Sean Hackbarth's blog

Our Collective Psychosis

The idea of 2008 being a transformational election is sitting in the bottom of a trash can at Invesco Field. With his conventional acceptance speech Sen. Barack Obama abandoned his weird campaign and aimed to unite his base for the fall. Sen. John McCain did the same by using an Alaskan wild card named Sarah Palin. Both campaigns are getting large crowds, and there's intense interest in the election.

Too much intensity. Before our eyes we're watching Sens. Biden and Obama implode with poor choices of words, a foolish focus on Gov. Palin, and an inability to effectively counter Palin. All the while the Obama "new politics" brand receives the death of a million cuts.

Souless Left-wing webloggers want to figuratively do to Palin what was done to the bear lying in her Alaska office. The MSM follows along investigating any crazy rumor appearing on DailyKos or Andrew Sullivan's weblog.

Palinmania has swept the country (me included) with Fox News getting its highest rating for a primetime documentary. And it aired on a Saturday!

Obama's quip about lipstick and pigs sent Sean Hannity into a frenzy like Alan Colmes dropped a toaster into Sean's bathtub. Hannity was shocked 30 Obama operatives were dropped into Alaska to dig up stuff on the Palins. The yapper failed to realize there's likely dozens of opposition researchers for McCain across the country trying to uncover new, damaging information on Obama and Biden. The guests on his cable show were insipid offering even less substance than usual.

Last time I checked there were wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Have we forgotten Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been explicitly nationalized?

It's like we're losing our minds.

Sadly, after listening to John Fund talk about potential Election Day voting problems our psychosis could get worse. He told a group at the Heritage Foundation, Tuesday, that the Obama and McCain campaign collectively have 14,000 lawyers ready to launch legal challenges across the country. If you thought Florida 2000 was bad imagine legal fights in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, or all of them combined. Such a scenario doesn't bode well for American self-governance.

A quality of conservatism since Burke and expounded by Russell Kirk is prudence. Being careful, considerate, and wise leads us down the path of steady progress in tune with our fellow men and women. In a media environment where truth and untruth can go viral (ask United Airlines) conservatives should be extra careful. An election will happen, but we'll also have to live with one another afterwards. Left and Right, MSM and webloggers need to take a breath, step back for a moment, and ask ourselves where we want to go on November 5, 2008 no matter who wins.

How Important is Corsi?

Sen. Obama's campaign and the Left are going all out to discredit Jerome Corsi and his book The Obama Nation.

I'm inclined to think this Corsi's book won't have the punch as the Swift Boat one did in 2004. What made the Swift Boat attacks so effective were they cut straight to the heart of Sen. Kerry's message. Throughout the campaign Kerry made so many references to his Vietnam service it became a running gag, but it still played a key role in making Kerry present himself as a possible President. The Swift Boat veterans swooped in undercutting his narative.

In Corsi's case there's no people lining up to appear on television and around the country to counter Obama's biography. Now, if William Ayers were to renounce his terrorist past and campaign again Obama, that would be something.

Instead, we're left with a best-selling book that won't have much traction beyond the anti-Obama Right.

McCain Beating Obama on YouTube

Not all is lost for McCain's eCampaign. Silicon Alley Insider reports the "Obama Love" and "Pump" web ads have helped McCain to beat Obama lately in YouTube views:

To get a sense of how rare this is, McCain has beaten Obama on just two other days in video views since the campaign began: February 11, 2008 and November 29, 2007, according to TubeMogul. Thanks to his clever and aggressive use of video and obvious appeal to the YouTube generation, Obama has owned Web video: His clips have been watched 56 million times since the campaign began; McCain's have been watched 4.5 million times.

But McCain's team seems to be figuring out Web video. Or at the very least, they're having a good week, according to TubeMogul.


The videos use two issues that run well with conservatives: liberal media bias and more drilling. I think much of the viewership is from the conservative base who is coming to McCain.

We still haven't seen an over-arching theme from Team McCain but I'm getting confident they'll do an admirable job if/when they develop it.

[via HotAir]

Obama Makes Olympic Buy

Obama will blow $5 million on Olympics television ads:

It's official. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign will be among the TV sponsors of NBC Universal's Olympics coverage. In the first significant network-TV buy of any presidential candidate in at least 16 years, the Obama campaign has taken a $5 million package of Olympics spots that includes network TV as well as cable ads.

Will the buy get people to care about politics when they're trying to root for the red, white, and blue? Or will it be a waste of money, another sign of campaign arrogance, and an annoyance to gymnastics and water polo fans?

Branding via The Next Right

Ed Cone interviewed TNR founder Jon Henke on rebranding the Right through the internet:

CIOI: What happened to the Right that makes a site like yours necessary?

Henke: People on the Left would like to believe that the philosophy has failed. People on the Right would like to believe the people have failed, if we just elect better people we'll be fine. I think both of those are off the mark. Fundamentally what failed was the movement itself. We erected a movement based on two ideas: elect Republicans, to limit government. They elected Republicans, and then they didn't have a politically viable way to actually limit government, and so they settled for the first -- and so instead of a vast right wing conspiracy we had a half-vast right wing conspiracy.

What needs to be fixed is the movement needs to organize itself to actually accomplish the second part of the goal. Just electing Republicans is not enough, what you get is a corrupt Republican Party that is not an effective vehicle for the actual goals of the movement.

CIOI: How can a blog help rebrand conservatism?

Henke: The real value of the Internet is that it allows you to target an audience. The people who read the Next Right are the influential activists, the people inside the Beltway, the coalition members, the political officers, the people at think tanks and advocacy organizations, the people who are most active within campaigns. We're aimed at online and offline influentials.

CIOI: What are you telling them?

Henke: The world is happening first online. Your opposition is communicating online, they are rolling out their product online, and they are focus-grouping on the Internet to find out what they need to be doing. The things that are going to drop onto your press secretary's desk next week are bubbling upon the web this week, or last month.

Let me know where you agree and disagree with Jon.



McCain's "Pump" Ad

What do you think about McCain's latest ad "Pump?"

It does the job of continuing to ride the winning energy issue using common sense.

On a negative note it was hard to clearly hear the "Obama" chant. I also wonder if the "hope" needling will be construed as petty politics.

Bobby Jindal is "Not Going to Be Vice President"

Hopefully Bobby Jindal put to bed thoughts on him as Sen. McCain's Vice Presidential candidate. Fixing Louisiana is where Jindal belongs now. At the same time the GOP needs to build up a bench of high quality leaders for future Presidential cycles. None of us want to go through 2007-2008 again.

Given what we know now who should McCain pick as his VP?

Video from MSNBC is below the fold.

WI-8: Gard in Great Position to Topple Kagen

A Public Opinion Strategies poll declares the WI-08 Congressional race between John Gard and Rep. Steve Kagen a statistical dead-heat. Kagen leads Gard 46%-42% with a 4.9% margin-of-error. Pollster Gene Ulm [PDF] pointed out a few interesting tidbits from the numbers:

  • Undecided voters are "pre-disposted to vote against Kagen."
  • Sen. John McCain leads Sen. Barack Obama in the district 46%-41%.
  • Gard has great name recognition before running ads.

This is great news for Gard on top of his second quarter fundraising advantage over Kagen. Gard will be able to raise plenty of money to be competitive, he has the name recognition, and he's running in a district sympathetic to McCain and Republicans. This is a race the GOP can and should win. Even if you're no where near Wisconsin you can help out his campaign by signing up for his e-mail list and donate to Gard's campaign. Nationalizing this race will give Gard a much better chance to retake this normally-Republican Congressional seat.

WI-8: Gard Beats Kagen in Fundraising

One of these days we'll have to profile some pickup opportunities. This is one of them. And Kagen is bats*** crazy. -Patrick

John Gard outraised freshman Democrat Steve Kagen $292,000 to $288,000 in the second quarter. Their race in 2006 was one of the most competitive in the nation and looks to be the same in 2008.

Kagen has a cash-on-hand advantage and will likely use his personal fortune to help in re-election. Help Gard continue his solid fundraising. This is a House seat the GOP can recapture.

Time to Bring Out Mitt

We now have news the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department will financially support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to try to stem the latest housing market crisis. Since both companies guarantee or own $5.2 trillion in home mortgages this development will be the big news story over the next few days. Reporters and pundits will watch Wall Street to see how the financial markets react to the government's actions.

On the campaign trail the economy and increased anxiety will be the basis for reporters' and voters' questions. Sen. McCain is making efforts to show he understands voters' economic concerns. After Phil Gramm's flub (even if he's was unfairly maligned) McCain could use a new face to sell his economic plan over the next few days.

Enter Mitt Romney. He has the business bonafides to be respected. And he has the positive, can-do attitude that strikes a contrast with Gramm. As long as he sticks to pushing McCain's economic plan and rip Obama's tax-and-spend ideas instead of overplaying his hand like he did in Michigan Romney would be a valuable surrogate.

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