Thursday, July 31

Vice President Announcements Soon?

It could only be a matter of days or weeks before we know the Vice President selection of each candidate. Both camps have kept their searches top secret and declined to give much insight into the process, but there is some recent speculation that leads pundits to believe a decision may be close at hand.

According to The Washington Post, the Obama camp is looking closely at Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), although Kaine appears to be the front runner.

"Although rumors have circulated about former military leaders and other nontraditional contenders, including Republicans, Obama's pool of prospects is heavy on longtime senators with foreign policy experience. Kaine and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are the only state leaders believed to be under serious consideration, sources close to Obama said.

Democrats who have discussed possible choices with campaign officials and have knowledge of the vetting process said others being considered include Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and former senator Sam Nunn (Ga.)."

Reports also surfaced that McCain has met with former rival Rudy Giuliani and will meet later this week with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal reported The Wall Street Journal.

Among the other rumored finalists: Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who could help him in the West and boost his fund raising, but who has been denounced by evangelicals; Charlie Crist, the current governor of Florida who endorsed McCain in his state’s primary; Tim Pawlenty, current governor of Minnesota, a likely battleground state and home to the Republican Party’s convention in September.

Wednesday, July 30

It's the Economy, Stupid

There is no doubt that the lagging economy is on the forefront of every voter's mind. But what do the candidates have to say?

Obamanomics is a Recipe for Recession, Wall Street Journal

McCain, No New Taxes (Redux): The New York Times

Tuesday, July 29

What Words Describe the Candidates?

The Associated Press and Yahoo! News released a poll on Monday with the Top 10 answers voters volunteered when asked to describe John McCain and Barack Obama.

John McCain:
1. Old, 19 percent
2. Military service, 9 percent
3. Record, qualifications, 8 percent
4. Bush, 7 percent
5. Strength, 7 percent
6. Insider, politician, 7 percent
7. Iraq, terrorism, 6 percent
8. Honest, 5 percent
9. Republican, 5 percent
10. (tie) Moral/good and dishonest, 4 percent

Barack Obama:
1. Outsider, change, 20 percent
2. Lack of experience, 13 percent
3. Dishonest, 9 percent
4. Inspiring, 8 percent
5. Liberal, 6 percent
6, 7 (tie). Obama's race, young, 6 percent
8. Not likable, 5 percent
9. Intelligent, 4 percent
10. Muslim, 3 percent

What three words would you use to describe each of the candidates?

No Blackberry yet, but he does read e-mail

Sen. McCain must have read my last post because there is a story in the San Francisco Chronicle today where he is defending his tech smarts.

The Techie in Chief

The terrorists have laptops in their hideouts. Can America afford to have a leader who is just learning how to use one?

That was part of the headline in a Newsweek piece by Anna Quindlin that caught my attention. It's no secret that Obama's campaign has employed technology to mobilize supporters, raise millions and to promote his agenda. But does a candidate need to be cyber-savy in order to be an effective president?

It's an interesting read with an interesting premise.

Monday, July 28

Race is Tight in the Polls

UPDATED: A commenter questioned where I was getting my polling information. He cited the Gallup poll which had Obama up by 9 points. I had also looked at Rasmussen and they had Obama at +3 and ABC News had Obama at +6. In some swing states, McCain had been down by as many as 17 points. He has whittled that lead down to 2 points.

For as much fervor as Obama garners wherever he goes, it would seem he'd be ahead in the polls with a substantitive lead over McCain. Instead, he is up only a few points which is causing pundits to speculate how McCain could pull out a victory in November.

Can McCain Back Into the Presidency? Real Clear Politics

How McCain Could Win Over Undecideds, The Wall Street Journal

A Deadlock-Proof Democratic Majority? The New York Times

Friday, July 25

Obama Cancels Visit to Military Hospital

Just one more reason I have my panty-hose in a knot over Sen. Obama's trip overseas.


I've been working on this post forever trying to bring an objective tone so you can all make your own assumptions and opinions on Sen. Obama's world tour this week, but I can't do it. I am fired up!

I think the trip to Afghanistan and Iraq was appropriate and necessary. But then Obama had to get all spineless and concede that "America's troops have contributed to improvements on the ground in Iraq, but I still stand by my vote against the surge." Why not just admit that he was wrong?
I can respect a man who admits when he is wrong.

Then the Obamalooza moved on to Israel, Germany, and France? Are you kidding me? Since when does a presumptive presidential candidate (he's not even officially the nominee yet) go overseas and speak to heads of state as if it is January 2009---and to be given a "rock star" welcome in these countries to boot.

  • Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq's welcoming gift was an endorsement of Obama's troop withdrawal plan.

  • King Abdullah of Jordan was happy to be his limo driver in Amman

  • Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted she "wouldn't resist" another presidential back massage.

Then strangely, I read that "No foreign reporters were granted places on his O-Force One and the only interviews he's deigned to give so far have been to the American big shots.

So if Obama doesn't want the adoration of the world, what does he want? Hmm...Oh I get it. Now it's all clear.

This trip was to show the American people that he does have the foreign policy chops he needs for the White House...except I didn't know simply meeting with foreign leaders and fawning all over each other made you an expert in foreign policy.

Frankly, I don't think voters care if he wins the 2008 Presidential Miss Congeniality award from the world. I think we're more concerned about the $74 it took to fill up our mini-vans this week or the second jobs our husbands had to take so we can pay for groceries or how the next President of the United States is going to keep our families safe.

That's what I want to know from the presumptive candidates.

Americans like leaders who are self-confident, poised and in command. But as I watched the news and read the papers this week, I saw a candidate that came across as arrogant, presumptious and disingenious.

Well, that's how I see it. What do you think? Do you think this week's world tour boosted Sen. Obama's campaign? Do you think I'm PMSing (and you'd be right) and need to take a chill pill? Or, do you think Obama's tour o' countries actually helped McCain?

Freedom Friday

Did you think I forgot about you all? Never. Just decided to extend my vacation by a few days, but I'm back and by the look of the newspapers this week, we've got lots to discuss.

But first, it's Freedom Friday and this summer we've been looking at ways to build citizenship in our kids. Today's idea is great if you're looking for a road trip to do with your kids.

A lot of families this time of year head to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments, Capitol Building, White House and a host of other attractions that mix history with entertainment. Depending on where you live, a visit to D.C might now be feasible. And if you have younger kids, they will probably be overwhelmed by the crowds and lines and countless statues.

Instead, take the family to visit your state's capitol this summer. Find out if they offer a tour. Make an appointment to visit your local senator or representative. Explain what a bill is and how it becomes law. Teach them the difference between state and federal government. Look up your state flag and bird. Eat lunch in the commissary rubbing elbows with all the staffers.

We often overlook teaching our kids about state government, but learning how we govern at a state level is an excellent first step in helping them grasp the role of the federal government. It also brings the business of government closer to home as you talk about how your legislators make decisions about the roads they travel, the schools they attend and the businesses they frequent.

Who knows...maybe you'll inspire your child to become more interested in what's going on around your community and what they can do to become part of the process.

Third-Party Candidates: Serious Contenders or Spoilers

Despite the overwhelming press coverage Obama has been receiving on his world tour, the polls this week show that McCain is within four points.

One factor that both campaigns are sure to have an eye on are the other two contenders that could play spoiler in November. Libertarian Bob Barr and Independent Ralph Nader could both pull just enough votes to impact the election outcome.

According to the L.A. Times, "Worried McCain supporters have begged Barr to drop out. The renegade responds with his famous bespectacled glare, referring to himself in the third person, as is his habit: "The GOP has no agenda, no platform and a candidate who generates no excitement. That's not Bob Barr's fault."

In 2000, some believed Nader pulled enough votes from Al Gore to hand the election to Bush. While unlikely that many Democrats would favor Nader over Obama, he still is a wildcard that can't be forgotten.

While third-party candidates don't pull in the big dollars or have scores of media following them, they may still wield enough influence with their supporters to make an impact---especially on election day.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 17

Does It Mean This Blog is Moderate?

I'm not sure if it's just my viewing or if everyone can see that everything on this blog is center spaced. Clearly, something has gone crazy with Blogger. I have no idea what happened or how to fix it but I'm still on vacation and will try and trouble shoot it when I get home this weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 14

Making Sense of the Senate

By Bob Kobzowicz who is contemplating what his first blog will be about

I wonder what makes the world of politics so captivating. Maybe because politicians affect my life more than I like. They have the ability to fund wars and at the other extreme they also determine how much water must be used every time my new toilet flushes.

In Presidential election years it is so easy to lose sight of the congressional elections. But this year you may want to also keep your focus on the Senate races as we may see the reality of a filibuster-proof Senate.

The Senate is designed to be the deliberative body. It is the legislative body that is designed to slow down progress when it is moving too fast. Their members are elected to six year terms and, theoretically, are more apt to make wise decisions that may in fact be unpopular. An individual Senator has the right to speak on an issue and stop all proceedings. This is called a filibuster.

Jimmy Stewart starred in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington about a small town hero using the power of the filibuster to stop the forces of Washington politics. However, at this time next year, we may see a Senate blazing at full speed ahead. The result would be legislation passing at a speed not seen in our recent past.

The filibuster is not all powerful in the senate. It does have its limits and can be stopped. Senators are able to vote for something called cloture. No not closure, which would actually be a better name for it. To stop the debate and cause a vote, sixty Senators must vote for cloture. Otherwise the filibuster is allowed to continue, debate will never end, and the matter will never come up for a vote.

This gives the minority party a lot of power as long as they have 41 votes. If the majority can never get 60 votes, then they can't force an item to come up for a vote. A little undemocratic don’t you think?

This is all relevant because currently there are 50 Democrats plus Independent Joe Lieberman from Connecticut which gives the Democrats their majority. Polls are indicating that all the Republican seats up for re-election could conceivably go Democratic. Here are some races to keep you eye on:

Virginia: Retiring Republican John Warner, no relation to opponent former Gov. Mark Warner-D who should win.

New Mexico: Retiring Republican Pete Domenci. Tom Udall-D is doing well with voters.

New Hampshire: Senator John Sununu-R facing former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen-D who should win.

Colorado: Retiring Republican Allard. Mark Udall-D (cousin of above) may win.

Minnesota: Senator Norm Coleman-R could lose to Saturday Night Live star Al Franken-D.

Alaska: Senator Ted Stevens-R is currently under investigation by the FBI and the IRS.

Mississippi: Senator Roger Wicker-R is in a close race against former Gov. Musgrove-D.

Oregon: Senator Gordon Smith-R shouldn’t lose to Jeff Merkley-D, but who knows this year.

Maine: Senator Susan Collins-R should be safe against Tom Allen-D, but again, who knows.

The only Democratic seat that may go Republican is Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, partly due to the number of voters who left the state after Katrina and have not returned.

A Democratic president, with a filibuster-proof Senate, could enact whatever legislation he desires. Unfortunately, my home state of Pennsylvania does not have a Senate race this year so all I can do is sit around and watch. And you should be watching too.

Sunday, July 13

At Least We Can Laugh About It

Saturday, July 12

Tony Snow Dies

It was with much sadness that I read this morning that Tony Snow died after a long fight with cancer. He was only 53.

Over his 30 year career, Snow was a syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician. In 2006, Snow became the White House press secretary where he served President Bush for 17 months.

Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005. In 2007 he announced his cancer had recurred and spread to his liver, and he had a malignant growth removed from his abdominal area.

Snow joined CNN as a political commentator early this year.

Friday, July 11

Freedom Friday

I'm on vacation this week, so I'm going to open up Freedom Friday to all of you today. What freedom do you think Americans take for granted the most?

Leave a comment and let's discuss.

Thursday, July 10

Why a Recession Might be the Best Thing for America

By Jane at What About Mom

After my husband got an MFA at Columbia, we moved from New York City to Cairo. We went from a scary neighborhood full of drug dealing and held-up bodegas to Ma'adi, a beautiful, green suburb of the world's dustiest city.

Tom taught at the American University. I took a few Arabic classes, but mostly I took care of our daughter and did the usual expat-wife activities: playgroups, church socials, and shopping trips to the bazaars.

One day my friend Suzy and I hired a cab to take us to Garbage City, a very different suburb of Cairo. There the Zabbaleen sort and recycle the city's trash that their school-aged children have collected on their donkey-cart routes.

Besides sorting and recycling, they also live on the garbage. The streets are muddy streams of rotting, stinking trash. The peels and rinds from my kitchen, the broken toys, the shreds of our family's daily life were the backdrop to thousands of Zabbaleen lives.

The United States Agency for International Development surveyed the Zabbaleen to find out which forms of aid would be most effective in helping them escape their bleak surroundings. But they found that the Zabbaleen have surprisingly little desire to leave Garbage City, because that is where their families are.

The Zabbaleen have carved a place for themselves, living where no one else wants to, doing something no one else wants to do. The lives they have carved, surrounded by family and friends, are incomprehensibly fulfilling.

In the United States I feel poor if we can't afford a second car or a vacation this summer. In Cairo I felt richer than Bill Gates because I had 45 dollars to pay a maid each month.

Of course I don't want a recession. I don't want to feel poor. I don't want my best friend from when I was thirteen to be facing a scary, high-risk pregnancy without health insurance.

And of course I wish the Zabbaleen had the opportunities and freedoms that I have enjoyed since birth.

I don't know enough about policy or economics or globalization to propose a way out of this recession mess, or even to enthusiastically support either of the presidential candidates.

I do know that I envy any person who values a life near family and friends over the material comforts that I sometimes think would make all the difference.

Wednesday, July 9

What You Don't Know About John McCain

By Jean from Moms for McCain

I blog every day about John McCain and why I think Moms should vote for him. But since I have only one post here, I want to share the McCain you haven't seen - the "man inside the suit."

You know McCain is Republican (insert applause or sneers here). You may NOT know that McCain has been endorsed by both prominent Democrats and conservative Republicans (Fred Thompson, Sam Brownback, Gary Bauer, to name a few). You may NOT know that in the Senate McCain actually *got things done* working with Democrats, passing key legislation, including campaign finance reform and climate change.

You know that John McCain served with distinction in the navy, including a 5 1/2-year stint as a prisoner of war. You may NOT know that due to his father's high military rank, he had the chance to go home early - and didn't take it, out of loyalty to his fellow servicemen and his commitment to his country.

You know that McCain is married to Cindy, a former teacher and active philanthropist. You may NOT know that sons Jimmy and Jack are currently active-duty military, and Jimmy was actually *in Iraq* in 2007, during a rocky period for the McCain campaign. You may not know that daughter Meghan has a great blog with behind-the-scenes photos. And you may not know that Cindy McCain brought home daughter Bridget from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh for life-saving medical care - and a very surprised Senator McCain welcomed them and adopted Bridget within the week.

You know that the media has given more attention to Obama and Clinton, perhaps because of the historic nature of the primary, perhaps because of barriers breaking, perhaps because they just like them better. You may NOT know that McCain has thriving online and grassroots support, and that outreach to women and Moms is growing every day.

Come join the discussion and learn more about John McCain: a leader America can believe in.

Monday, July 7

Are You a World Changer?

This was first posted in January 2008.

The former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated last month allegedly by Islamists for her conviction that secular democracy was the only answer for her troubled country.

She was considered an ally of the United States and many had put their faith in her for bringing democratic stability to Pakistan. As NPR wrote, we also like her because, "The Harvard and Oxford-educated Bhutto had become an icon in the West, which found it hard to resist the allure of the charismatic female leader of an otherwise male-dominated Islamic nation."

For as many supporters as Bhutto had you'll find double the number of people who doubt her place in history. William Dalrymple from the International Herald Tribune wrote that she was,

"a natural autocrat who did little for human rights, a calculating politician who was complicit in Pakistan's becoming the region's principal jihadi paymaster while she also ramped up an insurgency in Kashmir that has brought two nuclear powers to the brink of war."

Dalrymple definitely provides a different picture, and now with her death, we may never know whether she was truly one of the "good guys" or not.

However, what still intrigues me about this woman, and mother of three, is that she knowingly put her life in jeopardy every day because she believed a secular, democratic Pakistan was the best choice for the future of Pakistan. She was a visionary who was determined to change her nation and ultimately alter the course of the world. Bhutto was a world changer.

In the United States today, we don't know what it means to live in oppression. As women, we can't comprehend a life where we are merely a possession or a piece of property that is owned by our father or husband. And as mothers, we've never experienced a time when are children were not afforded every opportunity to follow their own dreams, even something as common as marrying for love.

Our country was founded by world changers; men and women who believed in ideals that required the same passion and commitment as Benazir Bhutto. They fought and suffered and many paid the ultimate price with their lives for the very freedoms we have come to expect and take for granted.

In my prior post I closed with the question, 'What does Benazir Bhutto have in common with Politics for Moms'? The answer is actually another question: What do you believe in so passionately that you are willing to give your life for?

Now that doesn't mean you have to believe in say, literacy, so passionately you are willing to take a bullet for it. But maybe it means getting involved in your local soup kitchen, stuffing envelopes for your candidate of choice or becoming a mentor to the kid down the street.

I believe moms are born world changers. Even when we're sleep deprived and up to our armpits with dirty dishes, we still believe in the ideals of this country and we want those ideals to be around for generations to come.

Isn't that why you're visiting this blog? With your vote you want to make a difference? You want to have a voice. You want to be a world changer!

Keep the Conversation Going

I will be on vacation for the next two weeks, but Politics for Moms isn't going any where. You're going to be treated to several guest bloggers who will share their own take on the upcoming election and the two candidates. I'll also be reposting several posts from the archive that seemed timely.

I'll see you in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, July 6

At Least We Can Laugh About It

Saturday, July 5

Fifty-Six Signers

This post is from one of my favorite blogs, Evotional, by Mark Batterson.

I love history. And I love America! Thought I'd share a little of both as we celebrate Independence Day.

We live in a a day and age where we almost have to defend our patriotism. I'm certainly not suggesting that America is above reproach. Far from it. But a few years ago I did extensive research for a sermon series on our spiritual heritage and I walked away with a renewed sense of destiny. There is so much revisionist history out there that we tend to forget that a lot of our Founding Fathers were motivated by their faith in Christ.

Just thought I'd share some backstory about some of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans know next to nothing about these fifty-six heroes who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to the cause of freedom.

John Witherspoon was an ordained minister and authored several books of sermons, as well as editing America's first family Bible published in 1791.

Charles Thomson served as Secretary of Congress and was a Biblical scholar. He helped edit the first American translation of the Greek Septuagint into English.

Charles Carroll, the last of the fifty-six signers to pass away at the age of 95 in 1832, wrote out his declaration of faith at the age of eighty-nine. On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for my salvation, and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.

Another Founding Father, Benjamin Rush, is considered the "Father of American Medicine." He personally trained three thousand medical students. Dr. Rush also founded "The First Day Society" which was the precursor to the Sunday School movement, as well as founding America's first Bible society.

It was Benjamin Rush who said the Constitution was "as much the work of Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the effects of divine power."

Francis Hopkinson was a church music director and edited one of the first hymnals printed in America in 1767. He also set 150 Psalms to music.

Roger Sherman is the only Founding Father to sign all four of America's Founding documents: the Articles of Association in 1774, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Articles of Confederation in 1778, and the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

Roger Sherman was also a theologian. He wrote a personal creed that was adopted by his church: I believe that there is one only living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God, and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

I could share story after story, but the bottom line is this: many, if not most, of our Founding Fathers were motivated by their Faith in Christ. They wrote sermons and creeds and hymns. They founded Bible Societies and Sunday Schools. They served God's purposes in their own generation.

By the way, five signers were captured and tortured during the Revolutionary War. Twelve signers had their homes ransacked and burned. Two signers lost sons to the war they declared. Two signers had sons become prisoners of war. And nine signers fought in the war and died from wounds or hardships of war.

Hope that adds a dimension of gratitude to your 4th of July celebration!

Friday, July 4

Freedom Friday: Happy 4th of July

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty. ---John F. Kennedy
We are not weak if we make proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power...The battle, sir, is no to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. ---Patrick Henry
Double--no triple--our troubles and we'd still be better off than any other people on earth. ---Ronald Reagan
FREEDOM--no word was ever spoken that has held our greater hope, demanded greater sacrifice, needed to be nurtured, blessed more the giver, damned more its destroyer, or come closer to being God's will on earth. And I think that's worth fighting for, if necessary. ---General Omar N. Bradley
A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good. ---Barbara Jordan
You can gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face...You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.---Eleanor Roosevelt
Courage is the price life exacts for granting peace. ---Amelia Earhart
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. ---Thomas Paine
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ---Thomas Jefferson
God, who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.
---Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 2

Wanted: Guest Bloggers

I'm looking for a few guests bloggers to add their voice to the conversation next week while I'm on vacation. If you'd like to share your viewpoint on an issue, enthusiasm for a candidate or anything else related to politics, leave a comment or send me an email at

On the Campaign Trail

Two issues seem to be making news this week:

1. Retired General Wesley Clark has questioned whether McCain's military service really makes him qualified to be President.

McCain Reflects on His POW Experience, Washington Times

2. Obama announced that he's going to expand support for Bush's faith-based program.

Obama: Expand Faith-based Programs, USA Today

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