Daily Archives: June 4, 2008

Lincoln, Douglas, Kennedy, Nixon…

McCain challenges Obama to town hall-style debates – USATODAY.com

Obama’s not crazy, and so he’s not going accept this, which is something that plays more to McCain’s strengths than his own. He’s proposed a series of “Lincoln-Douglas”-style debates. Considering that the originals were essentially a series of dueling (and quite long) speeches, that’s right in Obama’s wheelhouse, and thus not something McCain would ever agree to.

Basically, what Obama needs to do is find a format that maximizes (a) the direct interaction between the candidates, and (b) the length of time each candidate speaks in each segment. McCain wants to find a way to make things as freestyle as possible with interaction with the public, because he’s good at that but a terrible speaker.

It may not matter. There are a lot of ways to go wrong predicting what the American electorate will do, but they’re pretty consistent in choosing whoever looks the best on TV. Since 1960, they’ve done this every time with the possible exception of 1968 (I don’t know enough about Humphrey to judge). And Obama is much better TV than McCain except in a comedy sense.

Damn, he’s bad

The problem for John McCain is, basically, that he’s turning into Bob Dole. Now, the American people kind of like Bob Dole — heck, I kind of like him — but they don’t want him to be president.

The weird pauses and awkward grinning and the grumpy-old-manism are just the beginning. The real problem is that like Dole in ’96 he’s been willing to give up so much of what he actually believes, the things that make him him, to satisfy the Republican base. What’s more, he seems to be buying into the Republican groupthink that these ideas (more war! more tax cuts for the rich! torture!) are what people really want. It’s a different set of ideas, other than the brain-dead supply-sidism, but they’re not ideas anyone outside the Republican dead-enders is interested in.

Hey, nobody insults Birmingham for its crime rate!

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford blasts carnival promoter over state fair comments- al.com

That’s my job!

Apparently, some guy who’s running a carnival in Pelham is claiming to have “revived” the Alabama State Fair (which was shuttered in 2001) and moved it from Birmingham because of its crime rate. BMLL is all upset, of course, and says that they can’t call it the Alabama State Fair because Birmingham owns the name. The people running Pelham seem a bit nonplussed and say that the guy was on his own when he made the comments.

You can’t always get what you want

Langford, Smitherman want Birmingham Board of Education property – again- al.com

BMLL wants to tear down the building and let some developer build a luxury hotel. The Board has absolutely no interest in this and the city can’t make them leave, so they’re going to keep rejecting it. So, nyah.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Runoff

Twinkle Cavanaugh leads Alabama PSC president primary race but may need runoff- al.com

So even fewer people will decide who gets the nomination. Anyway, Twinkle’s signs look like this… There is a great big TWINKLE and a teeny-tiny ANDRESS CAVANAUGH below it. So calling her just “Twinkle” is evidently what she’s looking for.

Damn, he’s good