Tag Archives: John Edwards

Common Sense Election Anaylsis

5 Nov

There are a number of reasons that Barack Obama won the Presidency yesterday, receiving more votes than any candidate in history.  Most of them are fairly obvious. 

  • George W. Bush was a really bad president.  Certainly, John McCain suffered from his party and policy affiliations with the current President, just as the majority of people suffered under his administration–unless, of course, you were in the top 1% of income earners, worked for or invested in Big Oil, or were on the Board at Halliburton or Blackwater.
  • John McCain was a lousy campaigner.  McCain’s best moments of the entire election cycle were his QVC skit on Saturday Night Live, his Monday Night Football Interview with Chris Berman, and his concession speech.  His best debate line, “Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago,” would have hit harder than a wet sponge if he hadn’t spent the last six months trying to maintain his Party’s base by highlighting his belief in Bush policies. 
  • Barack Obama really connected with the people.  He was a great speaker.  He had a clear message which he delivered with charisma, focus, and detail.  It worked.
  • The Republicans failed to scare the electorate as they did in 2004.  They were unable to generate a polarizing social issue such as “gay marriage” which carried Ohio for Bush in 2004.  In fact, due to the economic collapse, more Americans were frightened of losing their jobs and homes than they were by lame Republican attempts to portray Obama as a socialist, Muslim, terrorist, or–holy cow–a liberal. 
  • Religion, a huge component of Bush’s 2000 victory, became less of an issue.  After eight years of Bush-Cheney international and economic disaster, maybe the good Christian voters began to realize that God wasn’t actually a Republican diety. 
  • Obama ran a clean campaign, and after two elections of Bush-Rove tactics, it appears that a more positive message resonated with voters.  As CBS News reported:  “Nearly every TV ad McCain ran last week was negative, compared to just 34 percent of those by Obama, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Advertising Project released on Wednesday. “
  • When a candidate moves from who-they-really-are to who-they-think-they-need-to-be-to-get-elected, they lose.  Reagan was an ultra-conservative.  Bill Clinton was a centrist.  George W Bush was a God-fearing jughead.  Obama is a liberal (Apparently, not such a bad thing these days).  The 2000 John McCain didn’t court the Religious Right, employed an independent, critical thought process, and wouldn’t have stood for the type of negative campaigning that Bush-Rove used to sink McCain’s 2000 bid.  That all changed in 2008, and the results speak for themselves. 

Other Election Highlights:

  • Last night, the Fox News Channel crew looked and acted like a bunch of six year-olds who raced down the stairs only to find coal in their stockings.  Boo hoo.   Waaaaaaaaw.
  • Ben Affleck’s Keith Olbermann skit on SNL (perhaps the best episode of SNL since the glory days of the Belushi era).
  • The Hangover finally voted for a Presidential Candidate who won.  (It’s the first time since 1980, and that was a mistake.  Hey, I was a binge-drinking teenager at the time.)
  • The Hangover is still trying to remove John Edwards’ populist hook from his mouth, firmly planted during the primary season.  Only a true douche bag could have campaigned “for-the-people” while knowing that an affair with the biggest coke slut of the 1980’s was waiting to come tumbling out of the closet.  What if his message (which was a good one) had caught on?
  • Anne Curry delivers good news:  anytime, anyplace, but especially on MSNBC’s election night dressed in all black:
anne-curry3

Maybe the mainstream media isn't so bad, after all.

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Celebrity Sex Scandal: 1 Winner, 300 Million Losers

19 Aug

John Edwards.  Rielle Hunter.   Jay McInerney.  The latest celebrity sex scandal being reported on in the American press was 25 years in the making and includes a would-be President, a once-famous, sometimes decent writer, and a coke whore “media expert.”  Who needs the Lifetime Channel when we have this? 

After intrepid reporting by the National Enquirer (I can’t believe I just wrote that), Edwards admitted to having an affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006.  Edwards confessed:

“In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.”

Edwards, honestly, admits to becoming a fathead.  This is the same thinking that regularly leads others to cheating, including professional athletes, actors and actresses, and politicians.  It shouldn’t surprise anyone, unless one investigates the history of his paramour, Rielle Hunter.

Rielle Hunter was formerly called Lisa Druck.  She was a noted coke-snorting, bed-hopping (not that there’s anything wrong with that) 80’s New York party girl.  In fact, after a liaison with McInerny in the post Bright Lights, Big City era, she became the inspiration for the main character of his forgettable second novel, Story of My Life.  Mysteriously, the book was about a trampy, coke-snorting New York woman who was trying to find her way in life.  The character based on Hunter, Allison Poole, was also skewered in two of Bret Ellis’s novels.  That indicates one of two things:  either she was incredibly loathsome or Ellis was one celebrity Hunter wouldn’t give it up for. 

Twenty years later, Hunter became a public figure again, initially for filming campaign “webisodes” for Edwards’ failed 2008 Presidential bid.  In an interview with “Extra,” Hunter admitted:

“I’ve never really been interested in politics in my life.  I voted twice.”

Perhaps this explains why her webisodes proved to be tremendously ineffective.  And while she found politics “a gross environment,” Hunter did find Edwards to be “interesting,” “real,” and “authentic.”  Apparently, she also found him steamy, and really, really hot.

The sole beneficiary of this scandal is McInerny.  He’s got a 2007 book, The Good Life, to publicize and the press is knocking on his door again, if only to ask about Hunter.   However, thanks to the scandal, Story of My Lifehas just been reprinted.  While The Good Life is ranked 80,125 in book sales on Amazon, Story of My Life has climbed to 1,828. 

It’s the rest of us who are the losers here.  And not because the Hangover-endorsed Edwards has skuttled his chances for future public service.  At this point, it’s impossible to care about a full-of-shit politician, no matter what his (or her) message.

The more serious problem exposed by this scandal is the tabloid culture that owns America.  As citizens, we should have more important things to think about than a failed politician hooking up with a bottle-blonde scratching and clawing for another Wharholian 15 minutes.  And the Hangover is not suggesting that we spend time considering Britney’s recovery, Brangelina’s kids, Bigfoot, or Christian Bale’s belief that he’s Batman, dammit. 

The Hangover apologizes for even bringing up the subject here.  As punishment, I’ll force myself to watch an hour of Entertainment Tonight.  While it might be painful, at least I’ll be made fully aware of the issues considered important by the vast majority of Americans.

John Edwards Sex Scandal Good News

24 Jul

It was bad enough when The Hangover’s endorsement of John Edwards scuttled his 2008 presidential bid.  Now the National Enquirer is reporting that the former Senator is involved in a sex scandal.  As always, the Hangover is ready to examine the facts.  

The first step is to consider the source.  Exactly when did the National Enquirer become a reputable member of the media?  Perhaps it was when their correspondents started appearing on the Howard Stern show.  It could have been when the NE got its own TV show, Uncovered, in 1999, only to see it get cancelled in 2001.  However, The Hangover has determined the NE became credible when actual newspapers actually started citing the tabloid as a source in their own pathetic attempts to cover Lindsay Lohan’s binge drinking–the single most important and compelling news story of the current century. 

The Facts:  The Enquirer reported that at 9:45 on July 21st Edwards appeared at the Beverly Hilton.  Hmmm.  NE Reporter Alan Butterfield deduced that “he (Edwards) wasn’t carrying anything.”  Suspicious, indeed.  The Enquirer gang then hounded Edwards like a combination of Sherlock Holmes, Jacques Clouseau, and Deputy Dawg.  They reported that when cornered, Edwards looked like a “deer in caught in headlights!”  Not only can the NE reporters investigate, they are brilliant and original writers, too.  How could one not believe them?

And so what if Edwards was having an affair?  He is simply following in the footsteps of all the great Democractic political thinkers of the modern era:  John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Gary Hart, and William J. Clinton.  (Additionally, the incident differentiates Edwards from those Republicans caught in sex scandals, which generally operate under same-sex scenarios; not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  Mr. Obama, The Hangover urges you to heed this fine Democratic lineage and give Mr. Edwards a position in your cabinet.  Make the man your Attorney General. 

The Enquirer’s reporting of the scandal means that the Republicans view him as a threat.  In an Obama administration, Edwards could potentially be the first AG since Robert Kennedy to actually care about working class and poor Americans.  Maybe then the 95% of us who aren’t enjoying George W. Bush’s tax cuts could stop getting screwed.  How ironic.

The Hangover’s Perfect Record

31 Jan

With John Edwards dropping out of the race today, The Hangover’s perfect record is intact.  Since turning twenty, I’ve never supported a winning Presidential candidate.  Edwards’ aim was true. Corporations and special interests do have a stranglehold on Washington.  Jerry Brown won six states in the ’92 Primary Season running on a similar platform (and taking no contributions more than $100), and he was up against living legend Bill Clinton.   Edwards delivered his message with passion,  and The Hangover hopes that he does the right thing and gets behind the candidate whose beliefs are closest to his own, Barack Obama.   Political expediency may dictate otherwise–and that’s when The Hangover’s outrage meter will hit the red-line. 

Apparently, the American people are fine with Halliburton, Exxon, GM, Citigroup, Bank of America, etc.., dictating policy for the United States.  Pretty soon, we’ll all be working at Burger King or Wal-Mart anyway.  But at least the earnings-per-share numbers will look good.  Who could ask for more?

The Hangover doesn’t get it.    People refuse to vote in their own economic and political self interest.  Are they spoon fed by the media?  Has sugar rotted their brains as well as their teeth?  Are we secretly being hypnotized by subliminal messages during The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives?  Is there Kool-Aid being passed around that I’m missing out on? 

These questions must be answered.  To do so, The Hangover is going underground.  For the next seven days I will infilitrate one of this country’s most insidious and underhanded large corporations.  I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get word out while undercover.  Short of a complete brainwashing, The Hangover will return on February 7th.  Patti Hearst has yet to hear the worst of Hangover. 

Pundits Miss the Point

22 Jan

The pissing contest in Monday night’s Democratic Debate had the talking heads frothing like Homer Simpson and Barney Gumble watching two strippers in a bar fight.  Needless to say, the critical issue of the night—the corrupted nature of our political system—was overlooked.  Late in the debate, John Edwards made a point about how money dominates the agenda in Washington and Hillary Clinton’s politics, in particular.

Here’s the transcript of the critical exchange:

EDWARDS: And I have a question — I have a question that I’m interested in hearing you respond to. You’ve talked a lot about day one. I’ve committed — I don’t know what Barack has said about this — but I’ve committed not to have any corporate lobbyists working in my White House on the first day that I’m president.Will you make the same commitment?

CLINTON: Well, you know, John, I will make the commitment to have people in the White House who are honest and trustworthy and put the interests of the United States first. But I think…(Never mind that these are people who have been working for various industries to promote legislation that favors said industries. They’ll forget all that once they assume the mantle of leadership.  Rumsfeld and Cheney did, didn’t they?  TH)

EDWARDS: Is that a no?

CLINTON: You know what? I don’t know.(Of course, she doesn’t know. Lobbyists have so far contributed over $567, 000 to her campaign.   Would shutting them out of the White House be any way to thank them?  TH) 

(LAUGHTER)  (The Hangover laughed, too.  Given a yes or no question, the woman who wants to lead the real world can’t come up with an answer.)

I don’t know, because I’m not in favor of corporate lobbyists (But she’ll take their money.  TH), but you keep drawing these artificial distinctions. You take money from people who employ lobbyists, who are married to lobbyists, who are the children of lobbyists.  (I’m married to a caterer.  Maybe that means Hillary will let The Hangover cater her victory party.)

And, you know, at some point this gets really hard to take, because if you are someone like I am, who has withstood the full force of corporate lobbyists, starting with the health insurance companies, and the drug companies, (That must be why when her husband put her in charge of restructuring health care in the US after the 1992 election, she was able to provide us with the totally revamped, universal-coverage system we now enjoy.  Oh, that’s right.  My mistake.)  and the oil companies (If not for Hillary, we’d be paying $10.00 a gallon?), and everybody that I’ve taken on for all of these years, you know, I think I’m independent and tough enough to be able to deal with anybody (She’s on target here:  She’s been married to Bill quite a while.  I’m surprised Barack didn’t make that point for her). And that’s what I intend to do.

(APPLAUSE)

(By the way:  Ms. Clinton has taken over 2 million dollars for her campaign from Health Professionals and the Pharmaceutical Industries.) 

The media doesn’t need to point out that the estimated 419 million dollars contributed to Presidential campaigns so far in this election cycle just might just have an impact on post-election politics.  Regular folks don’t need to be bothered with that technical political science stuff.  That’s what those lobbyists are for, anyway.   It’s only right they be rewarded for elevating us to the pinnacle where the US resides today—right at the edge of the cliff. 

No Moore, Not Gore

7 Jan

 Michael Moore is a man I greatly admire.  He’s one of the few people in this country who makes good use of The Freedom of Speech.  But in this primary season, he could say a few more words.  In a January 2nd  letter to his followers (of which I am one), he discusses and evaluates the top three Democratic candidates.  He has good things to say about Edwards and Obama, and is disappointed by Hillary Clinton.  Yet, he refuses to endorse anyone.   

He wistfully leads us to this: 

 ‘I am not endorsing anyone at this point. This is simply how I feel in the first week of the process to replace George W. Bush. For months I’ve been wanting to ask the question, “Where are you, Al Gore?”’ 

And this:

‘I don’t blame you (Al Gore) for not wanting to enter the viper pit again after you already won.’

Yes, Al Gore did get more votes than George W. Bush.  He also had Florida stolen from him, as Moore points out in Fahrenheit 911.  Gore did make attempts to stop that larceny from occurring.  But for whatever reason, he didn’t exactly fight.  Instead, he strongly disagreed and accepted what happened.  The schoolyard bully and his brother pushed Gore off the playground, but Al wouldn’t throw a punch to stop them.  Perhaps he feared the inevitable detention or maybe it was because none of those in his after-school club would stand up with him. Whatever.  It doesn’t take a Kennedy School grad to theorize that things might have been different had we a President who could actually read and understand an intelligence report titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the United States.” The point being, Gore did not battle for what was his—and ours.  We all lost.

As anyone who has found this blog realizes, I’m supporting John Edwards.  This is what Moore has to say about Edwards:  

 ‘—you find a man who is out to take on the wealthy and powerful who have made life so miserable for so many. A candidate who says things like this: “I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy.”’

Later on, Moore continues his plea to Gore and concludes: 

‘On second thought, would you (Al Gore) even be willing to utter the words, “I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy?” ‘Cause the candidate who understands that, and who sees it as the root of all evil — including the root of global warming — is the President who may lead us to a place of sanity, justice and peace.’

It’s clear that Moore has an appreciation for both Edwards and Gore.  But he should note some differences between the two. One is that Edwards is actually running in this election.  Another:  In a spot where Gore walked away like a gentleman, Edwards wouldn’t hesitate to drop the gloves and let fly.  It’s time for you to step into Edwards’ corner, Michael, and you know it.  You’ve positioned yourself exactly four words away. 

  

The Hangover Endorses John Edwards

5 Jan

John Edwards has vowed to fight for middle class and working families against corporate greed and the corporate muscle that has a “stranglehold” on our democracy.  It is rhetoric that is his alone in this campaign.  Edwards knows that our democratic republic has been hijacked by a powerful, moneyed elite.  Before you shout ‘conspiracy theory,’ pick up a copy of  “Who Rules America?  Power, Politics, and Social Change” by G. William Domhoff of the University of California Santa Cruz.  (Or at least investigate the author’s website:  whorulesamerica.net.)  If you can brave the sociological language, you’ll find a factual analysis that supports Edwards’ claim.  The problem is that most Americans don’t make it past the sports or living pages of their local newspaper.  Hopefully, they can venture far enough to listen to John Edwards, understand the words, and hear the passion.  He speaks the truth and he is committed.  That’s why The Hangover endorses John Edwards for President in the 2008 Democratic primaries. 

On New Years Day in the Boston Globe, Stephen Gillon, a University of Oklahoma historian, defined Edwards’ brand of populism as emotional, not intellectual.  If one looks intellectually at Edwards position, one should get emotional, as in angry and outraged.  The Center for Responsive Politics (2008) reveals that 1.3 billion dollars were spent by special interests and big business funding elections in the 2006 cycle.  One would have to be extremely naïve to think that that kind of money doesn’t wield power in Washington.  After all, twenty bucks will still get you a good table in most restaurants—except probably the ones in which these sponsors are dining.

Barrack Obama’s desire to produce change is noble, and destined to be thwarted by that 1.3 billion dollars.  He aims for a bipartisan approach to change.  But with Democrats accepting 46% of the money, he’ll struggle to get his own party moving in the right direction, never mind the Republicans.  In the current election, Hillary Clinton has already taken $567,950 from lobbyists and 1.7 million from health care professionals (Obama: lobbyists, $76,859; health professionals, 1.3 million//Edwards lobbyists, $18,900; health professionals, $419,000.  Source:  Center for Responsive Politics).   The likelihood of Clinton effecting change is small, too, as she is unlikely to bite the many hands that feed her. 

Edwards faces two hurdles.  First, people must actually listen to his message.  Somehow, they need to look beyond the end of their driveways and pay attention to how Washington works.  As manufacturing jobs flee the country faster than illegal immigrants come in, one would think that Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Six-pack would have a vested interest in promoting a candidate who thinks from the ground up as opposed to the top down.  And at least a few of the 46 million uninsured citizens of this country should be inclined to support the candidate who gives them the best chance to receive health care.  Edward’s plan takes a multi-faceted, thoughtful approach to the problem.  It shouldn’t take a great deal of analysis for these issues to resonate with voters, but based on recent Presidential elections, apparently it takes more than some people are willing to give.  If only critical thinking skills were a requirement for citizenship. 

Secondly, Edwards will soon face marginalization from the press.  It happened to Jerry Brown in 1992, who despite winning primaries in six states and earning enough delegates to carry on to the national convention, rated barely a mention on the nightly network news.  The establishment does not like populism, as it is a threat to the status quo of doing business.  Here comes the conspiracy theory again, you say.  Not so fast.  The day after finishing second in the Iowa Caucuses (gaining two less delegates than Obama, one less than Clinton), the New York Times stated that Edwards, “remained largely overshadowed by his better-financed and better-organized rivals.”  While he may be overshadowed regarding print columns and air time, and by having a third less money to spend than his two main opponents, he was not overshadowed in the voting booth.  Which is it that counts in this country? 

For Edwards to win, middle class and working people will have to hear the not-the-usual message, give it some thought, and perhaps march in a direction opposite that which the news media will shepherd them.  It is a great challenge for both candidate and citizen.  John Edwards alone cannot give the American people back their government.  They must join his cause and take it.  This will require ordinary citizens to act and a nearly superhuman effort by the candidate.  But John Edwards is ready to fight.  I’m hoping he’s the werewolf Zevon saw drinking Pina Coladas at Trader Vic’s, and that election night is a full moon.