Monday, June 30, 2008

The $1.25 Store

This week my 5-yr-old earned his 'good behavior reward trip' to the dollar store, where we were greeted by the following sign: "Due to rising power and shipping costs, all items are now $1.25." No, it wasn't a joke, but a rather sad sign that our next President will be a failure if he doesn't successfully address gas prices.

We've all heard the tweed-jacketed experts on the news explaining that Pricey gas = Expensive stuff = Unhappy people. And 90% of Americans agree (when do 90% of Americans ever agree on *anything*?). Not to be outdone, the McCain folks have created their own "Lexington Project: Breaking Our Dependence on Foreign Oil."

mccain lexington energy green

Beyond fancy graphics, the Lexington Project (as in "the town where Americans asserted their Independence once before") promotes both the values (ingenuity, creativity, responsibility) and the nuts-and-bolts (domestic offshore drilling, clean coal, nuclear options) which can solve this crisis. Click on the graphic above to see for yourself.

Politicians and the media could get more mileage from the 'green' movement (mileage pun intended) if they emphasized green money along with our green planet. The two go hand in hand. I am all for responsible stewardship, but at the end of the day, I care more about feeding, clothing, and housing my family than I do about rainforests or polar bears. And while they may be reluctant to admit it, I believe most Americans, who increasingly can't afford their commute or their groceries, agree with me.

John McCain's recent proposals have indeed ruffled some feathers (no wildlife pun intended this time). To those who have reservations about some of these ground-breaking proposals, I have these thoughts:

We would all love to live in a world where everything we buy magically appears in stores and cars run on sunshine and rainbows. But alas, this is the real world. Which means we have to meet in the middle - changing our behavior and our awareness but also Going Where No Environmentalist Has Gone Before. Like the bottom of our oceans. Like nuclear plants. And we have to do it without hesitation or reservation. Because the alternative - $10 a gallon gas purchased from shady Middle-Eastern sources - makes American dreams of security and independence impossible.

John McCain is a brave and unique candidate. He is attacking what was previously 'Republican Kryptonite' head-on. He's showing that he will be a President who will make my country more prosperous - and my son happier.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom on the Spot: McCain Seattle HQ!

Drum roll: the Moms4McCain blog will be featured in an upcoming issue of AllYou magazine, sold by subscription and at Wal-Mart stores (some features online here). They are doing a feature piece about first-time political activists (yours truly!) and I was honored to participate. More details are forthcoming soon!

In preparation for the article, I spent today at a photo shoot at the local Republican HQ, meeting some great local volunteers and talking with the Washington state coordinator about McCain's path to victory in our state. Yes, Washington is usually blue. But don't count us out yet. McCain is within 10-13 points, and strong down-ticket candidates include rightful Governor Dino Rossi, local law enforcement hero-turned-Congressman Dave Reichert and top-notch Attorney General Rob McKenna. Like New York, Washington is psychologically divided between big-city Blue Seattle and the less-urban but more-plentiful 'Red State regions' to the east. I am optmistic that McCain's no-nonsense policies and heroic history will have unique appeal throughout the Evergreen State.

Whether these races go red or blue, it was enlightening to see the political gears turning behind the scenes. It was truly inspiring to me, at 31, to meet volunteers and workers a half-generation younger than myself, speaking eloquently and passionately about their candidates and their cause. The very gracious folks in the Reichert office helped out as a group of total strangers dragged a camera crew into their office, and even offered me some of their lunch.

Free lunches aside, I really encourage you all to get involved - if only so you get to SEE a campaign office 'up close and personal' and see the sweat these volunteers put in for their candidates. Blogging and online work is an important part of the effort but it's not the only part. Take a minute and get involved with the McCain campaign and grassroots movement, and support other local candidates in your area.

If you're not sure how to get involved, when or where your talents can be used, please contact me at moms4mccain at and I'll help you find a home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Q&A: Tracy from 'Independents for McCain'

We’ve heard from Republicans and Democrats supporting McCain, today’s Q&A is with Tracy, a Mom from Austin, Texas. Tracy is the founder of 'Independents for McCain', and is one of many non-partisan people across America supporting McCain for President. Check out her blog on the Ning site or MySpace. Thanks Tracy for sharing your thoughts!

Tell us about yourself. I have three kids: 11, 14 and 15 (all girls). I live just outside Austin, Texas. I used to work as a journalist, then went into public relations before a diagnosis of epilepsy sidelined my career (I'm now on disability and writing a novel).

What is your involvement in politics? Has it changed this election season? My previous involvement in politics would be mainly limited to working as a volunteer for Hillary Clinton's campaign (making phones calls, acting as a delegate, blogging, etc.), when I was in PR I was a spokesperson for an elected Republican official. The first thing I did when I turned 18 was register to vote, so I have always been very political.

Since you're active and interested in politics, why have you chosen to be an 'Independent'? In Texas, you do not have to register with either party to vote in the primaries, as you do in some states, so it's easy to be Independent. You simply go to the primary and tell the election officials which primary you want to vote in. In 2000 I voted in the Republican primary for John McCain. This year I voted in the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton.

I'm Independent because I don't stand behind a party, I stand behind a candidate. I don't like partisan politics, and my beliefs are all over the board. For example, I was raised Catholic, but I am pro-choice but also in favor of the death penalty. Doesn't make much sense to many people, but that's how my life has shaped me.

Why did you choose to support John McCain in this election? I feel John McCain is by far the most qualified person to lead the country. Had McCain won the primary in 2000, there's a good chance I would have voted for him (since he didn't, I voted for Gore; I've never been a huge Bush fan but I would vote for him over Obama).

During the primary season I've had ample time to do my homework and what I've discovered about Barack Obama is, frankly, terrifying. His ties to extremists, to criminals, to Ayers, his own wife's views -- all speak to his lack of judgment. I don't trust the man. I will never vote for him, no matter who he picks for his VP running mate. His lack of experience alone would make me strongly hesitate, plus his platform is way too far to the left for me; his character takes him completely out of the running.

Didn’t you say you’re pro-choice? Aren’t the Democrats insisting this is a reason why former Hillary supporters won’t vote for McCain? Ahh, the old pro choice threat! I have several things to say about that. First, as I said, I look at the totality of the candidate, and everything about Obama takes him out of the running for me, period.

Second, McCain has vowed to appoint judges who will not legislate from the bench and I do trust him on his word. It's an empty threat on the part of the DNC, in other words, Roe vs Wade is not going to be overturned. It's a scare tactic.

I personally think Obama goes way too far on abortion, and I could never in good conscience agree with him on that issue. It's just a choice I wouldn't take away in the first few weeks (even if it's not one I would make myself).

As an active Hillary volunteer and supporter, what is your perception of other Hillary supporters’ sentiment since she left the race? I'd say the ones I've spoken to personally are about 75% leaning toward McCain (but these are people online who know more about Obama than those in the general public, who only know what the mainstream media puts out there). The rest are sadly sticking with Obama, but I have stayed friends with most, though not all. I made my stance clear very early on.

In the "real world" I've heard the numbers are about 30% of Hillary supporters going to McCain, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's higher than that. The DNC PO’ed a lot of people. I think many are just staying quiet. The ones who I talk to who are staying with Obama are really big on gay marriage or welfare issues, things like that. I think they will be in for a big surprise.

I keep stressing that the President doesn't make the laws; Congress makes laws and POTUS can veto them or at times introduce something, but for the most part that's not his/her job. So it's really not up to the prez to decide about healthcare, etc. But most people don't get that.

I think McCain is going to do what the majority of the country wants, but he's going to use his best judgment, and I trust his judgment. As we've seen, we can't trust Obama's judgment.

Any parting thoughts for fellow Independents trying to choose a candidate? Hillary and McCain both have a history of being bipartisan, and McCain has a proven record of getting things done.

Thanks Tracy for sharing your thoughts!

Monday, June 23, 2008

50 Ideas for the McCain Campaign

Yes, I am a compulsive list maker. And no, these are not brilliant policy suggestions. I am not a 'wonkette', I am merely an average citizen who desperately wants a competent President.

If McCain wants to win, he needs some fresh ideas to shake things up.
SO, for your consideration, 50 ideas to get started.

SLOGANS! McCain needs ‘em. Good ones.
1. Slogan for Townhall Podium: McCain - Proven Leadership for America

2. Slogan for MySpace: McCain - An Old Guy with New Ideas

3. Slogan for security and military talks: McCain - Because America is Worth Fighting For

4. Slogan for economic talks: McCain - Balance and Prosperity for America

5. Slogan for convention: McCain – Integrity, Service, Leadership

6. Slogan for media avails: McCain – Walking the Walk

7. Slogan for rallies and rah-rah events: McCain – Pride in America’s Future

8. Slogan for summer BBQ (at which pork ribs and pulled pork sandwiches and Budweiser beer are served): McCain – Save the Pork for the BBQ Pit

9. Slogan for convention: McCain – Honoring Our Traditions, Celebrating Our Future

10. Slogan for public events: McCain – Responsible Leadership You Can Trust


11. Hire a pro-McCain political cartoonist to post regularly on the McCain site (or host a contest for ‘unknown’ artists to enter).

12. Make a Decision Center-style ‘chart’ showing experience and credentials of McCain and Obama (i.e. 25 yrs in the Senate versus 4, 20+ yrs of military service versus zero, etc.)

13. Create an interactive calculator and chart, showing how much money families would pay in taxes under Barack Obama or John McCain. Add variables for death tax, business taxes, etc. if possible and link to anecdotes/testimonials from people in similar situations (retirees, people with kids, business owners, farmers, etc).

14. Create a montage of funny or humorous moments, showcasing McCain’s sense of humor. Include the crowd’s response (which is lost in a newspaper or web article).

15. Feature a ‘McCain Volunteer of the Day (or Week)’ on the website, let them tell their (short) story about why they support McCain and what they’re doing to help him get elected. Use first name, profession, hometown and picture. (Note: since I wrote this draft, has started this - great minds think alike!)

16. Feature a ‘McCain Voter of the Day’ and give them a paragraph to share their thoughts.

17. Feature a quiz/poll for first-time voters on the issues (i.e. many teens and college students don’t know if they’re liberal or conservative and may be surprised to find they agree with McCain more).

18. Have a Q&A “McCain answers your questions” section on the Website. Have real, average people with pictures of themselves ask a question, i.e. “What are you doing about gas prices?” and have McCain himself film a video and/or printed response. Promote these heavily on YouTube, blogs and grassroots sites.

19. Create a signature graphic besides just the name and the star. (Oh, and don’t violate federal law to ‘pimp out’ any time-honored symbols of our country.)

20. Let’s see more photos of McCain WITH VOTERS, kissing babies, shaking hands, filling sandbags in Iowa. McCain Blogette style.


21. Every once in a while, lose the suit. I love the ‘Navy’ hat, reminds us of your service and makes you look younger and more casual at the same time. A winner.

22. Let us see you drinking beer at your ranch, hiking the canyon with your sons. There is a story here and it is: McCain is fun, relatable, and young at heart.

23. Let Republicans be LOUD. I’m guessing young military folks are a good audience for this. “The rowdy crowd gave him a standing ovation.”

24. Theme songs! I still think of Bill Clinton when I hear “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow).”

25. Bring others up to speak with you too. Bobby Jindal got lots of good exposure intro’ing McCain in Louisiana, but it helped McCain look less isolated. It also gives a rah-rah cheerleader a chance to say what McCain is too humble to say himself.

26. No more black and white montages! Puh-leeeze! Emphasizes McCain looking old, rather than traditions. The new website is a step in the right direction.

27. Would love to see amusing John McCain quote or joke of the day emailed / website-featured.

28. More appearances on unusual TV shows – Ellen, David Letterman, SNL were all good. Send Cindy and Meghan McCain too, women can relate to both of them.

29. Put McCain on talk radio, with the pundits who criticized him, to talk directly (and intelligently) with them.

30. Or better yet, put McCain on talk radio (tape delay for common sense protection of the airwaves!) and let him take calls from the audience.


31. See #15 above.

32. Offer prizes or goodies from the McCain Store for referring ‘friends’ and recruits (this is already underway, would like it expanded).

33. Host local, FUN events, Happy Hour, Meetups, to get folks energized and share ideas. (again, grassroots folks are already doing this, but campaign should be funding and supporting this too)

34. Mention them in your speeches: i.e. Jane Smith of Pigs’ Knuckle, Pennsylvania sent me $25 and the following note…

35. Tell people what their money goes to: i.e. “$500 funds xx calls to McCain supporters, $1200 buys enough flyers for an entire zip code in a swing state.”

36. Have a list of projects donors can ‘sponsor’: i.e. Your donation of $2137.56 can buy all the centerpieces for the finance reception in Anytown, USA. Thank donors on the website.

37. Have Cindy host a free beer reception for the top volunteers in the area. (And yes, I’m serious.)

38. Feature “first time donors” on the website (like the 'McCain Aces'), have a tally of how many new donors contributed today.

39. Form additional coalitions through the campaign (Doctors for McCain, Clergy for McCain, Teachers for McCain, etc.)

40. Have a running tally of online donations per day – like the telethon (McCain a Thon?). So when people donate in real time they can see how much was donated that day.


41. Have McCain visit schools, even in underprivileged areas, in key swing states, have a town hall with HS kids and address education policy.

42. Invite wife Cindy to open up about being a military Mom. I respect the family’s desire for safety for their sons, but sharing her emotional experiences would be meaningful without putting them in harm’s way.

43. Share the story of daughter Bridget’s adoption and talk more about adoption as a positive social institution and valuable abortion alternative. (This will please both pro-life advocates and socially-conscious swing voters.)

44. Share some experiences as a father: attending football games, taking kids to college, sending sons to war. Don't have to parade the children to do this, just share the Dad's perspective. Dads are important voters too!

45. Include more photos of McCain with his family and kids, including candids. This is relatable and important to anyone who’s a parent, and emphasizes family values without traipsing them along for public scrutiny and hassles.


46. Emphasize celebrity endorsements in targeted markets (youth, women, etc). Use a testimonial quote, do a fundraiser and take lots of photos to release to the press and even MySpace, Facebook, etc.

47. Have the celebs who are willing go and hang out with volunteers, answer phones at HQ. (Sadly, there are people who will vote for Obama because they think all their favorite people are doing so – this may be enough just for them to stop and think, or check out what McCain really has to offer.)

48. Clint Eastwood in a pink McCain hat!! This is so awesome!! But the photo was only on the McCain site . This should be all over the Hollywood and movie fan boards.

49. Tom Selleck appeals to a broad range of demographics, from women who think he’s cute to men who envied his Magnum, P.I. mustache. He is a known advocate of gun rights and other conservative issues and, by all reports, a good guy (a friend met him once while he was filming in my hometown).

50. Heidi Montag of ‘The Hills’ (which, at 31, I think even I am too old to watch?!?) could galvanize young women for McCain. Maybe she and Meghan McCain could do a fashion show event to raise money for the campaign?

Watch for more ideas next week! In the meantime, please join the conversation at McCainNOW and the Ning networking site.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Moms, it's the weekend and the kids are out of school. So give them an educational toy (or put on cartoons for ten minutes, it won't kill them, honest) and try your hand at the latest craze from the folks at

"Pork Invaders" celebrates the celestial power which will be John McCain's Veto Pen.

See, politics can be fun too! Although I am craving a pulled pork sandwich...

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Am (Not) Against Barack Obama

The last months of blogging have introduced me to some truly frightening information on Barack Obama. The false rumors were bad. But the true ones, honestly, were worse.

Supporters of Hillary Clinton, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and other diverse candidates have all converged in the McCain uniserse with alarming Obama tales to tell. His friends. His pastor. His family. His on-again-off-again lapel pins. And I have to admit, it is very very tempting to post them all here, in their entirety, as a rather compelling portrait of someone who is, at best, a wild card, and at worst, an extremist loon.

BUT I won't. For two reasons. First, because over a million (rightfully) angry people are already doing this. And second, because undecided voters really are responding more favorably to McCain supporters proud of his record than to militant! Obama! Supporters! Who! Call! You! Nasty! Names! When! You! Question! Their! Candidate!!!!

In coming months, I will undoubtedly take Obama to task for poor judgment and issue positions which are not in America's best interests. I will point out where he is wrong and what his past record and future policies will mean for real Moms and families. But I will not rant and rave (or at least I'll try not to).

At the end of the day, I am not "against Barack Obama." I am against inexperience. I am against plagiarism, overt or subtle, of ideas which have been tried and failed. I am against double standards and wishy-washy politicians who try to have it both ways. I am against people who feel it necessary to cheat to win. I am against people who believe public service is their personal vehicle to shine, rather than an opportunity to humbly give back to a nation they love. I am against people who believe America owes them something, when in fact, for all of us who speak and live freely with roofs over our heads, the opposite is true.

I am FOR John McCain. I am FOR the guy who had his arms and legs broken, was tortured daily, and chose to stay in those conditions because of his duty to others. I am FOR the guy who values his own military sons' safety more highly than the political desirability their service could bring to his campaign. I am FOR the guy who cares more about doing what's right than getting elected. I am FOR the guy whose campaign has less money because he wouldn't kiss the butt of big business, extremist leaders, or other pork-seeking special interests.

It is important that those of us who are passionate about McCain keep the spotlight on HIM. It has been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and Obama's name is everywhere. But every debate over Obama's cousin's brother's church in Africa is one less story about what McCain *will* do in office - veto wasteful spending, lower gas prices through responsible alternatives, strengthen morale and effectiveness of our military, and represent America with pride around the world. Our country's safety and strength matter more than anyone's lapel pin or shady friends.

So readers, I pledge to you today: I will not spread lies about Barack Obama. Because the truth is scary enough.

Here Come The Judge(s)

In a desperate effort to cling keep the women voters they screwed over, Howard Dean and cronies are threatening women with a magic word: ‘Judges.’ The assumption of course, is that McCain’s constitutionalist judges would (rightly) rule Roe v. Wade unconstitutional and 18 million Hillary supporters would thus dutifully vote for Obama. The fear-mongering Democrats forget two key things: the role of abortion in women voters’ decision-making, and the other 99% of the court’s cases.

First, a few comments on so-called “women’s issues.” In my experience, women don’t vote with their ovaries – we vote with our minds (and hearts). One non-scientific but interesting example: CafeMom members' #1 issues were the economy (32%), and health care (22%). Abortion was the #1 issue for only 15% of respondents, who based on other polls in the same group, are evenly divided between pro-life and pro-choice voters.

Admittedly, this is a non-scientific example. But common sense experience and other data show similar trends. Rasmussen recently found that people who said “abortion” was an important issue were equally likely to trust the Republicans’ pro-life platform as the Democrats’ pro-choice platform. So the argument that 18 million votes could be held hostage by this single issue just doesn't fly - with pro-choice women or with me.

The other issue, which the current Supreme Court was kind enough to highlight in a boneheaded ruling last week, is the larger scope of the Court in our government. The Court ruled that enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay have the right to sue our government. This *single decision*, a 5-4 decision by the way and vehemently dissented, will cost millions of dollars in administrative and legal costs.

Obama said:

"This is an important step," he said of the ruling, "toward re-establishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus. Our courts have employed habeas corpus with rigor and fairness for more than two centuries, and
we must continue to do so as we defend the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy."

McCain said:

“These are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens, they are not and never have been given the rights that the citizens of this country have,” he said. “Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation and the men and women who defend it.”

The rowdy crowd rose to a standing ovation.

Last year the SCOTUS’ caseload was over 10,000 cases, only a handful of which were actually related to abortion policy. The Guantanamo ruling has nothing to do with anyone's uterus. So, Democrats, women, undecided voters: which of these men do you want picking judges? At the end of the day, whose judgment do you trust: the patriot and former POW who sacrificed all but his life for his country, or the lawyer who wants to spend your tax money defending non-citizen terrorists?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Carly Fiorina to Women: Why I Support McCain

This is a great video by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, talking specifically to women about Hillary's historic run and why she supports Senator McCain. Fiorina has been visible and vocal on behalf of McCain and the Republican National Committee, and has been mentioned as a dark-horse VP choice (if Sarah Palin passes, she'd be an outstanding choice to attract economy-minded male and female voters and boost business support for McCain's campaign.)

She talks about her perspective on Senator McCain about 3 minutes in.

Thank you to new site Women for Fair Politics - part of the fast-growing 'PUMA' network (party unity my, er, um, well, yeah, you guessed it).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Q&A with a former Hillary Supporter: Why She's Voting McCain

My CafeMom boards are full of Hillary supporters who are now supporting McCain for President. Randa, a mother of 5 from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took a few minutes to share her perspective. To all other Hillary supporters who have been made unwelcome by their party and their nominee, I invite you to check out Citizens for McCain and McCainNOW .

Tell us about yourself. I'm a SAHM with 5 kids. 29, 21, 18, and 9 yr old twins. (insert applause for Randa here!)

What is your involvement in politics? Has it changed this election compared to past years? I've been a Democrat for my entire adult life. I've always been an active supporter of the party.

Last year, I felt the party was sitting pretty. I thought that it was great that we would have two strong candidates to choose from. While I have always admired Hillary Clinton and looked forward to the day that she would run for the presidency, I kept an open mind about Obama and at that time felt that I would be able to support him as the party's candidate should it come to that. So I guess to answer your question, while it started out to be the same as years past, it has certainly morphed into something that is not typical for me.

Why did you support Hillary (did you support Bill)? My main issues for supporting Hillary are healthcare, the economy and our standing in the world community. While healthcare and the economy are not something that are a main concern to my husband and I, we do have children that it will directly affect in the near future. We are concerned about the livelihood and well-being of the younger generation.

I feel that Hillary would be seen in the global community as a strong level-headed leader. She has shown that she is not an emotional thinker, rather she depends on logic when making decisions. I would feel safe under a Hillary Clinton administration.

I did support Bill Clinton. I still do.

Why do you now support McCain? What about him and his policies appealed to you (besides NOT being Obama?) While McCain's stance on the war is quite different than Clinton's, he has shown that he will make decisions based on logic. When he says we may be in Iraq for 100 yrs, I don't think he means that we will be at war with Iraq for 100 yrs. While Obama may bring the troops home from Iraq, I fear that his administration will only lead to more war in the long run. He will be seen as a weak leader on the global front. My big reasons for supporting McCain and not Obama are experience and moral character.

Are there any specific issues you’d like to comment on? I'd love to have a candidate that is strong on foreign policy and the economy. It seems to me that this time around, we have a candidate (McCain) that is strong on foreign policy, but weak on domestic issues. I respect the fact that McCain has admitted that economic issues are not his strong point and that if elected, he would surround himself with those who are strong in economics. I don't see Obama as having any strengths in either area.

What do you think of media coverage of each of the 3 candidates? McCain: mostly they point to his age as a negative. Clinton: she's been treated with a greater lack of respect than I ever thought possible. She could do nothing right as far as the media was concerned. She never stood a chance. Obama: the media in general has seemed as if they have had a school girl crush on Obama. He could do no wrong and if he did, it was somehow Clinton's fault. Only now that he has secured the nomination have there been some negative reports.

What do you have to say to former Hillary loyalists who are now pro-Obama? I would remind them that nothing has changed about Obama. He is still inexperienced. He is still a senator with a less than effective record. His candidacy has been one of half truths. Statements such as 'I was against the war and Clinton voted for it.' He fails to mention that no one asked for his opinion at the time. Hind sight is always 20/20.

I would remind them that Obama has embraced sexism in his campaign. Obama has stirred the pot of racism at every corner. I would remind him that Obama is the exemplification of dirty politics. He has so often made the comment " that's not the______ I knew!) you may insert any of Obama's racist / criminal friends in the blank. He is either a liar or the worst judge of character in the world!

I would hope that all Clinton supporters remember that in supporting Obama, they are supporting a party that has ignored the will of the voters and failed to protect the rights of Florida and Michigan Democrats. They will be supporting a party that has had a predetermined candidate for a long time. By voting for Obama it sends a clear message that democracy is no more, and we're okay with that. A vote for Obama says that women are to be held to a different standard than men and we're okay with that.

Anything else you’d like to share? As a mother of 3 young ladies, I feel that as their mother, I must take a stand. I see every insult hurled at Senator Clinton as an insult to my girls. I've raised my girls to believe that with hard work and determination, they can accomplish anything. I will not support a party that tells them otherwise through its actions.

Thank you to Randa for sharing her candid feedback. America deserves courageous, proven leadership and our answer is John McCain.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Women Want: How McCain Wins Our Vote

Last week, Howard Dean and friends gave delegates to someone who wasn't even on the ballot and took half the delegates from a candidate who was. And, by the way, she was also the first woman with a serious shot at the Presidency. Suddenly millions of American women who hung their hopes on Hillary are the Desirable Voting Bloc. (Sure, Hillary had male supporters, but because many women's motives differed, their response to her rejection may differ too.)

So what happens now for Hillary's women? Do they ride what one disgruntled Mom called the "unity pony"? Do they stay home to 'send a message'? Or do they rise up like the poetic Scorned Women of yore, uniting as "PUMAs for McCain" (party unity can figure it out).
Gloria Steinem and friends are confident (too confident?) that the same women screwed over by their own party will come home to roost because a lefty novelist thought he heard a nasty remark or because McCain refused to pander on an 'equal pay' lawsuit bill. But I believe women voters are smart enough to look at what the remaining men have to offer as President, and can judge them on that basis.

So what DOES McCain have to offer women? Here are a few thoughts.

More money in your pocket(book). Despite humorous greeting cards to the contrary, most women I know are very careful with their money. We work hard for it and when we spend and save we have priorities in mind. We are more likely to drive the gas-guzzling minivan and buy the overpriced groceries. A McCain presidency maintains tax cuts which put more money into the pockets, purses, and bank accounts of the vast majority of Americans. This is not a vague promise, this is a specific, concrete commitment from both candidates - one of them will take more of your money than the other. Figure out your family's costs under Obama here.

More safety for your country. If Obama is elected, regardless of what is happening on the ground, he has to uphold his devil's bargain with the anti-war lobby and retreat from Iraq - even if maintaining a presence makes logistical and strategic sense. John McCain's positions on the war are shaped by a lifetime of personal investment - including heroic suffering, family sacrifice, and yes, logistical hands-on experience. Hillary said it best herself, when the phone rings at 3 am, I want someone answering it who has not only experience, but is unfettered by political fears and promises when making those split-second life-and-death decisions. Hillary herself observed that McCain was much better qualified choice than Obama on national security issues. If she can see it, so should her supporters.

Education and healthcare. The only thing worse than having a seriously sick child in the middle of the night is getting an administrative run-around at the emergency room when you bring them in. Hillary made government-led 'universal healthcare' a cornerstone of her First Ladyship and her campaign. I personally dislike any system that takes money from your pocket and your paycheck FIRST and THEN you (hopefully) have a procedure they approved done by a provider they choose in a location they deem affordable and appropriate. But for those Hillary supporters whose hearts were set on health care solutions, consider the viable, easily-implemented alternatives McCain proposes, including tax credits, drug price management, and increased portability of coverage.

Life and moral issues. Despite bellyaching to the contrary, a majority of Americans - including women - are against partial-birth abortion (sucking a baby's brains out), government funding of abortion at home and abroad, and other frightening policies espoused by Obama. If you're pro-life, McCain is your ONLY choice, even if you're pro-choice, you should ask yourself if this is how you want your tax dollars being spent - and if you're willing to put your country in a rookie's hands over this issue.

Hillary herself knew it in her heart - John McCain will make a better President than Barack Obama. You'll note that I have fought the (substantial) urge to rant about crazy pastors, terrorist friends, etc. - because all those distractions put together are less important than what each candidate will actually DO in office. I believe women are smart voters, I believe we are capable of identifying good and bad judgment when we see it, and I believe we understand what is best for our families and for our country.

To all women who are politically 'homeless,' take some time to get to know John McCain. You'll like what you see.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Overcoming Objections: The 'Elephant' in the Room

This week the Democratic Party anointed a liberal newcomer to seek the White House. In a year of unavoidable change, Republicans have cast their lots with John McCain – a man who challenges stereotypes not with his skin or his body parts, but with accountable, bipartisan leadership.

Despite McCain’s strong bipartisan record, I’ve met Democrats and Independents who have misgivings checking any box with an “R” next to it. I believe McCain is the best candidate for “true Republicans” and moderates of all affiliations (and yes, even liberal-leaners who value experience and qualifications – I’m told there are some.) Some objections to address:

McCain is the same as Bush. McCain himself said this best in Louisiana. The “guilt by association” campaign will deflate as Americans see McCain’s actual record. From Iraq strategy to climate change, McCain has publicly and prominently bucked his own party when the evidence suggested they were wrong. Sure, there are times he has voted with his party including supporting Bush on issues like tax cuts (McCain didn’t support the bill until irresponsible spending was addressed too.) But the Democrats are going to have a hard time proving that a McCain Presidency would look like a Bush one, because frankly, it wouldn’t.

I don’t want a Republican President and Democratic Congress. For independents, this is crucially important year because the ideological pendulum will swing next January. If Obama wins, our nation will have an extremely liberal Democratic president who appoints like-minded judges working with a Democrat-majority Congress. Or under McCain we’ll have a Republican president appointing constitutionalist judges and balancing out potentially extreme legislation and spending coming off Capitol Hill. If you consider yourself moderate, a McCain presidency is clearly a better scenario.

I don’t like the Republican party’s stance on Issue X. As a likely one-term President, McCain will not have an “army of elephants” to impress every time he vetoes a pork-laden bill, defends our troops’ efforts, or changes a flawed policy. The Democratic Congress and Republican President can hold each other accountable more effectively than yes-men from the same party.

I *never* vote Republican. Steve Maloney and others are addressing the shameful disaster which is DNC leadership right now. Many life-long Democrats are taking a second look at their own party’s direction and judgment, disliking what they see, and reluctantly considering the alternative. Independents are increasingly looking for something new and different, and many are surprised to find it on the Red Side of the aisle.

The good news is that parties don’t run countries, people do – and while both candidates claim bipartisan cooperation and appeal, only McCain has the record to back up that statement. Dem-turned-Independent Joe Lieberman, a staunch ally of McCain’s, has just launched a new ‘official’ site to welcome ‘purple and blue’ Citizens for McCain. Yahoo, CafeMom, and other grassroots groups are springing up to create a home for disenfranchised Democrats and independents, come check them out and judge for yourself.

But *seriously*, my grandparents would roll in their grave if I ever voted Republican. To the truly reluctant, there are other factual chasms between Obama and McCain that any savvy voter should consider.

Consider the candidates’ own records: one has 26 years experience in Washington, one has 4. One has co-sponsored dozens of bills, many bipartisan. The other has um, one. One has zero earmarks in a quarter century in Congress, and has vowed to veto any bill with pork-barrel spending and "make their authors famous." The other quietly took $80 million in earmarks last year ALONE and has said explicitly he will raise a wide variety of taxes if elected.

Doesn’t sound so ridiculous to choose McCain now, does it?

Lest I be called a hypocrite, I personally am a Republican and I feel that McCain’s policies represent the best of conservativism and common sense. That said, I do feel there are areas where my party has strayed, and I feel both parties need to be more accountable for their spending, their voting, and their priorities in the next administration.

If you feel the same, whatever your party, please join the bipartisan effort to elect McCain today.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Overcoming objections: The War

Like many Moms, I turn off the news when the dramatic "Iraq" logo sails onto the screen. I don't want my kids exposed to the violence - or the obnoxiously biased reporting that underestimates, and often undermines, our troops' efforts. (See a military Mom's take on this here.)

That said, you will encounter people who hesitate on McCain because of his Iraq stance - here are some intelligent responses to Iraq objections.

We have no business in other countries. Reluctant Ron Paul holdouts, this is for you. I would love a world where America is not needed or wanted in other countries. I would also like to wear a Size 2 and date the guy from "Prison Break." But here on planet earth, our economy, our security and our way of life are interdependent with other nations. Everything from gas prices to the stock market to human daily lives are affected by the threat of terrorism, and turning our back on that threat will allow it to thrive. That threat will grow whether we are there or not - being present ensures safety for Americans, and hope for other nations.

I won't vote for McCain because he'll keep us in Iraq for 100 years. As I've discussed before, the DNC's fact-less smear campaign completely misrepresents the letter and the spirit of McCain's Iraq policies. Sadly, there are people falling for this. We don't need to be defensive about the wording - for those who care, what he actually said is here. Instead, our best strategy is to be clear and firm on what the actual policies will be (particularly since Obama has not).

McCain has two sons in the military, including one who has served in Iraq. He understands at the most intimate level why our troops should come home. But he also understands how important their job is, and how short-sighted it is to withdraw troops for political reasons. Yet another example of McCain refusing to do what is politically expedient and instead doing what is right.

McCain is just like Bush on the war. McCain jeopardized his standing within his own party to speak out against Bush's strategies, and was a key proponent of the "surge" before it was politically acceptable and had been proven successful. He addressed this in his Louisiana speech.

McCain has a biased view of war because he was a POW. First of all, if you think McCain's military service does not demonstrate courage and strength of character, I'd encourage you to talk to a disabled vet for an hour and see if you change your mind.

That said, valorous service 40 years ago does NOT in and of itself qualify anyone for anything (other than our gratitude). But the dramatic chasm between McCain and Obama on experience is crucial since this is the President's #1 constitutionally-appointed duty. Would you personally hire someone to run our military who has no experience? Would you hire someone to babysit who had never been around kids? Didn't think so.

President McCain would arrive in Washington ready to carefully assess reports from the field and ongoing information, having visited Iraq numerous times, knowing the men and women in uniform and how to get straight information from them. President Obama would be learning the acronyms, how to read lapel pins, when to stand and salute. Commanders-in-Chief make time-sensitive, life-changing decisions every day and this is no place for a rookie.

Whether you love or hate the current Iraq strategy, it is crucial that our Commander-in-Chief make these decisions based on facts on the ground, NOT political expediency. The only candidate offering experienced, realistic solutions in Iraq is John McCain.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Overcoming Objections: The Oldness

For the remainder of the week I want to focus on WHY voters remain undecided, or more specifically, what their objections are to a McCain presidency. If we can overcome these key objections, their votes - and the Presidency - is won. Today's "objection" is the most basic: "The Oldness."

Let's face it: there is nothing McCain can do to magically become younger between now and November. Despite giving a free pass to 73-yr-old Ron Paul, and 60+ Hillary Clinton, the media continues subtle digs like "he takes medication like many aging Americans." I even saw Dr Sanjay Gupta describing a cancerous post-growth that McCain (bum-bum-bum) might have. (Um, aren't there sick people somewhere you should be helping?!)

So for those who have bought into this "Oldness is Bad" campaign: what ARE the downsides of having a President who's old?

He may die or create instability due to failing health. The release of McCain's volumnious health records should put minds at ease. But actions really do speak louder than words - seeing McCain vigorous on the campaign trail, connecting with younger voters, supported by youth organizations are all important.

As America ages, the days of the gold-watch-at-65 are over, the White House should be no exception.

His Vice President may have to take the reins. The solution here is a young, vibrant VP choice with leadership experience and credibility among swing voters. A few young but qualified suggestions include Watts, Jindal, and Palin - see more VP options.

He may represent an old way of doing things. McCain's speech last night was the perfect antidote to this. Opponents can claim till they're blue in the face that McCain represents more of the same, but the facts clearly say otherwise: it is abundantly clear to anyone seeking facts that McCain the notorious "maverick" is his own man. We can help McCain by emphasizing some of the major changes implemented on his watch: my personal favorites are campaign finance reform, and the 'surge', the Iraq strategy that is yielding real results on the ground.

He may secretly have Alzheimer's and do crazy things. You know, like sit down with Ahmadinejad and Castro (oh, wait, no that was his 46-year-old opponent). Or propose an Iraq strategy without having been there. Or claiming to attend a church for 20 years and not know and accept its teachings.

The reality is, yeah, McCain has done some crazy things. Like speaking out against his party's own President when his Iraq policy threatened lives and our safety. Like working with (gasp) Democrats to pass legislation needed to save money, save lives and save the planet. Like going to Iowa and speaking against corn subsidies. Like voting against bad, pork-laden legislation when supporting it would be politically expedient. There is no form of crazy we haven't already seen - and in the vast majority of cases, a crazy McCain is better than any other 'sane' Senator in Washington.

An older President would be more worried about keeping up appearances. MCCain will be, in all likelihood, a one-term President, and spoke specifically last night about the end of the 'perpetual campaign.' A President acting free from concerns about re-election and can follow his conscience rather than his approval ratings. McCain has never shied away from doing the right things, there is no reason to believe he would start now.

I could talk until I'm blue in the face about Obama's inexperience and the dire consequences of having a rookie in the Oval Office. But at the end of the day, we need to do more than discredit Obama. We have to make the case that McCain has what America needs: the perfect balance of experience and independence. Very few Washington politicians emerge from a quarter-century career with both a successful record and their dignity intact. McCain is that rare man. And that is why I put aside housework, bathtime, errands, and yes, even sleep to advocate on his behalf.

John McCain may have silver hair, but his leadership will be a golden age for America.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who are the Undecided Voters?

In the absence of obvious heirs apparent this election year, we've seen decades-old racial and gender barriers broken, party lines crossed in both directions and unique candidates emerge. I've spoken before about why John McCain is the clear choice. So why would anyone still be undecided?

This week I'll be focusing on these coveted undecided voters and offering some ideas for wooing them to the McCain camp. Consider how we market McCain to:

Undecided first time voters. The media has painted Obama's campus and rally appearances as a Dave-Matthews-concert-worthy lovefest. And clearly he is ahead in this demographic. However, these groups are least likely to *actually show up*. I also think McCain's bipartisanship, military heroism, straight talk and sense of humor appeal to younger voters (like the ones at Villanova University in key battleground state of Pennsylvania.)

This generation of voters trusts the mainstream media less, will Google fishy rumors, is less vested in partisan politics and is more likely to be open-minded. We have a chance to woo them with "netroots outreach," multimedia, town hall straight talk and direct, simple comparison between the candidates' experience and qualifications.

Baby Boomers. My parents' generation, the largest in America, is also one of the hardest-hit by economic instability. They remember VietNam and lost friends and brothers there. They are retiring and aging; tax policies and healthcare availability are important to them. These folks may be less willing to cross party lines in principle, but McCain's heroic record of fighting in VietNam and in Washington can inspire even the most jaded voter. They need to hear about McCain's domestic strength and his experience - tempered with his independence from party hardliners and special interests.

Disgruntled Hillary Supporters. Hell hath no fury like a million women (and men) scorned. The DNC insists that their people will fall in line but the data and anecdotes (click this one it is good!) tell me otherwise. When Dean and team decided each voter in Michigan and Florida is half a person, and awarded delegates to someone whose name wasn't even on the ballot, a lot of folks woke up and smelled the (stinky) coffee.

We at the McCain camp welcome you, experience-valuing, fairness-oriented Hillary voters, and we have the only candidate with an actual record of working effectively and respectfully across the aisle. Heck, she and McCain have even been known to throw back a few - why not join her and toast McCain's success? (More at Steve's awesome HillarySupportersforMcCain blog.)

Catholics. As a lifelong practicing Catholic, it boggles my mind that so many Catholics claim to espouse the church's values, yet still believe Obama's values and policies are ethically acceptable. Because frankly, they're not. If you don't believe me, ask the Bishops.

Obama is militantly pro-abortion and has even worked against common-sense clauses like parental consent, limiting federal funding, provider choice (i.e. Catholic hospitals having to provide abortion services), etc. This extremism should concern even Catholics who identify themselves as "pro-choice" because the cost and consequences of an extremist policy are so high. And speaking of high costs, Obama's tax policies will hurt middle class families the day he takes office (see how much the repealed tax cuts will increase your bill).

McCain, on the other hand, is a pro-life, pro-family advocate of limited government, supporting school choice and vouchers. He is even willing to buck his own party's standard-bearers to promote environmental stewardship and compassionate immigration policy (and before you complain check the facts).

I can only assume undecided Catholics have mixed feelings about the Iraq war and whose policy will result in more suffering and lives lost. (More on this later.) For now, I will merely say that McCain's values and priorities overall are much more in line with the Catholic worldview, and it is vitally important to educate Catholics about this in key battleground states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc).

Hispanics. Everyone, including myself, assumes that the overwhelming majority of African American voters will support Obama's precedent-setting bid. But the media talks less about Obama's smaller support among Hispanics, who had largely gravitated to Hillary. McCain's experience dealing with the Hispanic community in Arizona, his status as a war hero, and his straight-talk approach play well with this group, who are disproportionately Catholic (see above) and/or formerly for Hillary (ditto). This is an area to watch closely (I would welcome a Spanish pro-McCain post from a Latina Mom - email me at moms4mccain at

I welcome and encourage your comments and ideas about trends you see among undecided voters. Stay tuned for ideas on overcoming objections, boots-on-the-ground resources, and other commentary from the blogopshere.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer Funnies with McCain

I have been on vacation, so while I review the news of the past week and prepare some brilliant insights for you, enjoy our man McCain with David Letterman. If you need more belly laughter to kill a case of "the Mondays", check out these videos too.

And in the meantime, if you want a safe, prosperous, proud America, please take action to support McCain today. Thank you!