Friday, June 6, 2008

End of the line

Clinton has gracefully bowed out--and so, alas, must Polprint. Despite her keen interest in the general-election campaign, she will be leaving Cambridge and cutting short her promising career as a pundit. So a hearty thank-you to readers, and see you elsewhere in cyberspace!

Yours truly,

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The O.C. Show

As Clinton prepares to withdraw from the race, her backers--apparently with her blessing--are heavily lobbying for the vice-presidential slot. Polprint has said all along that an Obama-Clinton ticket would be an impossibility, not least because Clinton would never accept it. Could Polprint be so very wrong?

Of course. But two things must be noted. First and most obviously, Clinton's blatant push for the veep slot is sure to anger many Obama fans, who accuse her of employing excessively forward--dare we say ballsy--tactics all along.

Second and more interesting: a friend of Polprint has pointed out that if Obama takes Clinton as VP, it will look like he is not in charge. Worse, it will look like he has been bullied by a strong woman, which is not the impression that a would-be commander in chief wants to project. Thus, according to this analysis, Clinton's naked bid is sure to backfire, because if Obama acquiesces, it puts him in the untenable position of looking weak.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The gaffe wars

The Republican National Committee is criticizing Obama for stating that his uncle was among the liberators of Auschwitz, when it was his great-uncle helping liberate Buchenwald?

According to CNN, an RNC spokesman says that the comments (which the Obama campaign quickly clarified) "raise questions about his judgment and his readiness to lead as commander in chief."

That’s a bit rich.

Where was the RNC when George Bush confused APEC and OPEC, Austria and Australia, Slovakia and Slovenia, and called the Greeks “Grecians”?

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Obama-Paul connection

The NYT's Sunday Styles (better known as the sports pages for women) had an interesting piece on Ron Paul's diehard supporters. They have raised a phenomenal amount of money and continue to turn out at campaign rallies long after it is clear that their candidate is going nowhere. (Their enthusiasm, incidentially, nicely contradicts the assertion in "Freakonomics", which Polprint has just finished reading, that campaign contributors are clever enough to give to a candidate with a chance of winning.)

Ron Paul is generally presented as an irritation to McCain--as is Bob Barr, the newly coronated Libertarian party nominee who is hoping for Ron Paul's support.

But could Ron Paul also pose a threat to--or an opportunity for--Obama? Sure, Obama hasn't sung the praises of the gold standard, or said that the solution to environmental ills is property rights. But fundamentally, supporters of both are young, enthusiastic and anti-war. Some of the Ron Paul contingent's natural allegiances, therefore, might lie with Obama rather than McCain. Much will depend on Paul's plans--whether he endorses Barr, runs as an independent, or simply bows out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Faithful readers will know that Polprint has long favoured Jim Webb of Virginia for an Obama's VP pick. (In fact, she has a family bet riding on it.)

In looking for more information about Webb, Polprint turned of course to the most trusted source on the Internet: Wikipedia. The interesting aspect of the entry is Webb's Navy Cross citation while serving in Vietnam. Apparently that is the second to top honor in the navy.

Webb's actions were extraordinary. He led the approach to three different bunkers (as part of the same action, on the same day). At the first bunker, he captured several soldiers who emerged from the bunkers; at the second and third, grenades were pitched at him but he somehow avoided them and searched or destroyed them.

Readers are strongly recommended to read the citation for themselves.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A tribute to Ted Kennedy

Polprint is much saddened at the news about Ted Kennedy, whom doctors have just diagnosed as having a brain tumour.

Kennedy is famous in Polprint's immediate family because, upon attending a 85th birthday party for Polprint's grandfather, he remarked that he was glad to see all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren assembled. The grandchildren, the eldest of whom was not yet through college, promptly stared at each other accusingly. (In fact, the first great-grandchild was born just last week, and what a cutie he is, if his doting Aunt Polprint does say so!)

Kennedy has been a tireless fighter for raising the minimum wage, decent environmental standards and much else. He also opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. We wish him the very best, and keep him in our thoughts and prayers.


Polprint has been informed by family members that it was her grandfather's 90th birthday party at which Ted Kennedy uttered his memorable remarks, not the 85th. Polprint's grandfather had a lot of birthday parties (plainly).

Monday, May 19, 2008

What is Geraldine Ferraro's problem?

Geraldine Ferraro is officially bonkers. "I think Obama was terribly sexist," she told the New York Times today, and added that she might not vote for him as a result.

Memo to Ms. Ferraro:

If you are going to make an incredibly stupid remark, at least please give it some context.

By your untraceable logic, it must have been "terribly racist" that Jesse Jackson did not get the Democratic nomination in 1984. (He surely would have done better than Mondale/Ferraro, too.)