Tag Archives: Presidential Campaign

The Political Fire Suit

Ever wondered what Obama’s and McCain’s tailored threads would look like if, in the manner of the NASCAR fire suit, they were festooned with sponsorship/contributor logos? Dig it.

I’m only half kidding when I say that making this thought experiment the law of the land would be a great step toward political transparency.

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Barack Obama Chooses Invesco Field

Rather than accept the Democratic presidential nomination in the cozy Pepsi Center, Barack Obama will instead give the vapors to more than 75,000 adoring Dems at Invesco Field in Denver. Expect deafening applause lines and an Earnest Byner fumble.

(Yeah, yeah, I know “The Fumble” occurred at Mile High, but still … )

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Introducing FiveThirtyEight

If you’ve been following the presidential campaign on the Internet, then you’ve probably stumbled across Nate Silver’s decidedly innovative FiveThirtyEight.com.

Nate’s a friend of mine and a colleague over at Baseball Prospectus, and having a familiarity with his intelligence and enterprising nature, I’m not surprised by the success of FiveThirtyEight. In essence, Nate is applying the principles of Sabermetrics (i.e., the use of objective evidence/statistics to analyze the game of baseball) to the electoral college. The output is a predictive system the likes of which politics has never seen. As the general approaches, it’s an essential resource.

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John McCain or Tiger Woods?

The occasion of Tiger Woods’ white-knuckled victory at the U.S. Open (he’s now a ridiculous 11-1 in playoff rounds) provides a tidy opportunity to revisit this bit of weirdness:

“You can have your Tiger Woods; we’ve got Senator McCain.”

Olberman and TPM, among others, found something racialist about the impossibly awkward introduction shown above, which comes to us courtesy of David Bellavia, co-founder of Vets for Freedom.

Certainly that’s possible, but I’m generally a “benefit of the doubt” sort of guy. At they very least, it was a dumb thing to say, particularly when McCain’s opponent in the general is a black man. Laying aside racialist inferences, it’s nice to know that John McCain and Tiger Woods, two entities as unrelated as oatmeal and carburetors, constitute some sort of Boolean, either-or dilemma. Stanford-educated uber-golfer or seasoned war hero/statesman? You can’t have both, America.

Then again, maybe I need to be more cynical. Perhaps the talking point really was, “McCain yes! Assimilated, non-threatening black guys no!”

In any event, some unsolicited advice for Mr. Bellavia: you might want to enlist another pair of eyes the next time you take up speech writing.

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