Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Meanwhile, in Deep Blue Liberal land, the media and millions of voters are 'mobilized' in support of Obama. Except that two-thirds of Democrats want opponent Hillary to stay in the race, more think Hillary can win than Obama, and nearly a third of registered Democrats say they would vote for McCain over their party's heir apparent. We're already hearing about the protests and counter-protests and counter-counter-protests that will accompany the conventioneers' organic vegan meals. The media celebrate his record-breaking 'achievements' while reluctantly reporting on the nuisance which is their party's other, more qualified, also barrier-shattering candidate.
So, what gives? Americans, to borrow a phrase, are "mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore." From either party. We are fed up with not having schools and roads and hospitals because lobbyist-pocketed Senators are sneaking wasteful spending onto bills. We are sick of sending different people to Washington and getting the same results (none). And we are tired of life and death decisions being made for political reasons.
Both parties, one very publicly, one more subtly, have been forced to recalibrate their priorities. Without the crutch of a clearly-groomed successor, both Democrats and Republicans went back to the drawing board and came up with two very different standard-bearers. Republicans chose a candidate with conservative credentials but without the arrogance and special-interest ties that turned off independent voters in previous elections. They moved a bit toward the middle, deciding it was better to elect "100% of a candidate you agree with 85% of the time." Democrats weighed an experienced alternative against a charismatic newcomer and decided (we assume) to cast their lots with the Rookie of the Year.
Ironically, the "purple people" will decide the payoff of both parties' gambles - the swing voters in swing states whose criteria define definition. These are the people who truly "vote the person and not the party" because they hear less 'background noise' when evaluating the two candidates. So if you're listening non-partisan voters, here's what you need to know.
The key difference between McCain and Obama is that McCain actually has something to offer both sides. McCain successfully maintained a reasonably conservative record without alienating Democrats in Congress, successfully passing key legislation and rallying others to the cause of bipartisanship. Obama has hardly been in Congress long enough to establish an identity, but is already so polarizing a figure that nearly a third of his own party say they won't vote for him in November. Oh, and by the way, McCain has 26 years in Congress, extensive legislation passed, a lifetime of valorous military service. Obama has a lot of internet donors and a Junior Senate seat.
Lest we forget, parties don't run countries, people do. On January 21, 2009, both the RNC and DNC have other fish to fry, and America will be left in the hands of one of two men. A moderate-leaning Republican with experience, or a liberal-leaning Democrat without it. With so many lives, millions of dollars and other important things at stake, I believe most independents , Republicans, AND Democrats will do the right thing and put our nation in John McCain's hands.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I invite ALL Moms for McCain to join us at http://www.mccainnow.com/ , McCain Google Groups (featuring state-specific information and resources), and to comment here at the Moms for McCain blog!
Mother of 2 from San Antonio, TX writes:
I have been an AVID McCain supporter for years (I even voted for him over Bush last time)! He has not only gone through hell in war and been a prisoner in one of the worst Hanoi prisons, but given the opportunity to come home early because of who his father was, he turned it down. This is how it is supposed to work when you are a POW: the first one in is the first one out. Since he had not been there that long before this "proposition" was made to him, he knew it was not his time to go, and he declined so that the proper person could go home. That takes a lot of courage and sacrifice - I don't know how many people could withstand being there & not go home. He was shot down & badly injured. He is truly a hero who never plays up that role as much as most often probably would.
I mention this for a VERY IMPORTANT reason. The person CHOSEN to LEAD this country NEEDS - no - REQUIRES military background, especially in the fine art of WAR. This is so they can fully understand: how to run the country and the military, when and how the troops must be used and maintained, when to use force and when not to use force. You need someone who has been there to the EXTREME in order to
understand when and how that button is to be used. Someone like McCain
knows all too well how, what, why, and when.
A working Mom from eastern Washington State writes:
I was not a McCain supporter during the primary season. Then a few days later, my husband & I voted and we were talking to narrow down our "main issues." While immigration, FairTax, English as our national language, and many more are issues for us we realized that if we get bombed/attacked again the rest is not going to matter! Judges would be another biggie and it sounds like McCain would be choosing many.
I think he is HONEST! I was impressed with the fact that he stood in the heart of auto-making labor union country and said "no" to funding them with more government money.
I'm also VERY excited about his stance on cutting earmarks. There is sooo much about politics and the running of the government that Americans are no longer educated about. He has been in the military, in the House of Representatives & in the Senate so he knows what they need to be doing and can hold them accountable. I'm looking VERY forward to him fulfilling his promise to make porkers famous!
A young Mom from Wenatchee, WA writes:
I've voted straight Democrat since I turned 18. I would've voted for Gore if i was legal age.. and I voted for Kerry. But things have changed.
I used to be "bleeding heart liberal"... and now I'm finding myself more and more conservative, and identify myself as conservative now. McCain supports more of my beliefs and ideals than any of the Democrats. He seems to have the experience needed for the job at hand. And right now I think that is a very important factor.
Monday, May 26, 2008
At a moment when John McCain needs money, volunteers, and good press, it would have been easy to ride this bill's coattails into a patriotic lovefest. It would have been easy to turn a blind eye to the misguided finances and staffing consequences, support the legislation, and stick taxpayers with the bill. It would have been easy - but it would not have been right.
After Obama criticized McCain's non-support of the bill, McCain commented on RealClearPolitics (thank you Blogs4McCain for the tip, emphasis is mine):
"It is typical, but no less offensive, that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The
office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think
I have earned the right to make that claim...(snip)....But I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities. It would be easier politically for me to have joined Senator Webb in offering his legislation.... "
BUT...it wouldn't be right. McCain comments that the Webb bill could cut the armed forces by as much as 16% - at a time when, as progress is finally happening in the Middle East, we can least afford it. McCain and two other Senators, proposed an alternative benefit package which would incentivize longer military service:
"Senators Graham, Burr and I have offered legislation that would...increase monthly education benefits to $1500; eliminate the $1200 enrollment fee; and offer a $1000 annually for books and supplies. Importantly, we would allow veterans to transfer those benefits to their spouses or dependent children or use a part of them to pay down existing student loans. We also increase benefits to the Guard and Reserve, and even more generously to those who serve in the Selected Reserve...."
Finally, McCain says what we supporters have been saying for months on the top of our lungs - Obama's complete lack of military experience clearly affects his judgment on military issues. And McCain's not gonna take it:
"I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."
To borrow a phrase, bully for you, John McCain. Bully for you! THIS is the man we need as our Commander in Chief. Not all of us can serve in uniform, but we can all take action today to make sure our military leadership is qualified, experienced, and principled.
* This Memorial Day, please thank a veteran for their service to America. Stay tuned for more news from military families and veterans supporting John McCain for Commander-in-Chief! *
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I'm not just concerned about one policy or resume bullet point, or one external variable that makes him electable. What do you, personally, find most appealing? And yes, there is a lot to like - but what one feature got you from nodding your head on the couch to becoming a donor, blogger, volunteer? What was the "tipping point" for you?
I ask because I have heard sooooo much about what people dislike about Obama (and sorry Mark, but sometimes Hillary too). I hear lots of people say enthusiastically or reluctantly, they will vote 'against the opponent' - while this is beneficial to a point, right now it doesn't help donations, volunteers, blog/online presence, or other key aspects of a winning campaign. I want to make sure we don't lose sight of what a strong candidate we actually have - in terms of his character, his experience, his policies, his courage and determination, and his ability to get things done.
My two cents: I am not a very "political" person, not because I don't care, but because I'm disillusioned with the lack of integrity and accountability from my government. Since I became a voter in 1995, the White House has gone from a place of honor to a hotbed of under-desk scandal and a lightning rod for domestic and foreign resentment.
John McCain is a man with the credentials, experience, and finances to live and work wherever he wants. But he chooses to put the "service" back into public service. He has stayed in Washington because he truly believes it is still possible for our government to be a voice and make a difference for average Americans. He is not afraid of lobbyists, political coalitions, special interests NOR is he intimidated to talk and work with Americans, one on one, sleeves rolled up, looking them in the eye. (In fact, as I personally witnessed in an intimate setting here in Washington state, this is where he thrives most.) I believe when he's in the White House standards for all aspects of personal and professional conduct will be higher - and we will get more efficient, effective government as a result.
I don't pretend to speak for all Americans. But I believe "change" begins at the top. I believe in "Bucks Stopping" with our President. I want someone in that office who is ready to do the right things, not just the popular things. I have faith in my fellow Americans to follow President McCain's lead and re-commit themselves to working cooperatively instead of adversarially.
John McCain is 71 years old. He has run once before, ran hard, and lost. He will very likely not run again. His candidacy can either be the bastion of renewed pride, commitment, and honor in American politics, or a sad footnote in our history.
If you ever considered pulling the lever for McCain, please take a minute to tell me why (comment here or email moms4mccain at yahoo.com). I also urge you to do something more. There are many ways to be involved (here are 100 to get you started) but we cannot and will not win unless we all follow McCain's example and "walk the walk" during this campaign. We need to both "preach to the choir" (at McCainNOW, on blogs/web, in person) AND "convert the unbelievers" to McCainism. We in the choir have seen the man and his message, but to be effective 'evangelists' we have to understand what gets people from a reluctant, silent McCain voter to a real part of his success.
Thanks in advance for your input!
Friday, May 23, 2008
This election has been about breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and overcoming stereotypes - and that's a good thing. I have discussed before why I don't think merely being a woman or minority candidate is sufficient, in principle or in practice, to earn the votes of Americans and win an election. However, as my friends on McCain Now pointed out, the strategic reality before John McCain is that millions of would-be Hillary voters are about to come "up for grabs", a significant number have shown consistently they are willing to vote McCain. Choosing a female VP would be a strategic move to show disenfranchised Hillary supporters that women have a prominent place in a McCain White House.
That issue aside, Palin would be an outstanding pick even if she were equipped with different body parts. Palin complements McCain's strengths and would, I believe, strengthen the Republican party's national image. With unheard-of approval ratings near 85-90%, former beauty queen Palin was not an obvious choice to lead a state that many of us associate with igloos and parkas. Like Jindal, she ran for office to fight the notorious corruption in her state (remember the "bridge to nowhere"?) and like McCain, fighting for responsible spending and accountable government has been a hallmark of her leadership. Palin walks the walk on conservative values, as a cautious spender, avid sportswoman, 2nd-amendment defender, and true example of pro-life values in action.
Already a mother of four, Palin became pregnant at age 44 and learned early in her pregnancy that her child would, most likely, have Down's syndrome. Palin showed courage and character, leading throughout her pregnancy and even posing for Vogue. She went into labor early (been there, done that!) during a Governors' conference -- at which she had the opportunity to informally 'remove herself' from VP consideration, and didn't take it.
To be clear, I don't think we should hand this woman the vice-presidency because she gave birth a lot and in brave ways (although I have to admit, as a Mom, this appeals to my head and my heart). I also don't think we should take lightly the responsibilities of raising a special-needs child - but other women in Washington have done it, and it would be sexist and presumptuous to make that decision for her. As long as she keeps her hat in the ring, I think McCain should try it on for size.
For LOTS more on Gov. Palin, see http://palinforvp.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
My CafeMom compatriots shared this piece from The Critical (via RedState), highlighting Jindal's professional competence and strong character.
Bobby Jindal was born in Baton Rouge in 1971. His parents were in grad school there, recent immigrants from the Punjab in northern India. He was raised Hindu, but converted to Roman Catholicism in his teens. He went to Louisiana public schools, then Brown University, where he was an honors student in biology and public policy. A Rhodes Scholar, he was admitted to the medical and law schools of both Harvard and Yale—but chose Oxford instead.
To counter Obama's claims of "young, well-educated, speaking for under-represented minorities," Jindal is check, check, and check.
While defying odds and returning to serve in his home state of Louisiana, Jindal also has experience in Washington in the House of Representatives, where he was "elected Freshman class President" and served on the Homeland Security, Education and other key committees.
In a health care policy meeting about to stall, Jindal showed his mettle:
"Off the top of his head, Jindal started going down the list. He snapped Gerard’s smaller concerns like dry twigs, citing statistics and anecdotes as if they were memorized specifically for this moment. The larger socialist arguments he hacked into little bits—this won’t work, here’s why it won’t work, and here’s three places where they tried it and it didn’t. He was polite, he was intelligent, and he was passionate. He was ruthless.....
In five minutes, Bobby Jindal made the case for free market solutions, for individual liberty, and for health care that caters to what people need, not what unions want. He did what none of the other men in the room were capable of doing. And it seemed as if it was as easy for him as breathing."
This endorsement from The American Spectator (thank you to CafeMom friend for the tip) highlights Jindal's compatibility with McCain. Both men have strong records of bipartisan progress, fighting corruption and bureaucratic red tape (no small feat in Louisiana), advocating for free market solutions and rolling up their sleeves to get tough jobs done.
But rather than being a McClone, Jindal's strengths and passions actually address some potential McCain shortcomings. Jindal's healthcare-heavy administrative and educational background equip him well on this issue. His personal experience in a legal immigrant family has led to a strong stance against illegal immigration, which could silence critics who claim McCain has not been strong enough on this issue.
I am not an expert on Bobby Jindal, but I see lots in him to like. Above all, I see the same traits in Jindal that make McCain a strong candidate: integrity, high ethical standards, results-oriented leadership. Based on initial appearances, they would complement each other well and Jindal is worth serious consideration.
See Jindal on Jay Leno's Tonight Show here:
Today the Associated Press reported that three shortlist candidates will be first-time visitors to the McCain ranch in Sedona, Arizona for a big-ole Memorial Day barbecue-slash-discussion-of-America's-future. Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, and Charlie Crist were invited for the shindig, fueling speculation that all three are top contenders for the VP slot.
They mentioned Democrat-turned-Independent Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Lindsey Graham will also be present (not sure why they weren't highlighted as VP candidates, except that they have both visited the Sedona ranch before).
It pains me to link to them, but the New York Times has an interesting writeup today, noting:
"McCain, arguably more than most presidential candidates in recent elections, has a lot riding on making a choice for running mate that could provide a boost to his candidacy in a tough atmosphere for Republicans."
Complete story is here. My personal experience suggests Republicans, especially conservatives, are being, well, conservative with their support of McCain - until they have a clearer idea of who will balance the ticket. My hope is once a choice is made, donations will flow in, yard signs will spring up, and voices will speak up more loudly than ever.
Stay tuned for more info on Vice-Presidential candidates!
UPDATE: I saw on Wikipedia tonight that "Mike Huckabee was also invited, but he turned down the invitation because he already had plans to go on a cruise with his wife that day." That leads me to believe this will be an important "rush week" for potential VPs. Huck's decision not to be vetted may have implications for his long-term career (or it may mean he's a loyal husband who wouldn't ditch his wife, even for the future President). Time will tell.
Americans are going to be watching carefully who John McCain chooses as his vice presidential running mate. For many, it will be the first indication of how McCain plans to govern and in which direction he plans to take the country. This election is about change. Americans are fed up with high gas prices, a mismanaged war, and sky high deficits. They place the blame for these problems squarely on the shoulders of George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress.
Recently in three special elections, Republicans lost what were considered strong GOP seats. The first loss came in Illinois' 14th Congressional District. It was a seat vacated by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and one that Republicans won in 37 out of the last 38 elections. Next came a loss in Louisiana's 6th Congressional District. Republicans held the seat there for three decades. Finally, Republicans gave up another seat in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, which George Bush won by 25 points in 2004. Tom Davis, the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee has predicted that the November elections will be for Republicans nothing less than a "bloodbath".
It's against this backdrop that John McCain has to his choose his vice presidential running mate. Anyone associated with the Bush administration in person, or in outlook would be a drag on the ticket and allow the Democrats a victory. Nothing would signal a more clean break with the Bush administration than McCain's choice of running mate. McCain should choose someone moderate and independent, someone who has a proven record of working across the aisle - another maverick.
I think Florida Governor Charlie Crist would be a brilliant choice. Extremely popular, he also enjoys one of the highest approval ratings of any Republican office holder in the country. He could effortlessly deliver the state of Florida, then could spend time campaigning in important swing states like Pennsylvania, which is where he happens to have been born.
Crist (shortened by his father from Christodoulou) comes from humble family roots. Crist's Grandfather came to this country a penniless Greek immigrant from Cyprus and shined shoes before building a successful business. Crist himself was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania before the family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where he played quarterback and became class president. It's an American success story that many of us can identify with, and one that would probably appeal to voters in the all-important swing states.
Unlike other Republicans who come across as bombastic and uncompromising, Crist is extremely affable and has proven appeal to diverse constituencies across the state of Florida. Florida in fact has been called a demographic microcosm of the nation. If he plays well there, he should play well nationally.
In 2007, Charlie Crist became the first governor to attend the Florida NAACP annual convention. He is also a lifelong member of the St. Petersburg chapter and has been referred to as Florida's 'first black governor'. Although Obama would most certainly carry the majority of the African-American vote, Crist is genuinely well liked by African-American leaders, and the Democrats would have a hard time playing the race card against him. Crist also has a good rapport with Hispanics who soon will make up the largest minority in the U.S.
Certain key accomplishments by Crist include, reducing property taxes, imposing strict air pollution standards with the goal of reducing greenhouse-gas by 80%, providing Floridians with less expensive homeowners' insurance, and imposing a ban on drilling off Florida's coastline. Crist also Worked for missing exploited children with 'America's Most Wanted' host John Walsh.
For conservative voters, Crist is pro-life (though not an extremist), has a solid A+ rating from the N.R.A., supported Florida's Defense of Marriage Act, and believes Affirmative Action programs should be discontinued. Crist also has the practical economic experience that comes with running the nation's fourth most populous state.
Let's remember how the past several elections were lost. If Al Gore had carried his home state of Tennessee, he would have won in 2000. If John Edwards could have carried his home state of North Carolina, John Kerry would have been elected. The south is already solidly behind McCain. What we need to win are the crucial swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. These seem tailor-made for a McCain-Crist ticket.
The big problem with several other possible vice presidential candidates is that their appeal is limited to certain segments of the Republican party. Strictly appealing to evangelicals or the economic wing of the party is too narrow. Others would be unable to carry their home states for the ticket. What McCain needs is a running mate with broad popular appeal, and one that can deliver. That person in my opinion is Charlie Crist.
Watch Charlie Crist on youtube talk about Rush Limbaugh, operation chaos, Barack Obama and John McCain.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Penny is a sharp gal who calls herself a "hard core conservative" and she has certainly had her concerns about McCain as the Republican nominee. But to her credit, she has considered the alternatives and decided her vote needs to go for McCain. She has even given her time as a McCain delegate and has worked to persuade supporters of other candidates to back him. Thanks Penny for thinking of a higher purpose and putting together some thorough and useful information for us.
I have three main criteria that I hope Senator McCain will follow in picking a running mate:
- That the individual must be 'untainted' among Conservatives
- That they be able to consolidate both religious and economic conservatives, and;
- That they be able to bring new voters into the fold and expand the Republican base.
I believe Watts has the ability to make a difference in the outcome of a national election. He is an unapologetic social conservative, a former pastor, former Oklahoma Corporate Commissioner and Congressman, former college football star, and currently a successful businessman, national pundit, and a board member of such organizations as the Boy Scouts of America. More importantly, JC is a true believer in free market economics, and consistently for more defense, less government overall, and lower taxes. Watts can speak to the Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, and McCain voting blocks with out batting an eye, and without having his sincerity questioned.
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't appreciate the fact that Watts is an African-American, I do. I am against affirmative action, but believe it makes sense for Republicans to recruit minority candidates. African-American voters have been taken for granted by the Democratic Party, as has become evident with Obama's overwhelming wins in South Carolina and Georgia. With McCain's popularity in the Hispanic community and Watts' ability to reach out to African-Americans, the Republican Party can break into typical Democratic voting blocks that are not only key for victory in 2008, but an absolute must if we are to be successful in the future.
No, I do not believe that women vote for women just because they are of the same sex, or that blacks vote for blacks, etc. Individuals will vote for those that have similar perspectives and backgrounds, and yes, also to those individuals that look like us. So while I am not saying that we are going to get African-American votes simply by putting Watts on the ticket, I do think that Watts presents a window of opportunity that is closing at a rapid pace.
Most importantly, Congressman Watts can be President. He has come from a modest background to make something of himself, he is of high character, he has been on the national scene playing a leadership role in the Republican Congress, and he has started and successfully ran a business since his time on the hill. He is also, BTW, a good friend of Senator McCain's and would make a loyal number two who has been an effective spokesmen for Conservative ideals.
I believe over the next couple of months Senator McCain has to reach out to conservatives in his own party who have rightfully, at times, questioned his loyalty to the cause. He can start by picking one of the cause's greatest advocates.
Video 1: A child's report on J.C. Watts (hey let's recruit this kid for the campaign!)
Video 2: Congressman Watts Interview (note: volume is low)
Monday, May 19, 2008
I respect people who have recommended super-conservatives, ultra-liberals and everyone in between. As I see it, the perfect VP for McCain will be just as principled, hard-working and original as he is. I'll include my thoughts in the future, but in the meantime, here are a few factors to consider.
- Age. McCain's vigor on the campaign trail is undisputed, but in our culture looking and "thinking" young are important. And, candidly, knowing that it's statistically more likely that a VP might have to take over, we need someone who has...
- Experience. McCain's best argument AGAINST Obama is the disparity in their national, military, and legislative experience. Choosing a complete rookie for VP needlessly eliminates this advantage, and adds to worries about who would take over if President McCain did buy the proverbial farm. Balancing age and experience will be important.
- Gender. An electable woman striking the glass ceiling with a pickax made many would-be McCain or Obama voters think twice. But now that Obama and Dean's agenda has sent her packing, many Hillary supporters are taking a very serious look at McCain. More women than men voted in 2004, and Moms like myself are a motivated, flexible volunteer pool. I do believe a woman on the ticket would mobilize women for McCain.
- Race. Obama has an achilles heel with Hispanics - a key constituency in Florida, California, Texas and other electorally-rich states. McCain's tours of inner cities and other unorthodox Republican stomping grounds show that he is not leaving any Demographic up for grabs. A minority on the ticket gives McCain a stronger chance against Obama.
- Geography. Upper Midwestern states will be up for grabs, and a native son or daughter might play well here.
- Priorities and Issue Positions. McCain has commented publicly that picking a pro-choice running mate would be "difficult." There are other hot-button issues which could make the difference with swing voters or reluctant conservatives.
- Compatibility. Love or hate his policies, but McCain has truly lived the mantra "to thine own self be true." Picking a simpatico running mate will help McCain's true colors shine - a mate who rubs him the wrong way, however appealing otherwise, would diminish the integrity at the core of his campaign.
There are a variety of "Choose the VP" algorithms you may enjoy, including CQ Politics' NCAA-style "brackets."
If you are passionate about a VP candidate and would like me to include your two cents, please comment or email me at moms4mccain at yahoo.com.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Not to be outdone, Mom-to-be Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers got McCain's tongue-in-cheek perspective on the Democrats' ongoing battle.
Nice to know we can hand the reins to someone who is serious when it's important but also knows how to laugh at himself. Tell a friend, America needs McCain Now!!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
In the coming months, I'll have lots more updates, news and insights on the campaign. But I want to make sure America is hearing from other McCain Moms too! I am seeking:
- Guest bloggers who are passionate about a potential VP candidate to write a blurb in support of your preferred person.
- Questions you'd like to have answered for a new "Q&A" section. This is not a 'debate' forum, but I will do my best to answer the most 'frequently asked questions' so we can all be prepared to spread accurate information to support McCain.
- Please share other suggestions and discussion at www.mccainnow.com. I have started a discussion forum for "Women" (although there is plenty of info on McCainNow from men I like and respect), my login is tigrefan98 if you want to message me there or add me as a "friend." I've learned lots of good information and ideas there, but we definitely need more estrogen (hint hint!).
- You can also contact me by email at moms4mccain at yahoo.com.
Thank you for showing your support for America's best choice for President!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Responsibilities include leading armed security staff of over 1,000,000, selecting judges for lifelong appointments, serving as liaison with other organizations, managing budget of several trillion dollars annually, kissing babies. HR challenges include recalcitrant Congress, plentiful protesters, and well-armed, well-trained terrorists with no regard for their lives or yours.
Experience and skills sought: Ability to work independently and manage a team. Knowledge of foreign languages and cultures a plus. Ability to work under time pressure and deadlines. Negotiation skills, attention to detail, and courage under pressure. Willing to make course-corrections based on best practices. Emphasis on results. This is NOT an entry-level position.
Impeccable references required.
Interested applicants should submit a letter explaining "where you see yourself in five years." See sample here.
Additional questions should be directed to Moms4McCain at Yahoo.com. Serious inquiries only.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I know some of my readers want "straight talk" on the campaign, so here are my comments on the actual policy discussion. For those who want the 'scoop' on my first up-close-and-personal with the man, I share many thoughts here. Hopefully I’ll get to see him again as President!
This Tuesday, the kids went to Grandma's so Mommy could make the 45 minute pilgrimage to see John McCain in North Bend. The entire road to the surprisingly remote event was dotted with signs for McCain to read/see: Welcome Senator! Bring all our troops home! We support the 2nd amendment! Get the real facts about 9/11, etc! It was also cool to see homemade McCain signs on mailboxes (and yes, a few pro-Obama ones too). Free speech rocks - and makes rural windy-road driving much more interesting.
I arrived into the gaggle of media, including FoxNews (I met Carl Cameron!), CNN, every local affiliate, giant satellite trucks, the works. I *briefly* had a lump in my throat, I had no ticket and no documentation that I was actually part of the ‘media’ and I might get turned away. BUT I had committed to some faithful Moms that I would be there, so I had to make it happen! God sent me the very last parking space in the very last overflow area and a very friendly staffer who welcomed me warmly. (The local news prominently featured protesters, but I was there for almost 3 hours and honestly didn’t see any at all. Guess they went home as the rains increased, or the Secret Service scared them into the woods.)
I was thoroughly vetted by the Secret Service and arrived in a fairly small room, featuring large rented Hollywood-style lights and a gorgeous McCain banner with a Northwesty graphic of mountains and trees. (The guy next to me, a blogger from SoundPolitics, commented that 'you hear about how the campaign doesn't have any money, but you know that banner was expensive.' I said what I thought: there are times you skimp and times you don't, and when you're on national TV, you don't! Duh! Ladies this is why they need more of us in the media!)
I got to sit with Luke Esser, the Washington State Republican Party chair, Attorney General Rob McKenna (awesome guy working in a god-awful bureaucracy in Olympia). I briefly met former Senator Slade Gorton, who was wearing a very cool elephant-pattern tie and received kudos from McCain several times.
The panel table included several people, most interestingly:
- REI CEO Sally Jewell commented that "their competition isn't other outdoorsy companies, it's cable TV, video games and overscheduled families." She said "the average American child age 8-18 spends 46 hours a week in front of a screen and about 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play." Not sure this has any implications for McCain, or if it’s even true, but I thought it was interesting that she had 5 minutes with the future President and that’s what she emphasized.
- Will Mentor, a 17-yr-old Eagle Scout who discussed his salmon habitat restoration project. He spoke first and honestly made some of the best points. McCain praised him profusely for achieving Eagle Scout status, I got the distinct feeling if the reporters hadn't been there he would have ditched us all to go on a long hike with this kid. Kudos to you Will.
- Doug Sutherland, Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands, mentioned that any federal ‘carbon standard’ could penalize states like ours which have done so much work already on our own (raising the baseline). This emphasized to me that more of the 'Green' regulation work needs to be done at the state level, which is in keeping with McCain’s federalist/state-oriented tendencies.
I also enjoyed meeting Tony, a campaign staffer who introduced me to Freddie, a dynamic gal who is active with Republican Latina women in Wenatchee/Eastern Washington. I don't know of all Freddie's accomplishments but she had fabulous red and black patent leather pumps (if Meghan and the Blogette team were there she definitely merited a mention!) I also met a nice young couple who had driven 3 hours from Chelan to meet McCain.
Aside from the actual policy discussed, I noticed a few things about McCain:
- He is a southpaw! I had no idea he was left-handed (as were 8 other Presidents, according to Yahoo, including Truman, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush 41).
- He really IS as genuine, approachable, down-to-earth as I expected. He honestly wasn’t too different when the ‘cameras were rolling’ and when they weren’t. He looked at-ease in his jeans and Navy cap just as he did in his suitcoat and dress shirt (no tie, this is Seattle after all).
- He was really more enthused to meet a military Dad (Greg, father of 7, including 2 currently serving in the Army) and a new Eagle Scout than the press corps and the bigwigs greeting him.
- For all the carrying on about his temper and hotheadedness he was very calm, genial, I never saw him get defensive even once, and this is a touchy subject for everyone at that table.
- McCain emphasized the importance of citizens’ own creative ideas to solve problems, giving several shout-outs to Meg Whitman’s energy-saving EBay staff and the people of New Hampshire (Andi and Mad you would have been proud!). I was pleased to hear him talking about personal responsibility in terms that even the crunchiest, most government-dependent people could understand.
I have to say this was a thorny issue on both sides and I think it was handled really well. If nothing else, I hope this gets otherwise unaffiliated voters to take a second look at the rest of McCain’s platform. All in all, despite the rain and not getting the official handshake photo (time for that when he's President!), it was a wonderful experience.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I will be the first to admit environmental stewardship is not #1 on my list of issues and concerns. But I am blessed to live in a very beautiful part of the country, and I believe that good stewardship and common sense are both important. There are some things you play politics with, and some you don't. When irreplaceable resources might be in permanent danger, it's foolish not to do something, whether that danger ultimately materializes or not.
Some background for you: here we have a politician who has considered climate change not from a press briefing but from visiting the Brazilian rainforest, Antarctica, Norwegian fjords. A Republican who clearly contradicts Bush's head-in-the-sand strategy but refuses to bankrupt Americans and our businesses for questionable benefit. A guy who knows he'll be greeted by protesters no matter what he says or does, and sits down to have open, intelligent discussion anyway - on a topic which he knows arouses hostility (for different reasons) from both the right and the left. When it comes to both courage and straight talk, there is absolutely no doubt - this man sets the standard.
Speaking (or mostly listening) about the issues, I was pleased to hear McCain make the distinction between monkeying with the marketplace (i.e. ethanol subsidies) and incentivizing Green choices from energy producers, corporations and citizens. McCain also reaffirmed "pure Research & Development" as a job for the government (after all, it was our military, and not Al Gore, who actually invented the internet). REI CEO Sally Jewell made a good point that everyone has been so 'greenwashed' a lot of environmentally-friendly companies and initiatives don't have credibility with consumers. McCain then spoke about the need for consumer education -- I was kind of shocked to hear half the Moms on CafeMom say they don't recycle; then again, if it wasn't curbside, I probably wouldn't bother with it consistently.) So there is lots of potential there across America to save resources and carbon emissions (although as I learned today, the real danger is cow fart methane, supposedly 25 times worse than CO2).
Cow farts aside, I saw firsthand today how genuine and enthusiastic John McCain is, and what a great choice he is to steward our country. So far our government has been focused on ironically "unnatural" solutions to challenges in our natural world. I believe President McCain can change that, and I urge earth-lovers to give him a fair look this November.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Check out the new ad promoting McCain's refreshingly moderate position on protecting our resources in the right ways, for the right reasons.
I may not have a photo-op but I will be sure to report back on Senator McCain's comments on environmental policy and what it was like to be there live with our future President!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
John McCain has been criticized by the media for being too liberal, then too conservative. Too old and stodgy, then too much of ‘maverick’ and unknown. Not presenting specific enough plans, or ‘pandering’ with too many specifics. Has this stopped him? No. As he once joked, John McCain is not running for Miss Congeniality. He is running to LEAD.
Our next President will have to make choices for our country – some of which will be popular, and some won’t. John McCain doesn’t always say what people want to hear, but he does what needs to be done. He will fight terrorist threats vigorously and respond to ungrateful critics with patience and accountability. He will trim the fat from federal budgets to ensure Americans get a Filet Mignon government on a ground beef budget. He will bring pride back into politics and into Americans’ hearts. And he will do it whether we appreciate it or not, because he is truly committed to putting the ‘service’ back in ‘public service.’
I have given up time with my family to advocate for McCain because he is the kind of leader I strive to be. Sometimes it’s frustrating to hear starry-eyed supporters spew platitudes about change, without the faintest clue of how that will be funded, planned, or executed. McCain’s solutions aren’t always as crowd-pleasing as his opponent’s – but in the long run, they are the changes that America truly needs. I blog instead of sleeping because I know he is right, and I will not rest until every Mom in America knows it too.
To every Mom who has shown that kind of leadership, I celebrate you today, and thank you for the priceless service you offer America’s next generation. To MY Mom, also a McCain supporter of course, thank you for teaching me to ‘stand up for what is right, even when you’re standing alone.’
Friday, May 9, 2008
Internet fundraising and activism matters. Obama and Ron Paul have siphoned undecided voters by being *everywhere*, ready with an accusatory link or fabrications any time their candidate is mentioned. Hillary has a professional site for Moms (ahem ahem) but significantly less visibility on the web. I'm not advising McCain supporters to stoop, lie, stalk, troll, or flame, but being present and speaking up will matter. A new wave of undecided voters will be looking for answers, we have to be available to provide the RIGHT answers and information they need to choose McCain. There ARE reasonable people out there, and they ARE more likely to be swayed by ‘here is McCain’s actual voting record’ rather than ‘Wooo! Obama forever sucka!’
Demographics matter less than values. We heard a litany of experts explain Hillary's supremacy among Catholics, blue-collar workers, women, and other 'slices' of American pie. But in real life, many Catholics are uncompromisingly pro-life, blue-collar Midwesterners desperately need the tax cuts, and women vote their heads and not their hormones. The more Hillary’s campaign relied on forced ‘friendship’ from each slice, the more voters resisted her. McCain's one-on-one style rises above stereotypes and allows voters to judge for themselves. McCain is rated higher than Clinton and Obama for ‘sharing voters’ values’ – undecided voters will see that in action when McCain takes the high road during his campaign.
Change is gonna come. Other pundits criticized Hillary for running 'as an incumbent' and emphasizing her experience. One thing Obama has right (please hold your rotten tomatoes) is the legitimate need for change in the government and the people's expectations for each other. The antidote to the “Change we Can Believe In” argument is McCain’s proven record of “Change we have seen” – on finance reform, judicial appointments, bipartisan progress, and more. Change is needed in all branches of government but it will take finesse and diplomacy to make that happen. McCain is the candidate with proven results on his record.
The truth is more persuasive than you think. Hillary could have made a perfectly valid point about her foreign policy credentials by saying "I've traveled more than Obama" or "I've met more world leaders." But in her efforts to paint a 'more persuasive' picture, what should have been a compelling advantage became a sniper-fire tall tale punchline.
McCain's greatest strength (and yes, occasional weakness) is sticking to the truth. Voters picked up on this months ago, rating him as the most trustworthy candidate. At town hall meetings he greeted friends and adversaries alike, without benefit of a mouth full of waffle. While it’s sometimes tempting as supporters to sugar-coat or selectively edit McCain, it’s better to make the let the man and his policies speak for themselves.
Hundreds of thousands of Hillary supporters will become undecided voters if and when Obama is named as the nominee. I encourage all Moms who support McCain to take action today – tell a friend or a stranger, in person or online, who John McCain is and what kind of President he will be.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Here are some ideas, in random order, ranging from obvious to creative, easy to challenging! Report back which ideas worked!
1. Put a McCain bumper sticker on your car.
2. Put a McCain sign on your lawn (or in your apartment/dorm window or office/cubicle.)
3. Change your email signature to promote http://www.johnmccain.com/ or the Moms for McCain blog http://moms4mccain.blogspot.com/ (or insert your other favorite blog).
4. Change your voicemail message (may help avoid unwanted Obama supporter calls too!).
5. Support McCain on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/johnmccain.
6. Support McCain on Facebook
7. Join the John McCain 2008 Ning network (there is participation from campaign volunteer staff on this board too)
8. Participate in LinkedIn discussions with McCain folks.
9. Add a McCain widget to your webpage.
10. Invite 10 friends to join http://www.mccainnow.com/
11. Find the Google Group for your state for updates on local events, volunteering, etc. at http://www.mccaingooglegroups.com/
12. Leave pro-McCain comments at YouTube, official campaign videos are posted by ‘Johnmccaindotcom’.
13. Check out the McCain video channel at http://www.veoh.com/
14. Write letters to the editor of national and local papers http://www.johnmccain.com/ActionCenter/WriteNewspapers.aspx
15. Call in to radio shows: Michael Medved
16. Call in to radio shows: Laura Ingraham
17. Call in to radio shows: Rush Limbaugh
18. Call in to radio shows: Sean Hannity
19. Call in to radio shows: Dennis Prager
20. Call in to radio shows: Hugh Hewitt (side note: not always a huge fan of his, but I read his book on Blogging cover-to-cover during bathtimes and recommend it for novice bloggers.)
21. Call in to radio shows: Mike Gallagher
22. Call in to radio shows: Bill Bennett
23. Call into radio shows: Michelle Malkin
24. Join the John McCain Meetup group to meet other supporters online and in person!
25. Volunteer with your local Republican party – getting voters out to support McCain.
26. Share your convictions with people you trust, via e-mail, letter, or face-to-face. There's no substitute for 'straight talk!'
27. Ask your friends if they are registered to vote. If they're busy Moms, ask if they register absentee so they don't have to schlep out to vote (this is encouraged in Washington state, check with your local jurisdiction).
28. Doorbell for McCain prior to primaries and elections in your state (usually coordinated through local Republican party).
29. Email a letter of support, including a link to johnmccain.com to anyone/everyone in your address book.
30. Make http://www.johnmccain.com/ your homepage so you’re up to date on the campaign.
31. Vote for McCain in online polls. Here's one for this week.
32. Contact cable stations running false and offensive ads to complain.
33. PRAY for wisdom for McCain, his campaign staff and volunteers, and American voters.
34. Forward a blog post you like to 5 friends a day (if you feel like you’re bugging people, pick different friends each day.) Check out www.mv08.info or http://mccainblogs.com for some good ones.
35. Buy and read McCain's biography, Faith of Our Fathers.
36. Come to a McCain event.
37. Thank Sela Ward for her support of McCain and Hope Village for Children, her charity serving children in Mississippi.
38. Sign up to volunteer for the campaign in your state.
39. Join the CafeMom John McCain for President Group!
40. Digg pro-McCain articles.
41. Support pro-McCain articles and blog posts at Delicious.
42. Find pro-McCain blogs at http://www.wonkosphere.com/.
43. Share sites with good news about McCain, such as Citizens Against Government Waste.
44. Support future first lady Cindy McCain's entrepreneurship by drinking Budweiser Beer!
45. Register for http://www.mccainnow.com/ - a forum for McCain supporters.46. Wear a McCain lapel pin or button.
47. Buy a McCain coffee mug to drink in at your office. Those who don't care won't comment. May bring a few McCain supporters out of the closet (or their cubicles!)
48. Wear a McCain t-shirt to the gym.
49. Carry a McCain water bottle (good for you, the environment, and the campaign!)
50. Post pro-McCain comments on CNN
51. Post pro-McCain comments on FoxNews
52. Post pro-McCain comments on MSNBC
53. Post pro-McCain comments on ABCNews
54. Post pro-McCain comments on CBSNews
55. Post pro-McCain comments on NBCNews
56. Post pro-McCain comments on Yahoo!
57. McCain key chain - every cashier, valet, carpool Mom will see it, only $5.00!
58. Wear your work badge (or, summer travelers, your ID/ticket) on a McCain lanyard.
59. Host a screening of 'Faith of My Fathers' DVD, based on McCain's biographical book about his captivity in Vietnam and the character that experience forged.
60. Wear a McCain baseball cap to kids' sports events and practices.
61. Treat baby to a McCain onesie! Who could resist an adorable, right-thinking cherub?!!?
62. Attend a local GOP meeting to network with fellow McCain supporters.
63. Shake hands with a veteran (or current soldier, sailor, airman) and tell them you’re a McCain supporter who appreciates their service.
64. Tell friends about media appearances by John and Cindy McCain - lately they have each been on The View, David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
65. Create your own blog to support McCain. It’s easy – I did it, you can too! Instructions at http://mccain08olc.blogspot.com/
66. Make a "Victory Jar" or "Freedom Fund", put in your loose change, and donate to the campaign once a month.
67. Find the McCain group for your religious affiliation - including Evangelicals for McCain, Catholics for McCain and more. See http://www.mv08.info/ for some listings (don't find one? Start one!)
68. Make a pro-McCain avatar (online picture identifier thingie) at http://www.meez.com/.
69. Add a pro-McCain button to your Yahoo homepage. http://news.yahoo.com/elections
70. Request McCain events at http://www.eventful.com/ .
71. Get up-to-the-minute messages from Twitter - John McCain 2008McCain News
72. Active Rain Group http://activerain.com/groups/JohnMcCain
73. Provide pro-McCain comments at http://www.huddlez.com/
74. Leave pro-McCain comments on http://www.blogher.com/
75. Leave pro-McCain comments at http://politics4moms.blogspot.com/
76. Leave pro-McCain comments at http://www.momsbuzz.com/
77. Put a McCain sticker up in your business.
78. Leave pro-McCain comments at http://www.youdecide2008.com/
79. Respond to editors of major magazines reporting on McCain: Time
80. Respond to editors of major magazines reporting on McCain: Newsweek
81. Respond to editors of major magazines reporting on McCain: US News & World Report
82. Include John McCain quotes as your 'quote of the day' or email signature.
83. Check out McCain-friendly forums at http://www.patriotscorner.com/forums/
84. Check out McCain-friendly forums at http://mccaintalk.com/
85. Check out McCain-friendly forums at http://disc.yourwebapps.com/Indices/240445.html#6
86. "Buzz" up Yahoo! articles on McCain http://buzz.yahoo.com/
87. Post a sticker or pro-McCain flyer featuring the website at your supermarket, library, senior center, or other public bulletin board.
88. Leave pro-McCain comments on Politico http://www.politico.com/
89. Leave pro-McCain comments on Little Green Footballs http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/
90. Leave pro-McCain comments on Instapundit http://www.instapundit.com/
91. Leave pro-McCain comments on http://www.townhall.com/
92. Register for updates from http://www.gop.com/
93. Join a McCain group representing you:r ethnic group: Latino, African-American, etc.
94. Leave pro-McCain comments on http://www.eyeon08.com/.
95. Leave pro-McCain comments on AOL.
96. Leave pro-McCain comments on MSN.
97. Leave pro-McCain comments on http://www.realclearpolitics.com/.
98. Treat your stickered car to a McCain license plate holder http://store.johnmccain.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=LCR3024
99. This Mother’s Day, tell Dad you want your own Mom for McCain gear!!
Oh, and yes, #100: You can donate to the campaign!!
Friday, May 2, 2008
"You have seen an ad campaign that is mounted against me that says I wanted to stay and fight in Iraq and fight for 100 years," McCain told about 300 people at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center.
"My friends, it's a direct falsification, and I'm sorry that political campaigns have to deteriorate in this fashion," McCain said. "Because there's legitimate differences between myself and Senator Obama and Senator Clinton on what we should do in Iraq....After we win the war in Iraq, and we are succeeding — and it's long and hard and tough, with enormous sacrifices — then I'm talking about a security arrangement that may or may not be the same kind of thing we had with Korea after the Korean war was over," he said.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
God, Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference
During wabbit hunting, er, election season, candidates face two kinds of challenges: things beyond their control (serenity) and things that need changing (courage).
Barack Obama is young. He can’t control the fact that he has less experience than either of the other candidates, but he should be held responsible for the votes he cast and actions he took (or didn’t take). He can’t control the words or sentiments of his ex-pastor, but he can control how and when he responds to them. (Despite his eloquence, a passionate speech 20 years into their relationship just doesn’t undo that history for most Americans.)
Hillary Clinton can’t control the fact that her husband is a polarizing figure who permanently tarnished the Presidency because he couldn’t keep his pants on. But she shouldn’t be judged on that: voters should consider her own Senate record, values and level of sincerity she demonstrates on the campaign trail.
John McCain is old, and has been known to get mad a few times in his 26-year career. He couldn’t stop all wasteful spending in Congress, but he did hold his colleagues accountable for what they spent – and led by example, taking $0 in pork himself. He can’t get everyone in the country to agree with him, but he can work for effective compromises and solutions – a rare ability among Washington politicians.
When considering who to vote for this year, consider this: who has done the best job with the things they could control: their words, actions, and votes? Who is being candid with America, and who has the integrity to take responsibility for their mistakes? Who has the courage to speak up against injustice not with flowery speeches but with accountability and action?
The choice is clear: John McCain.