Archive for October 31st, 2008

This Moment

Friday, October 31st, 2008

The world is filled with Neurotic Democrats.

I just saw on the AP daily tracking poll of all the polls that McCain was down .1 percent, and Obama was up .2 percent, and my heart leapt with joy.

My friend Amalie went to the polling place in Akron this morning, but the line was over an hour, so she left. My wife and I were going to vote this afternoon, but we don’t have an hour and a half. We’ll go Monday.

In a couple hours, it’s Trick-or-Treat. Our three-year-old is Jango Fett this year, from Star Wars. He has a gun, with foam suction-tipped darts, and he’s asked me to carry his light sabre. We have a furry bear costume for our one-and-a-half year old, but I doubt if we’ll entice him to wear it.

Hey. I’ve been writing my kids’ ages as three-and-half and one-and-a-half since I started this blog, back in August. The kids will be 4 and 2 in January.

We’ve all been at this a long time.

I’m looking forward to the onset of Shabbat tonight, more than most. On Shabbat, as my readers know, I don’t blog. What you may not know is I also don’t check the polls. I don’t log on to the tracking sites. I just have dinner with the family; roll around on the rug with the kids.

Writing about Shabbat, Abraham Joshua Heschel notes: “We must not forget that it is not a thing that lends significance to a moment; it is the moment that lends significance to things.”

Enjoy this moment.

Shabbat shalom.

My Obama Minute: Give, One Last Time

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Rev. Wright ads are now running across the country.

It’s a multimillion dollar ad buy by the National Republican Trust PAC, which will air through election day.

See the article, from Talking Points Memo, here.

We knew this day would come. And it’s coming at the end of what is easily the sleaziest, slimiest campaign of negativity that we have ever witnessed. If McCain wins this election, he will enter the Oval Office with his reputation in tatters, minus the goodwill of Congress and half the nation, including many in his own party.

Obama has spent millions keeping his largely positive message front and center, while defending himself from McCain-Palin smears. (I don’t intend to be hyperbolic here — it’s late — and I’m calling it as I see it. There is no equivalency between Obama calling McCain “erratic,” which is an accurate description, and the McCain campaign saying Obama “pals around with terrorists.” And in most every way that matters, McCain would represent a continuation of Bush policies.) Wednesday night’s infomercial was a part of Obama’s effort — an expensive part — and, by the way, 33.6 million people watched it. That’s 70 percent more than watched the fifth game of the World Series last night.

Only 52.4 million watched the first debate this year — so, a pretty good investment for Sen. Obama.

Hmn. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea afterall.

Obama has had to spend hand over fist just to stay ahead of the negative ads and campaigning. Now, recent news accounts indicate that his cash on hand, plus the Democratic National Committee’s cash on hand, is actually less, going into the final weekend, than McCain’s plus the RNC’s.

In other words: Obama, and other Democrats, need more, going into the final, crucial weekend.

So, for my Obama minute tonight, I gave two donations.

We gave to the Democratic National Committee, which directly helps Obama’s cause.

And we gave to Kay Hagan, who is running for Senate in North Carolina against Liddy Dole. For those who haven’t seen Dole’s latest ad, accusing Hagan (a former Sunday school teacher), or being “Godless,” it is one of the most despicable we’ve seen in the modern political era, prompting this powerful rebuke from Campbell Brown.

Just five days left. Give $5. Give $2.50. Or more if you can. Pick a candidate. Pick a cause and support it. It’s one of the ways we exercise our right to free speech in this country.

And now is the time to speak your mind.

UPDATE: From today’s NY Times. Looking for more evidence that Obama — not McCain — would run a tight, frugal budget? Please read this, about how the Obama campaign, while spending much more, has spent responsibly, even pinched pennies. In other words, when you do give to this campaign, your money is spent thoughtfully; it’s not wasted, on, say, clothing, or makeup artists. Here’s the kicker:

Mr. Axelrod [Obama’s chief strategist] likes to joke that at the Obama headquarters, if someone waves a hand in front of the automated paper towel dispenser in the men’s room, a section of paper towel is dispensed; wave at it again and a note spits out, “See Plouffe.”