Political Deformity

A Handshake of Carbon Monoxide

Big-Ass Data Point

From Alan S. Blinder, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, via NYT:

The stark contrast between the whiz-bang Clinton years and the dreary Bush years is familiar because it is so recent. But while it is extreme, it is not atypical. Data for the whole period from 1948 to 2007, during which Republicans occupied the White House for 34 years and Democrats for 26, show average annual growth of real gross national product of 1.64 percent per capita under Republican presidents versus 2.78 percent under Democrats.

That 1.14-point difference, if maintained for eight years, would yield 9.33 percent more income per person, which is a lot more than almost anyone can expect from a tax cut.


August 30, 2008 Posted by | Democrats, Economics | , | Leave a comment

Sloppy Seconds/Timing Is Everything

Question: if the order of the conventions had been reversed–i.e. if the Republicans had preceded the Democrats–would we be seeing Sarah Palin on McCain’s ticket?

We all know that Palin was something of an impulsive choice. The Politico story I link to in my previous post notes that “McCain only spoke with Palin about the vice presidency for the first time on Sunday…and was seriously considering Lieberman until days ago.” And according to many reports, McCain had spoken to Palin all of two times–ever–before making her his VP pick. It’s also important to consider the timing of McCain’s VP announcement: after Obama’s DNC speech which pulled in an historic 40 million viewers. The point here was, of course, to steal Obama’s thunder and produce headlines like this one, claiming that “Obama loses spotlight.”

Outside of Palin’s supeficial demographic appeal as a socially conservative female, it really seems that there’s an element of conscious shock value to McCain’s pick. Though it would take well-connected Beltway insiders to really confirm or refute this, I would guess that the McCain campaign saw momentum building throughout the DNC and said “oh crap, we need to make a splash in order to steal the show” (excuse the mixed metaphor). Enter Palin. But if the GOP had held their shindig before the Democrats, there wouldn’t be such pressure to match Democratic interia.

Continue reading

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Joe Biden, John McCain, Republicans, Sarah Palin | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank You, Politico

“6 Things the Palin pick says about John McCain”

Read it. As I suggested in an earlier post, McCain’s choice of Palin means that he’s on the defensive, scrambling to shake things up, and the Politico article above does a good job of digging into this fact.

August 30, 2008 Posted by | John McCain, Republicans, Sarah Palin | , , , , | Leave a comment