows what going right in foreign relations is, at least if "right" means "conservative." Mr. Obama has a great chance, in this area, to confuse the world. And a confused world is not all a bad thing. His persona, name, color, youth and approach will, at least initially, jumble up long-settled categories. Radicals enjoy hating America, but a particular picture of America. He is not that picture. He will give calculating Western European leaders an opening to be friendly to America again; they will feel that Mr. Obama's victory constitutes the rebuke of the Bushism they desire. They will befriend the rebuker.

People wonder if he is decisive. It is clear he is decisive in terms of his own career: He decides to go for president of the law review, to move to Chicago, to roll the dice for a U.S. Senate seat, to hire David Axelrod, to take on Hillary, to campaign with discipline and even elegance. When it comes to his career, his decisions are thought through and his judgments sound. But when it comes to decisions that have to do with larger issues, with great questions and not with him, things get murkier. There is the long trail of the missed and "present" votes, the hesitance on big questions. One wonders if in the presidency he'll be like the dog that chased the car and caught it:

What's he supposed to do now?

It is mean out there, and in the next week it will get darker still, perhaps spectacularly so. To me, the biggest nightmare would be a tie. The worst resolution would be no resolution. And the quarrel would not, for even a moment, abate.