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Weekly Poll Wrap-Up

The weekly poll was “name the biggest loser of 2008 so far.”

The winning loser (or is that the losing winner?) by a squeak was John McCain/Sarah Palin, who won by a single vote and came in at 30%.

Coming in a close second place was Wall Street, at 26%, with George W. Bush third at 16%. Eliot Spitzer was next at 13%, and Rush Limbaugh and “anybody who said Tina Fey’s career was over” tied for last place at 6% apiece.

This week’s poll is on top of the right hand sidebar. Vote on it there, and comment on it here.

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How to Watch a Presidential Election Unfold on Election Night

As a public service to you, the crap-reading public, Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters, Electoral College Division, proudly presents these tips for watching Presidential election returns come in.

First, and above all, do not go through this process completely sober. McCain and Obama aren’t, why should you? Drink heavily – some of you are about to be very disappointed, and will need to drown your sorrows. Most of you will be ecstatically happy, and you’ll want to be in a celebratory mood. Either way, bust out the booze.

Now onto the meat of the issue.

The networks will call various states for one of the candidates as soon as they can. If exit polling plows a clear enough mathematical path, they’ll do so immediately after the last polls close in a state. Therefore, the poll closing schedule becomes crucial. (all the following times are in Central Time – local to most of Texas)

6 p.m. Central Time
Polls close in Georgia, Indiana, and Virginia. McCain should carry Georgia. If he doesn’t, it could be early indication of a very bad night for Republicans. Virginia is leaning Obama, barely. If Obama takes it by more than a point or two, watch out – it could indicate that Obama has also carried North Carolina. If Obama fails to carry Virginia, it could be an early indication that you’re staying up later than you thought – slow down on your drinking. If Obama is ahead in Indiana, which has been voting Republican in past Presidential elections, that’s an early and bad canary-in-the-mineshaft sign for McCain – pick up the pace on your drinking.

6:30 p.m. Central Time
Polls close in Ohio, North Carolina, and West Virginia. If Ohio and North Carolina split, it might be a longer night. If Obama carries both, down another drink quickly, you probably won’t be up very late. You might also glance at West Virginia, which McCain should carry. If he doesn’t, he’s in deep trouble.

7:00 p.m. Central Time
The last polls close in the Florida panhandle, and in New Hampshire, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. In the off-chance that McCain wins New Hampshire, and doesn’t lose Florida, Obama supporters are in for a long night, slow down on the drinking. On the other hand, if Obama carries Missouri, especially by more than a squeak, order your next round with a little less water and a little more scotch.

Also, please note that contrary to popular belief, the last polls in Texas do not close at 7 p.m., they close at 8 because El Paso is in the Mountain Time Zone. However, sometimes the networks jump the gun, so they may call Texas for McCain at 7 instead of 8. Because, sheesh, it’s just El Paso.

8 p.m. Central Time
By now most results from the East Coast and Midwest will be pouring in. If all the likely blue states in those regions, plus Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida can now be called for Obama, you can probably safely call the entire race for Obama. But if Obama loses Florida, he’ll need Ohio more urgently. If he loses that too, then you better drink heavily and pray for New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada. New Mexico and Colorado’s polls also close now, but you might need to wait a while for either of those states to be called, especially New Mexico. Drink up. You might also glance at Arizona now, because their polls close as well. McCain should win it, but if he doesn’t, it will be a total embarrassment for him.

9 p.m. Central Time
Polls close in Nevada and Iowa. You’re trying to pay attention to Nevada, but you’re drunk. McCain is still holding out desperate hope that he might carry Iowa despite his poor showing in the polls, because he needs it. He won’t carry it, but pay attention to the point spread if by now the electoral vote count is still close – it might indicate something about left coast states. I frankly doubt it, but I’m trying to give you people something to do while you drink.

10 p.m. Central Time
Polls close in California, which Obama will carry, and if he hasn’t already won, that state’s mighty 55 electoral votes will officially carry him over the top, exceeding 270. You’re probably already passed out, and even if you’re not, you won’t remember it later. Also, try to keep the drunk text messages to a minimum.

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Weekly Poll Wrap-Up

Last week’s poll question was “McCain’s campaign is sinking like a rock. What could he still do to win?”

Coming in with a hefty 42 percent was “Get every American in battleground states snot-slinging drunk before voting.” I’m actually not sure that would work, since all the mean drunks would probably just even more mad at the last eight years of Republican rule. Meanwhile, the…um…non-mean drunks would all hook up and get a room, thus forgetting to vote at all.

In second place with 30 percent was “Dump Palin and replace her with Jesus.” That actually might work, since the elimination of the costs associated with Palin’s wardrobe alone could put significantly more NcCain TV spots up in Florida.

In third with 18 percent was “Make all future appearances with the Steve Martin fake arrow through his head.” I have no idea where that came from. But it couldn’t hurt.

In last place with 15 percent was “Show up with bin Laden in chains at the next ‘Obama is the Anti-Christ’ rally.” I guess I shouldn’t have included the “anti-Christ rally” part, since that’s what they’ve been doing already and it hasn’t helped. But neither has Joe the Plumber. Or John The Senator. Or Sarah The SNL.

There won’t be a poll this week. Stand by for a special announcement on top of the right hand sidebar!

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Special note to the remaining “undecided” voters of America

People. Seriously. I keep seeing you in the polls. I know some of you just don’t want to tell a pollster who you’ll vote for, so you claim to remain undecided. Others of you simply don’t want to admit that you’re not voting at all, but indeed you live under a rock, never intended to vote, and have paid no attention. Whatever – I salute you. This is not addressed to any of you people.

But, for those of you who truly do intend to cast a ballot by the time the polls close on November 4th, but who remain undecided in the Presidential race: WTF are you thinking?

This issues have never been more clear. The distinctions between the candidates could not be more stark. The choices as to what direction you would most want the country to go are obvious.

So whats say you just make up your little bitty minds, hmmmmm? Meanwhile, here’s the impression the rest of us have of you at the moment.

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Time to put this election to bed

Clearly, the Obama supporter was wrong, and he’ll be fined for it.

But the McCain supporter is even worse off – his candidate is well represented, both on a yard sign and in the back of his truck .

(for a guy who claims to have hated McCain, does it occur to you that putting the stuff in “small bags” was kind of polite? Yeah, me too.)

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Photo caption contest

Put your entry for most absurd caption in the comments section regarding this special moment, which happened when McCain felt uncharacteristically frisky immediately after the final Presidential debate.

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Presidential Debate Preview

For the second-to-last Presidential debate, I wrote this in my debate preview:

John McCain is down in the polls, and sinking farther every day. The shine is off his running mate, states previously considered “safe” for Republicans are suddenly toss-ups, and McCain desperately needs a game-changer.

He won’t get it.

Another eight days have passed, and McCain’s electoral map hole is even deeper. The economy has dealt him nothing but bad cards, and yet to win the election McCain must run the table in key states.

Remember traditional key states? They include Ohio (Obama up 3.4%), Pennsylvania (Obama up 13.4), Florida (Obama up 5), Nevada (Obama up 3), New Mexico (Obama up 7.3), Colorado (Obama up 5.2), Wisconsin (Obama up 10.4), and Michigan (where McCain pulled his campaign out altogether, and Obama is up double digits).

The electoral map is full of toss-up states which should be solid Republican states. In fact, Obama is currently leading in no fewer than 9 states which George Bush carried in 2004.

If McCain doesn’t change the game dramatically, he will lose the election in a land-slide. Tonight is his last best opportunity. The question now, as it was eight days ago, is can he change the game?

The answer is still no.

The remaining question for debate-watchers is, will McCain even try? I believe he will.

McCain’s last big choice will be settled tonight. Will he stay above the fray, remain “Presidential,” only delivering soft blows to Obama tonight while attempting to explain what kind of President he would be? Or will McCain abandon his years-long “good guy” persona, and instead take over as chief Republican pit bull, and attempt to deliver a body blow to Obama which will cause voters to take a second look at their options?

Make no mistake – neither option is a winner for McCain. If he doesn’t attack hard, he will lose. Swing voters who currently seem to have few remaining doubts about Obama will have no reason to begin doubting. If he does attack hard, while he may solidify the same Republican-leaning voters who came home after the Palin V.P. choice was named, McCain will cut himself off from the very swing voters he needs to even compete in this election.

Down-ballot Republicans nation-wide need McCain to attack. They need the Republican faithful to come home and vote for them. The cost to McCain beyond this election, however, would be great. McCain invested years in his “above the partisan fray” branding, and if he attacks tonight, he will have abandoned all hope to maintain it.

Still, I think McCain would rather leave it all out on the field than concede, so I think he will attack. If he doesn’t, he would be ignoring the advice of campaign consultants who hate to lose and detest leaving cards un-played, and of the Republican candidate class which desperately needs him to round up their base and deliver it. If I’m wrong and he doesn’t attack, it will only be because he has decided for himself that he can lose in a landslide with honor, because history will blame George W. Bush, not McCain, for destroying the Republican brand (which I personally believe is the wise choice, and the accurate historical prediction).

If he does decide to attack, we’ll know it in the first 5 minutes of the show. Look for McCain to imply that Obama is trying to steal the election (key word: ACORN). Look for McCain to imply that Obama hates America (key word: Ayers).

Further complicating things for McCain is that moderator Bob Schieffer is bound to be far less passive than previous debate moderators Jim Lehrer, Tom Brokaw, and V.P. debate moderator Gwen Ifill.

The greatest difficulty of all for John McCain is in controlling John McCain. I believe the biggest under-reported story from the second debate was that McCain almost lost control. One could see it in his face during the “that one!” moment. You could sense the frustration and tension in him throughout the second half of the show, and one could certainly sense it as he ignored Obama’s offered hand-shake following the debate, and as he and Cindy McCain left the set immediately thereafter, while the Obamas stayed for 15 more minutes, signing autographs and taking pictures with audience-members. If McCain isn’t very careful, he could have a campaign-ending melt-down.

Meanwhile, against this backdrop of seemingly-insurmountable difficulty for McCain, all Obama must do is avoid major gaffes and stave off the McCain-introduced notion that Obama is a risky and untested choice.

Sound familiar? It didn’t work for the Democratic field in the primaries either.


Post debate update: McCain did indeed attack attack attack, and sure enough, it didn’t work work work. The overnight CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll results:

Who won?
Obama: 58%
McCain: 31

Favorable rating:
Obama: 66% (up 3)
McCain: 49% (down 2)

Who was better on the economy?
Obama: 59
McCain: 35

Who was better on taxes?
Obama: 56
McCain: 41

Who seemed more like a typical politician?
Obama: 35
McCain: 54

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Stand Up And Be Counted!

That One – Biden ’08!

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Tonight’s debate preview – updated

John McCain is down in the polls, and sinking farther every day. The shine is off his running mate, states previously considered “safe” for Republicans are suddenly toss-ups, and McCain desperately needs a game-changer.

He won’t get it.

If he goes on the attack tonight against Obama, he will fail miserably, because he’s just not that good at it.

If he fails to go on the attack tonight against Obama, he’ll look weak and lost, and his campaign will not get the game-changing event they desperately need.

McCain’s chief problem at this point is that his campaign must wait for Obama or his campaign to make a serious misstep, which they plan to seize upon. The trouble is, there is a term for candidates who depend on events not in their control to win: losers.

McCain’s camp is praying for Obama to stumble tonight – by looking arrogant or aloof, by making a gigantic gaffe, or by frequently looking at his watch and drooling on himself during the debate. But Obama didn’t get where he is by making stupid mistakes, and the odds of him making one tonight serious enough to shift the narrative are slim to none.

Look for this debate to be boring as all get-out (if McCain can’t bring himself to slime Obama), or for the debate to be in future political science textbooks on what desperate candidates should avoid doing in order to avoid looking desperate (if McCain slimes Obama).

But, don’t look for Obama to lose ground. He won’t.


Post-debate update: the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. national poll of viewers following the debate found the following:

Who did the best job?
Obama 54
McCain 30

Favorable opinion:
Obama 64 (up 4 points from before debate)
McCain 51 (unchanged from before debate)

Stronger leader:
Obama 54
McCain 43

More likeable (AKA, the “hey you kids! Get off my lawn!” index):
Obama 65
McCain 28

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Obama: up with this crap I will not put!

Aaaaaand ain’t it strange that nobody objected when John McCain said the same thing a while back…thusly:

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Just a friendly reminder…

…that this website has strict policies against making fun of such things as what John McCain has to do to get an erection.

Talk amongst yourselves.

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Weekly poll wrap-up

Last week’s weekly poll was “they tried to make Obama into the Anti-Christ, but they failed. It begs the question, who is?”

Bottom line here: 43% of you can’t be fooled. You are not sheep. You were not pressing the snooze button on this one. Because you recognized that the obvious choice was missing.

Despite that, 12% of you did pick George Bush, followed by 4% choosing Osama bin Laden, 5% picking John McCain, 3% opting for Vladimir Putin, and 2% going with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But the big winner was the elephant not in the room. 43% picked “not Obama, but not any of these clowns either.”

Congratulations, 43 percenters, here’s your prize:

This week’s poll is on top of the right hand sidebar. As always, vote on it there, and comment on it here.

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Magazine cover artists.

They’re such kidders.

View it larger to get the full effect of the Constitution burning in the fireplace, Cindy’s pill collection, and the portrait of W on the mantle.

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Dear Republicans:

Here’s an example of Obama excitement:

Meanwhile, here’s an example of McCain excitement:

Any questions?

PS: way down deep, you know you’re screwed, right?

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Weekly Poll Wrap-up

The weekly poll was “which statement best describes your opinion?” (regarding the age of John McCain)

Coming in first with 41 percent was “John McCain is so old, he still owes Moses a dollar.” Ironic, given that Moses’ own book of Leviticus pretty much limits the entire deal to an interest-free transaction (Leviticus 25: 35-37), which is a damn shame since interest accrued on a dollar since then would have amounted to a pile o’ cash. It’s not surprising that he’d still owe him the debt however, since McCain has long since proven that he just can’t raise money worth a damn. It’s equally ironic that this of all blogs would be hitting a Bible theme lately.

Coming in second with 27 percent was “John McCain is so old, he used to baby sit Yoda.” Interestingly, this choice was in the lead until some point Wednesday, when the pro-Moses loyalists took over.

Third with 24 percent was “John McCain is so old, his social security number is 000-00-0001.” I hope McCain isn’t a victim of identity theft as a result of me publishing his social security number.

Bringing up the rear with 6 percent was “John McCain is so old, Spielberg hired him as historical consultant on Jurassic Park.” Clearly, this was an attempt to bring two Spielberg movies into one weekly poll. Equally clear is the fact that nobody cared.

I am totally disappointed that I did not get a single complaint from AARP, McCain loyalists, Spielberg’s office, the Jewish Community Center, or the Social Security Administration. Please email me with your suggestions on how best to be more offensive, because we just can’t have this. You will get extra credit if you can help me figure out how to annoy PETA.

As always, this week’s poll is on top of the right hand side-bar. Vote on it there, and comment on it here.

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