Media Coverage of Sarah Palin Vs. Media Coverage of Obama

September 17, 2008

Here is an interesting article from columnist Ron Smith of the Baltimore Sun:

Media pummel Palin while Obama gets kid gloves

Ron Smith

September 17, 2008

Former top Hillary Clinton adviser Mark Penn says the media obsession with finding skeletons in the closet of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin since virtually the moment she was named the Republican vice presidential candidate could well backfire.

In an interview with, Mr. Penn said, “I think here the media are on very dangerous ground. I think that when you see them going through every single expense report that Governor Palin ever filed, if they don’t do that for all four of the candidates, they’re on very dangerous ground. I think the media so far have been the biggest losers in this race. And they continue to have growing credibility problems.”

I couldn’t agree more. The scrutiny accorded Governor Palin is far more intense and malicious in its intent than any directed toward either of the men on the Democratic ticket. Liberals are driven nuts by the idea that this woman could be that proverbial heartbeat away from being president.

There are all sorts of rumors and innuendos about Sen. Barack Obama, too. How is this different? It’s different because the attacks on Mrs. Palin of which I’m speaking come not from “Swift-boaters” or extremist bloggers, but from the bastions of American journalism. The opinion-makers in American journalism seem to loathe Mrs. Palin.

The New York Times, to cite one such entity, has totally discarded any notion of being objective about this race. On Sunday, the Times ran a story about Mrs. Palin’s tenure as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, headlined, “Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes.” Stop the presses. Certainly no other politician has done any such thing.

The Times story says, “Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.”

Even so, the report from Wasilla concedes Mrs. Palin has done a lot of good things as well and has “many supporters.” Well, yeah, judging from her well-noted high approval ratings among Alaskans.

The Sunday talk shows were filled with politicians doing their partisan posturing over Sarah Palin’s qualifications for high office. Democrats say she doesn’t have any, or at least not enough, while Republicans point out she possesses more executive experience than the man at the top of the Democratic ticket – even though that man, Barack Obama, is the object of passion among all well-meaning persons who’ve gone to school, learned what properly indoctrinated people learn and abandoned whatever it is that makes so many yokels in fly-over country cling to their guns and their Bibles and their (assumed) evil racism.

In fact, it’s become an article of faith on the political left to claim that an Obama loss in November can only happen if white racism wins the day for Mr. McCain. Never mind that millions of white Americans have voted for the man in the Democratic primaries, and that there are plenty of reasons other than racism that one might prefer the Republican candidate. These include a resume many people think is thinner than Mrs. Palin’s, his adherence to extreme liberal views (the kind that sank George McGovern, Walter F. Mondale, Michael S. Dukakis and John Kerry in their attempts to win the White House), his association with shady developer Tony Rezko, his connections to the cesspool that is Chicago machine politics, and his long-term membership in the congregation of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., he of the “God damn America” rant.

Where are the teams of reporters poring over the negative aspects in the life and career of the junior senator from Illinois? The newspapers and networks wasted no time dispatching reporters to Alaska to dig up whatever dirt they could on the mother of five who spoke to 37 million television viewers in accepting her nomination, captivating so many of them and energizing what had been a dispirited Republican base.

Oh, so that’s it. Even though the political maxim is that nobody votes for the person in the second spot of a presidential ticket, there is apparently some considerable fright among Democrats and their media loyalists that Sarah Palin could turn enough votes toward the GOP to decide the election in John McCain’s favor. They’ll do everything in their power to make that nightmare fade away, so Americans and people of good will all over the world will awaken that Wednesday morning after the results are counted and be seized by joy that their prayers have been answered and their savior has been given the keys to the kingdom.


For the Future: Huckabee 2008

February 8, 2008
by Adam Graham (The Conservative Voice)

February 08, 2008 01:00 PM EST


A candidate has won primary elections in twelve states, and only gotten 50% of the vote in three of them, and the majority of voters in his home state which knows him best chose someone else to be their candidate. And we are told at this hour that the Republicans party must unite behind him, even though he has not yet won the requisite number of delegates. We are told we must unite and start the general election campaign, when the Democratic campaign should last at least until May.

John McCain has got to be the overwhelming favorite at this point, but it is not over. There are other choices and I’m ready to make an endorsement with some reservations.

I have issues with Governor Mike Huckabee and the way his campaign has run and his record, particularly on immigration. Those who’ve read my columns and blogs know that. Yet, I should note that Huckabee has mended his ways on immigration and has convinced Jim Gilchrist and Duncan Hunter of his sincerity, while McCain has convinced no one.

Mike Huckabee is more reliably pro-life, and yes federal funding of embryonic stem cell research is a pro-life issue (for those who insist on claiming John McCain is 100% pro-life.)

Huckabee is also for the Fair Tax, which would eliminate the IRS and give us control of our own money.

Huckabee is not without faults. His campaign has often come off as using class warfare rhetoric. But behind that rhetoric is a great truth: Republicans must appeal to people at all income levels because conservative ideas are powerful. They help the poor, the rich, and the middle class if consistently practiced. The Republican Party needs to be the party of the everyman because freedom is ultimately good for everyone.

Mike Huckabee is as true of an outsider as there is in this campaign, which brings me to one of my key reason for endorsing him. The Establishment of the Republican Party has gotten us where we are today. They gave us the Rudy McRomney trilemma and now they’re pushing consolidation behind John McCain. The establishment are State Party bosses, puppet pundits, and their money men.

This establishment, for whom nothing but the next election matters, is the enemy of true conservatism. The establishment will pander, promise, but in the end will do what it takes to win. They are short-sighted and as long as this bunch rules our party, they will be shortchanged.

There is hope, and it comes from Camp Huckabee. The hope is not so much Huck himself, but rather his dedicated volunteers, many of whom are homeschooled kids in their first campaigns. I would even venture to guess that many of his core supporters are to the right of Huck on many key issues. And these young supporters are the key to our nation’s future.

John McCain may win the day, but his day will pass. The future lies in Huckabee’s grassroots Army, and until Delegate 1191 is won, I’ll remain in that Army.

*From Laura*

Huckabee supporters: these are the undecided voters we have to reach. This proves it can be done. Let’s give Mac a run for his money!


February 7, 2008

Note: I posted this column because I feel it gives an interesting analysis to what’s going on with the pundits vs. the electorate. They can’t define us this time around. The sleeping bulldog has woken up and is barking like crazing — in many different breeds. (This is a reference from a college political science class, where my professor referred to the voting public as sleeping dogs that stay asleep until they wake up — and when they wake up, they are usually barking.) Well this time, the barking dogs are mad, loud, and indefinable — which is something this country has needed for a long time. We’re not paying attention to the media, for once. Score 1 for the VOTERS!!


By David Shribman

Thu Feb 7, 6:09 PM ET
EDITORS: This is an update of the column sent to you yesterday, Feb. 6. The changes take into account the suspension of the Romney campaign.

We have a Republican front-runner who is weak in the states the Republicans need to carry in the general election. We have a Democratic insurgent who wins states no Democrat can hope to carry in November. We have a Republican leader who is strong in states that have been resiliently Democratic for a generation. We have a Democratic establishment figure who has struggled with capturing the minority votes that have been the bedrock of the Democratic base for a half century.

We have a mess. We have signs of the emergence of an entirely new kind of American politics. We have the most important election since 1980. We have the most fascinating election since 1960.

We also have a Roosevelt figure (the second member of a titanic American political family, with the potential of re-wiring American politics), a Kennedy figure (an eloquent, intoxicating symbol of a new generation) and a Reagan figure (a Republican who is making party stalwarts fear he is taking them on a dangerous new course).

We have Democrats who are raising hopes that they may be able to cut into Republican voting blocs. We have Republicans who are flirting with voting for a breakthrough black or female Democratic candidate.

We have a Democratic contender who is widely regarded as a liberal feminist and a Democratic candidate who is widely regarded as a soothing moderate, and yet the moderate has been voting more reliably liberal in the Senate than has the liberal. We have a Republican challenger who represents the modern GOP base of religious conservatives and Southern whites, but who still seems peripheral in his own party.

We have a Democratic Party that seems hopelessly divided on whom to nominate but resolutely united on the issues. We have a Republican Party that has nearly settled on its nominee but is deeply unsettled internally.

We have two candidates with ties to Arkansas, two with ties to Illinois — and the first occasion ever for Hawaii to regard itself plausibly as the potential mother of a president. We have two Democrats from the far extremes of the baby boom with vastly different approaches to the political arts.

It doesn’t get more confusing than this. It doesn’t get more illogical than this. It doesn’t get better than this.

Start with the Republican contest, where Sen. John McCain of Arizona has moved into a commanding lead now that former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts has suspended his campaign. Mr. McCain has more of the profile of the leader of the Party of Lincoln than of the Party of Reagan — even though McCain had strong emotional ties with Reagan and, as a recently released Vietnam POW, was one of the guests of honor at the 1974 city-upon-a-hill speech that some conservatives regard as one of the most sacred texts of Reaganism.

But the emergence of McCain is causing amazing agony in the Republican Party, where he is regarded as too cozy with the reformers, too contemptuous of the Republican base and too hot-headed in his own Senate caucus. It has not gone unnoticed in Republican circles that many Democrats, including the last nominee, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, thought that the Arizona Republican would have made a splendid Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004. Ask a Boston Red Sox fan how he felt when he first thought of Roger Clemens in a Yankee uniform.

Now Republicans on all sides of its wondrous schisms are calling on McCain to heal the party. He is being urged to call the talk-radio hosts, to reach out to religious conservatives, to keep his focus on the 1776 Declaration of Independence instead of drafting personal declarations of independence on issues from the environment to campaign finance to immigration. He may be constitutionally unable to do so.

The Democratic side of this story is a different tale entirely. Samuel Johnson, the best political journalist ever to write in English, once described a second marriage as the triumph of hope over experience — precisely the formulation Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is trying to work in the primaries and caucuses this winter.

Both he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York have framed their nomination struggle as a battle of hope (the Obama calling card) against experience (the Clinton calling card). Tuesday’s primary in Georgia, which Obama won decisively, underlined the division on the hope/experience front. In exit interviews, these voters, by a margin of nearly 6-to-1, identified Mr. Obama as the candidate who could bring about change. But the same voters identified Mrs. Clinton by nearly 9-to-1 as the candidate who had the right experience to be president.

What the Republicans seem to want is a candidate with the personal heroism of Mr. McCain, the business acumen of the now-departed Mr. Romney and the spirituality and folksiness of Mike Huckabee. The Democrats want someone who offers the hope of Mr. Obama and the experience of Mrs. Clinton — though Obama’s brand of hope still seems symbolic and Clinton’s record of experience still seems thin.

We don’t know what happens next, but we know what each leading contender must do next. McCain must build support in the South, an important part of the GOP calculus. Obama, accomplished in winning places like North Dakota, Delaware, Alaska, Utah, must claim an important Democratic state outside his home of Illinois; Ohio seems like a good place to start. Mrs. Clinton must stanch the flow of interest and momentum to Mr. Obama; only by doing so can she continue her argument, the foundation of her campaign strategy, that the momentum is going her way, still.

It’s a mess. It’s confusing. It’s fabulous. For years editors held imaginary (and, sometimes, real) debates with readers, telling them that things that were dull were really things that were important. This is important, and there’s nothing dull about it.

Huckabee: This is Not a Two Man GOP Race

February 1, 2008
From CBS News’ Joy Lin:
SAN DIEGO — Conservative, conservative, conservative. That was the word Mike Huckabee used again and again with reporters to emphasize his credibility as a contender for the Republican nomination. The usually light-hearted Arkansan spoke in a deliberate tone, a manner that barely masked his frustration about how the race was being framed.“There has been somewhat of – almost a national media spin that this race is a two man race,” said Huckabee. “And if so, I’d like to say that John McCain and I will definitely duke it out until the very last vote. Last night, the CNN debate was very frustrating for me. There seemed to be an unequal level of time that was allocated – and if people look at the delegate count…one has to have 1,191 delegates in order to be the nominee. So far, no one has even broken a hundred; there’s only 8% of the delegates have yet been tabulated, and we’re all fairly close to each other in the amount of delegates that any of the three of us have.”

Huckabee accused the “Romney people” of circulating the notion that a vote for Huckabee would contribute to a McCain win.

“I want to be make it very clear: a vote for me is a vote for me. A vote for Romney is a vote for Romney. A vote for McCain is a vote for McCain. Anybody who suggests otherwise is trying to put a spin on it.”

Continuing, Huckabee questioned Romney’s quest to claim the conservative mantle: “If people are looking for a true conservative, somebody who hasn’t had a recent change of opinion to become one, I would be the logical choice -in fact the only choice they have.”

Although he would have “loved” to have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s endorsement, Huckabee seemed to undermine it by challenging the California governor’s conservative credentials, and implicitly, McCain’s.

“I would never have expected the governor of California to endorse me and, frankly, I’m probably a lot more conservative on a lot more issues than he would have been comfortable with – whether it’s the second amendment, or pro-life issue, or marriage amendment issue or any number of things.”

Huckabee later said that receiving former Republican candidate Duncan Hunter’s endorsement last week probably meant more in the conservative hotbed of San Diego than Schwarzenegger’s endorsement of McCain.

He added that he has no intention of quitting the race even though he hasn’t won a state since Iowa.

“I am not a quitter,” said Huckabee. “I did not get to where I am in life by quitting. Sometimes you can’t win the game but the only way you can surely lose it is by walking off the field before the clock ends,” said Huckabee

“I was in it when nobody thought I could be, I stayed in it when nobody thought I could. I continue to march on even when the de-facto-absolutely-guaranteed-frontrunner-going-to-win-the-nomination-going-to-be-the-next-president-kind-of-guys were so out in front of me that people didn’t take me seriously.”

“But today, Rudy Giuliani is not in the race, Fred Thompson is not in the race … A bunch of folks have fallen to the wayside, and I’m still here. So, I plan to still be here.”

Meantime, Huckabee said he had raised an additional $3.5 million in January after starting the year with just over $650,000 on hand. He emphasized how much the campaign had done with so little money. Huckabee also skewered Romney for spending “tens of millions of dollars to have the same market share as me.”

“Under anybody’s business model, that’s not a very efficient or effective operation,” he said. “If you have an MBA from Harvard, and you believe in trying to figure out the best way to build market share and you spend an enormous amount of money and you have a competitor spends a very small amount of money, but he’s able to reach the same market share, it may say that that person has a more sellable product than you do. So maybe it would be appropriate to go out of business and merge your business with the one that has the more efficient model.”

Standing Athwart Huckabee, Yelling Stop

January 23, 2008

By George Neumayr
Published 1/9/2008

Against an immutable standard of conservatism, Mike Huckabee is hardly impeccable. I find some of what he says silly and unpersuasive (for example, his support for Global Warming theory). But the explosion of snide remarks directed at him from many in the conservative movement strikes me as churlish and baldly hypocritical. How is it that the bar of conservative entry for a presidential nominee lowers for the Romneys and McCains, then rises for the Huckabees?

Okay, he is a heterodox Republican on some issues. So what? Who isn’t amongst the leading contenders in this primary race? A few years back I recall these anti-Huckabee purists lecturing California conservatives on the need to support Arnold Schwarzenegger over Tom McClintock. Now that McCain has won in New Hampshire, we will soon see this very flexible definition of GOP conservatism resurface and be told that electability trumps all.

Much of the contempt for Huckabee is confusing, alternating between descriptions of him as a socialist pansy and social reactionary. Which is it? Is he too liberal for the GOP or too conservative?

I suspect that the essential problem for some in the conservative movement (as it was for establishment conservatives pitted against Pat Buchanan in his race with Bob Dole in 1996) isn’t that Huckabee takes this or that heterodox position on issues of economics/trade/foreign policy; it is that he’s a transparent Christian conservative. That they just can’t abide, even as some of these pundits tell conservatives to ignore religion with respect to Mormonism.

Romney attended Planned Parenthood events, used to support state financing of abortion and elements of the homosexual agenda; McCain has derided in the past the Religious Right and taken any number of fashionable liberal stances. But all of this can be quickly excused. Woe to the Christian Republican, however, who talks about the culture war, or — brace yourself — rejects Darwinism.

Whatever one thinks of that highly technical debate, that the Wall Street Journal and GOP consultants like Mike Murphy set up adherence to Darwinism as a litmus test for an “acceptable” Republican nominee exposes the degree to which political correctness has crept into the conservative movement. I don’t blame rank-and-file conservatives for increasingly ignoring the snobbish sniffings of the George Wills.

Who cares what they think? How conservative are they? What new liberal social innovation won’t they soft-pedal? A “conservatism” that involves a lot of pretentious throat-clearing and maybe the recitation of a classical tag or two before coming to some PC conclusion (that feminism is a net-gain for society, that Darwin had it right, that gay civil unions aren’t such a big deal, take your pick) isn’t worth much.

Run for the hills, Huckabee talked about Christ during Christmas! Well, good for him. One of the reasons for our flailing in the global war against the jihadists is that we have become de-Christianized cowards. Does America need not one but two wholly secularized parties?

HUCKABEE IS A Christian socialist, some say. Really? If he is a Christian socialist, he is surely the first one to call for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service. Again, it is not at all clear why rank-and-file conservatives are supposed to nod vigorously whenever a McCain or Romney supporter calls Huckabee an “economic liberal.” At least he talks about eliminating income taxes and capital gains taxes. Do they?

Romney’s support for semi-socialized health care in Massachusetts (which is almost indistinguishable from Obama’s scheme for the entire nation) is scarier to me than anything Huckabee uncorked in Arkansas. And then there is John McCain’s opposition to Bush’s tax cuts. Does that make him an unacceptable economic liberal?

But Huckabee doesn’t talk about Wall Street enough, some warn. Good; Wall Street already sups at the government trough. If he cuts off corporate welfare, I would be happy. It is about time somebody talks about getting the ravenous, regulatory Leviathan state off the backs of small businessmen, gun owners, and homeschooling families, rather than waste time on Wall Street talking to fat cats who vote for the Dems anyways.

But won’t Huckabee shatter the conservative coalition? That would be a little more persuasive if those saying this hadn’t shattered it themselves. The relative success of Ron Paul and Huckabee is not a cause of the coalition’s collapse but a reflection of it. An excessively Wilsonian foreign policy has divided defense conservatives; years of big spending has divided economic conservatives; and a tepid, stalling social conservatism has alienated moral ones.

Perhaps Huckabee can’t rebuild this coalition. But he isn’t likely to weaken it any more than have his critics, and he may even bring some long-disenchanted middle Americans into it.

George Neumayr is editor of Catholic World Report and press critic for California Political Review.

Note from Laura: This guy doesn’t even agree with Huckabee, and it’s perhaps the most fair and honest analysis of his campaign that I’ve seen. If this doesn’t energize you again, I don’t know what will!

Wow. Simply Wow.

January 4, 2008

I was at the party in downtown Des Moines last night, as the predictions were announced and speeches were given and hugs and high-fives, and cheers and huge smiles were ever-present. Gov. Huckabee’s speech was electrifying. It made ever single phone call I made this week here in Iowa completely worth it.

I’ll try to write a summary blog of my experiences later, but I wanted to share with you all part of a column written late last night by Michael Medved that I think needs serious attention by our so-called party leaders (those with the nice titles — not the party leaders, the voters, as was shown tonight):

NOW THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT: Key revelations from the Entrance Poll of some 1600 respondents reported by CNN re-enforce the idea that cheerfulness and optimism were crucial to Huckabee’s success.

The Huck-meister built his impressive victory margin almost entirely among younger voters –the group most likely to respond to a positive appeal, and least likely to respond by mean-spirited fights about who can be tougher or angrier regarding illegal immigrants.

Among voters (many of them first-timers, obviously) between the ages of 17 and 29, Huckabee crushed Romney by an almost two-to-one margin (40% to 22%). In this youthful group, the Mad Doctor (Ron Paul) virtually tied Romney with 21%). In the next youngest age group (30 to 44), Huckabee won by a similarly devastating margin (39% to 23%) Only among the oldest (and, presumably grouchiest) segment of the electorate did Romney even come close to matching Huckabee: of those above the age of 65 (a full 27% of caucus goers), the two candidates almost tied (30% for Huck, 28% for Mitt).

One other group that delivered big time for Huckabee involved voters with limited income. Those who reported household incomes below $50,000 backed the former Arkansas governor by 36% to 20%. Those who eanred more than $50 K split almost evenly: 32% to 28%. In other words, Huckabee won a statewide landslide because he held a 16 point advantage from voters who earned below the national average.

Finally, there’s the gender issue: a huge factor in Iowa. I’ve been talking for weeks about Huckabee’s special appeal to women – as a neighborly, unassuming, soft-spoken and reliable sort of guy. According to the entrance polls, Iowa gals agree that they Like Mike – and how! Male voters split almost down the middle 29% for Huck, 26% for Mitt. The ladies, in the other hand, very decisively preferred the rumpled, balding, former fatty from Hope, Arkansas, to the blow-dried, athletic, dazzlingly handsome multi-millionaire from Boston. The Huckabee margin among female voters: a breathtaking 40% to 24%. Watch out, Janet Huckabee: it looks like your husband of 33 years somehow discovered Love Potion Number Nine (I’m sure he could play that song on his bass guitar).

Now, take a moment to add up the impact of these numbers.

Huckabee earned his victory by piling up big margins among women, the poor, and the young.

And where, demographically, have Republicans faced horrible problems in the recent past (particulary 2006)? We’ve lost by giving our opponents huge margins among…. women, the poor, and the young.

The obvious conclusion is that party leaders need to give special respect and attention to a Republican with special appeal to three key groups that normally reject the GOP — taking a second look at Huckabee for his ability to win women, the poor and the young.

Very very interesting.

Change what? — Cal Thomas

November 26, 2007

This is a couple of weeks old, but Cal Thomas hits one out of the ballpark with this column. I grow weary of polls being tossed around, saying that 75% of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction, yet never seem to address what the public wants to do to “change that wrong direction.” Thomas takes this poll on, blaming politicians for some of the problems, yet he also points the blame back at the 75% unhappy Americans.

The bolded paragraph below illustrates yet another reason why Mike Huckabee is surging in the polls. He is not following the Washington game, at all.

The country is frustrated. Democrats say Americans want change from Bush administration policies. That much of the country was also frustrated when Democrats were in charge apparently has escaped them.

A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll finds that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed believe the country is on the wrong track. They are deeply pessimistic about the future and dissatisfied with Washington’s corrosive political environment.

The public believes most politicians are out for themselves and not the people. They also think most politicians say and do the bidding of their respective polarizing groups and rarely say what they mean, or mean what they say.

Politicians are not the sole cause of cynicism. For too long, too many of us have asked (or allowed) government to act as a sugar daddy, dispensing ever-greater amounts of goodies, paid for with taxpayer money. When government reaches its limits — as it has now — we become angry, frustrated and, yes, cynical.

When the stock market increases by a smaller percentage than its increase last year we complain of “hard times” and worry about an approaching recession. Our grandparents never dreamed of the prosperity we enjoy today. Even the poorest among us is richer than much of the world’s poor, and the poor in America at least have the opportunity to climb out of poverty, when this opportunity is virtually nonexistent in much of the rest of the world.

Our problem is we have more of what we don’t need and less of what we do need. More things and poor relationships translate into more for self and less for others. It would appear that self-storage facilities are one of the fastest growing businesses in America. I see them everywhere multiplying like overpriced coffee shops. Why do we need so many storage units? It’s because we lack room in our larger houses for all the stuff we don’t need, bought on credit with money many of us didn’t have. It is because the marketers have sold us on the value of things, while culture has diminished the value of human relationships.

When money, pleasure and stuff don’t satisfy, we can’t blame these inanimate objects, so we blame politicians. But it isn’t entirely their fault. They were only trying to give us what we said we wanted.

Our ancestors understood sacrifice and adversity. In them it produced character and virtue. Today, the mere thought of such things breeds resentment in us. We see pleasure and things as rights. To suggest “hard times” or sacrifice is viewed as a violation of such rights. Our superficial natures quickly and inevitably give way to cynicism and pessimism.

If one is looking for a new direction, as the Post-ABC Poll suggests, one must first have a destination in mind and a strategy to get there. Where do these disaffected cynics and pessimists wish to go? Back to the ’90s, Democrats would say. Really? That was a time of false hope; a time when the defense budget was slashed and the “peace dividend” embraced. It was during the ’90s that the Taliban and their terrorist buddies used our negligence to map out 9/11 … and who knows what else?

Change can be a good thing. A changed life is good, if the old one was bad. Change back from a dollar is rare, but nice. But in order to change the direction of our country we need leaders who will boldly take us in a better direction, ones who will fight this war until we win it.

While the political GPS system is calculating the route, it would be nice for some of the presidential candidates to start talking about what kind of character we need to have when we arrive, lest we continue our present practice of filling even more storage units while our hearts and souls remain largely empty, except for the poisons known as cynicism and pessimism.