Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > With campaign rhetoric unchanged, it’s time to change how White House contenders run for office

With campaign rhetoric unchanged, it’s time to change how White House contenders run for office

LatinaLista — The hint that this campaign is politics as usual was evident in Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech. With every punch she dealt the Obama campaign in her acceptance speech, a response “to set the record straight” was hurled back at the Republican VP nominee by way of inboxes the next morning of those who had given their email addresses to the Obama campaign.

It hasn’t let up since.
By now, it’s accepted fact that campaigning is less about telling voters how well a candidate will do a job and more about how bad a job the competitor will do it.
With all the talk of “mavericks” and “change” and “si se puede,” it’s disappointing that each side still has to resort to the stale strategy of “tearing the other apart to build themselves up.”
If these parties were sincere in wanting change then they would implement some radical initiatives long before they arrived in Washington.

#1: Deliver a campaign speech without mentioning the opponent. It’s a given whoever is delivering the speech is going to distort their opponent’s record and inflate their own. Candidates should talk about what issues are wrong now, what their record has been in trying to solve the problem and what they will do to improve their record on solving the issue.
#2: Don’t take any one group for granted nor ignore any one group.
#3: In addition to the scheduled debates, add a couple more – satisfies the need to inflate one’s own record and while they’re at it — conduct some televised (or stream on the Internet) Town Hall meetings with different demographics: students, people who live in the southwest, northwest, east, midwest, south. The idea is to let people see how the candidates think about the different issues that are important to every demographic and how they listen and respond to the people. Such face-to-face meetings are much more telling than a canned speech where the only things that have changed are the venue, the city and the jokes.
#4: Keep the families home. While it’s been a long tradition to include the family, in some form, on the campaign trail or at public appearances, the time has come to focus on the candidates themselves.
#5: If a claim is made — back it up with a supportive hyperlink on a campaign website. Just as we don’t tolerate plagiarism in academia or outright lies or misleading statements in our justice system, we are surprisingly tolerant of it in our political system.
There should be one dictum that governs any and every political race: Say what you mean and mean what you say — and be damned sure it’s right.
Because it’s about time that anybody who’s seeking higher office is held up to higher standards — and that’s real change!

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  • laura
    September 8, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Dear Marisa, in theory you are right. In practice, there is a huge gap between the Republicans and Democrats in the aggressiveness of attacks and lies they are willing to use – please just look at 2004 and the “Swift Boat” lies against Kerry. I am no Kerry fan, but Republicans were successful at completely turning reality inside out in the perception of voters: the candidate who had avoided military service in Vietnam and had not even completed his National Guard service in Alabama – Bush – appeared strong and heroic. The candidate who not only had volunteered for Vietnam, been under fire there and received medals for bravery, but was brave enough to come back and say the war was not just – Kerry – that candidate appeared weak and wimpy.
    Kerry did not attack Bush aggressively, whereas Bush and his proxies lied up and down the record about Kerry. Since this is the strategy with which they won, they are using it again.
    Personally, I would be very upset if at this point Obama were to “Deliver a campaign speech without mentioning the opponent.” Because McCain and Palin have been lying about him – and about their own record – so massively, it would be suicidal if he were not mention what they are doing.
    Given what voters in this country respond to, I hope, to the contrary, that he talks about his opponent all the time – no lies, just the bare stark truth – so that he actually stands a chance.
    Just looking at posts you find here, we know that race alone is a reason a substantial minority of people won’t vote for Obama. At least he needs to tell them clearly what the alternative is they are opting for. If he does not become substantially more aggressive about telling the truth about his opponents, he – and we – are toast.

  • Grandma
    September 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    #3: In addition to the scheduled debates, add a couple more – satisfies the need to inflate one’s own record and while they’re at it — conduct some televised (or stream on the Internet) Town Hall meetings with different demographics: students, people who live in the southwest, northwest, east, midwest, south. The idea is to let people see how the candidates think about the different issues that are important to every demographic and how they listen and respond to the people. Such face-to-face meetings are much more telling than a canned speech where the only things that have changed are the venue, the city and the jokes.
    Exactly what John McCain proposed to Obama and Obama turned him down…………

    September 9, 2008 at 7:42 am

    ELECTION 2008
    Obama slips on TV: ‘My Muslim faith’
    Presidential candidate drops line in interview discussing his belief
    Posted: September 07, 2008
    3:42 pm Eastern
    By Aaron Klein
    © 2008 WorldNetDaily
    Slip of the tongue or momentary confusion? In a television interview today discussing his religion, Sen. Barack Obama stated, “My Muslim faith.”
    Obama, speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” was talking about what he described as “smears” that were claiming he was a Muslim when he maintains he is a practicing Christian.
    “Let’s not play games,” Obama stated. “What I was suggesting – you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith. And you’re absolutely right that that has not come.”
    Stephanopoulos immediately interrupted Obama, stating, “Christian faith.”
    “My Christian faith,” Obama quickly said. “Well, what I’m saying is that he (McCain) hasn’t suggested that I’m a Muslim. And I think that his campaign’s upper echelons have not, either. What I think is fair to say is that, coming out of the Republican camp, there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith – something which I find deeply offensive, and that has been going on for a pretty long time.”
    The words flowed from his lips as smooth and honest as if he has been saying them all his life. The truth is now out for no one to deny any longer. The truth will set his free from the overbearing job of being President. Get ready for all the “WHAT I MEANT TO SAY” or the ever popular “IT WAS MIS-SPOKEN” or “THAT’S ALL IN THE PAST, SO LET’S NOT DISCUSS IT ANY FURTHER”.
    This time his admission was televised and can not be denied.

  • Evelyn
    September 9, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Eyes said
    This time his admission was televised and can not be denied.
    So why didnt you include it? Because it shows how tired he is?
    Run with it Eyes, if you believe he really is Muslim, then he was never a member of The Trinity United Church Church of Christ, where he and his wife were Married and Baptised their two children and where Rev. Wright preached his, ‘Confusing God & Government’ sermon, which was neither hateful or anti American as far as sermons by people at the pulpit go, but because he was black, like Obama was demonized by people like you, but thats another can of worms.
    So which is it Eyes. Is he a devout Muslim or Is he a Christian that attended the Church of Christ and was a friend of Rev. Wright? Cant be both!
    Here is the video which you should have included. Obama looks dead tired from lack of sleep. He has this Muslim thing pounded in his head day in and day out and misspoke.
    No one said he never could make a simple mistake like misspeaking. He never claimed to be God!

  • Evelyn
    September 9, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    The Difference Between A Lie And A Mistake
    By Steve Benen
    Sep 8, 2008
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIE AND A MISTAKE…. Campaign rhetoric tends to follow a fairly predictable pattern — a candidate makes a dubious claim, the claim is debunked, the candidate moves onto a new dubious claim.
    The McCain campaign is interesting in this respect. It prefers to repeat bogus claims, even after they’ve been proven false. The McCain gang is willing to gamble that voters either won’t hear the truth or that the truth simply doesn’t matter anymore.
    Take McCain’s new TV ad, unveiled this morning. Whether this is an actual ad that will be aired or just another video press release intended for media consumption is unclear. Either way, the ad, characterizing John McCain and Sarah Palin as two peas in a pod, claims, “The original mavericks. He fights pork barrel spending; she stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.”
    To support its claim about Palin having “stopped” the Bridge to Nowhere, the ad cites an article from December in the Anchorage Daily News. When one actually looks at the article, one sees that the Daily News piece doesn’t support the claim.
    In our reality, Palin supported the bridge project, and campaigned on a pledge to build it. The bridge was scrapped, not by Palin, but when an embarrassed Congress stopped the project. Even then, Palin took the money and spent it on other Alaskan transportation projects. Unless the McCain campaign is prepared to change the meaning of the word “stopped,” the ad’s claim is obviously not true.
    But stepping back, it’s not just the ad. McCain and Palin have repeated the same claim, over and over again, in a variety of settings, after it was exposed as a lie.
    As Hilzoy explained over the weekend, after Palin once again claimed to have rejected the Bridge to Nowhere, “She is not just telling lies; she’s telling lies that have been exposed as lies, and that have gotten a lot of attention. Assuming she does not actually want to lose, she must assume that her audience either doesn’t know that she’s lying, or doesn’t care. In either case, it’s deeply cynical, and deeply insulting. I just hope she isn’t right.”
    I just watched McSame on CNN talking about how he has never supported “pork barrel projects”
    You be the judge.
    McCain Falsely Claims He Has ‘Never Asked For A Single Earmark Or Pork Barrel Project’ For His State
    McCain has made opposition to pork-barrel spending a central theme of his 2008 campaign. “Earmarking deprives federal agencies of scarce resources, at the whim of individual members of Congress,” McCain has said.
    But records show that Palin — first as mayor of Wasilla and recently as governor of Alaska — was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state.,0,2482434.story

  • laura
    September 9, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    “Eyes of Texas” – I would vote for Obama whether he were a Muslim, a Hindu or an atheist, because McCain/Palin is Four More Years.
    I don’t even care that Obama is, in fact, a Christian.
    Since you favor imprisoning and then deporting all out-of-status immigrants, though, as well as staying in Iraq for 100 more years, bombing Iran, and giving more tax cuts to the richest 1% of Americans (while burdening everyone else with the most enormous deficit ever seen to pay $10 billion a month in Iraq), you should definitely vote for McCain.

  • Evelyn
    September 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    John McCain Truth Squad
    Invite everyone you know to join!
    The Real McCain 2 reached an astonishing 4 million views last week, just as the McCain campaign was trotting out lie after lie at the Republican National Convention. Coincidence? We don’t think so. To us, this unprecedented number suggests that the public is desperately seeking the truth about John McCain — a truth the corporate press still isn’t providing.
    We’re hearing reports of a lot of hand-wringing from people who are scared and don’t know what to do. So we came up with a way to put that nervous energy to good use! Join the McCain Truth Squad and a couple of times a week we will send you McCain videos for you to forward on with a personal note to your friends, colleagues and family members.

    September 10, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Misspoke, tired, under stress or whatever other excuse you want to conjure up for the fraud Obama, he is not being honest to the public or to himself. When he said what he said, he never paused or hesitated, but continued speaking because the words rang so true in his head he didn’t even try to correct himself. Only good ole George S. had to correct Obamas admission and put him back on track.
    Obama has been being prepped and molded for this very campaign for several years by handlers with big money and an underlying motive that does not belong in American politics. Of coarse, if you want something to not be detected, you use tactics to make people believe you are something that you are not. Hence, Rev. Wright and the black libertarian theology church of white hate and anti-American sentament.
    So, no “E”, Obama can’t be both a Muslim and a Christian, but he can surely be one while using the other to destract and decieve the American people. Obama is a puppet being controlled by puppeteers who are trying to implant him into the Oval Office for reasons that only they know at this time. By the time the American citizens realize their mistake of trusting this fraud, Obama, it will be too late to reverse the damage done.
    Look past all the hype, all the pretty speeches, all the hallow promises with no substance, all the hysteria and you will be able to see an inexperienced, untested, under qualified and very suspect media created fraud that is Barak Obama.

  • Evelyn
    September 10, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Who do you believe is behind this Obama conspiracy theory?
    What is the purpose of your theory?

    September 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Obama/Biden photo caption:
    Biden: Ok, Barak just read what was written for you off that teleprompter and do not deviate in any way so you don’t start stammering and studdering the way you do when you try to field an unscreened question. Also, rest assured there are no references about religion, so you won’t slip up again and expose the truth.

  • Evelyn
    September 11, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Evelyn :
    Who do you believe is behind this Obama conspiracy theory?
    What is the purpose of your theory?
    Let me know if you are going to answer these questions?

  • Michaela
    September 12, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    The truth about Obama will come out soon. There is no doubt in my mind that Obama is a plant of some sort and he has been groomed for a very long time for some ulterior motives which do not include “the good of America.” He has been “chosen” and I pray to God the full truth will come out soon for all who think he is a patriotic American, for he is not.

  • Evelyn
    September 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Once More!
    Who do you believe is behind this Obama conspiracy theory?
    What is the purpose of your theory?

  • Evelyn
    September 12, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Yeah well thousands of 3,4,5,year olds believe in Santa and they have no doubt in their minds that he will bring them a gift on Christmas. LOL!
    They have a good excuse, they are only 3,4,5,years old.
    What is your excuse for believing that BS?

  • Evelyn
    September 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Who do you believe is behind this Obama conspiracy theory?
    What is the purpose of your theory?

  • Irma
    September 18, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Here is an example of politicians embellishing their accomplishments.
    Barak Obama the candidate apparently has made a habit of it perhaps even better
    than Hilary Clinton.
    Check this out !
    Both Obama And Clinton Embellish Their Roles
    By Shailagh Murray and Jonathan Weisman
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Monday, March 24, 2008; A01
    After weeks of arduous negotiations, on April 6, 2006, a bipartisan group of senators burst out of the “President’s Room,” just off the Senate chamber, with a deal on new immigration policy.
    As the half-dozen senators — including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) — headed to announce their plan, they met Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who made a request common when Capitol Hill news conferences are in the offing: “Hey, guys, can I come along?” And when Obama went before the microphones, he was generous with his list of senators to congratulate — a list that included himself.
    “I want to cite Lindsey Graham, Sam Brownback, Mel Martinez, Ken Salazar, myself, Dick Durbin, Joe Lieberman . . . who’ve actually had to wake up early to try to hammer this stuff out,” he said.
    To Senate staff members, who had been arriving for 7 a.m. negotiating sessions for weeks, it was a galling moment. Those morning sessions had attracted just three to four senators a side, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) recalled, each deeply involved in the issue. Obama was not one of them. But in a presidential contest involving three sitting senators, embellishment of legislative records may be an inevitability, Specter said with a shrug.
    Unlike governors, business leaders or vice presidents, senators — the last to win the presidency was John F. Kennedy in 1960 — are not executives. They cannot be held to account for the state of their states, their companies or their administrations. What they do have is the mark they leave on the nation’s laws — and in Obama’s brief three-year tenure, as well as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s seven-year hitch, those marks are far from indelible.
    “It’s not an unusual matter for senators to take a little extra credit,” Specter said.
    Both Obama and Clinton have tried to make the most of it, and Clinton has attempted to bolster her Senate r¿sum¿ with her less-than-transparent track record as first lady. The release Wednesday of more than 11,000 pages of documents from Clinton’s years in the White House sent reporters and political opponents scrambling for evidence that might contradict her lofty assessment of her performance in those years.
    The Obama campaign pounced on the documents, using them to argue that the senator from New York had understated her role in securing the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and overstated her roles in foreign policy decisions and passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act early in her husband’s administration.
    With colleagues in Congress quick to claim credit where it is due, word moves quickly when undue credit is claimed.
    “If it happens once or twice, you let it go,” said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), an Obama supporter. “If it becomes the mantra, then you go, ‘Wait a minute.’ ”
    Immigration is a case in point for Obama, but not the only one. In 2007, after the first comprehensive immigration bill had died, the senators were back at it, and again, Obama was notably absent, staffers and senators said. At one meeting, three key negotiators recalled, he entered late and raised a number of questions about the bill’s employment verification system. Kennedy and Specter both rebuked him, saying that the issue had already been resolved and that he was coming late to the discussion. Kennedy dressed him down, according to witnesses, and Obama left shortly thereafter.
    “Senator Obama came in late, brought up issues that had been hashed and rehashed,” Specter recalled. “He didn’t stay long.”
    Just this week, as the financial markets were roiling in the wake of the Bear Stearns collapse, Obama made another claim that was greeted with disbelief in some corners of Capitol Hill. On March 13, Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, unveiled legislative proposals to allow the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee new loans from banks willing to help homeowners in or approaching foreclosure. Obama and Clinton were in Washington for a day-long round of budget voting, but neither appeared at the housing news conference.
    Yet Obama on Monday appeared to seek top billing on Dodd’s proposal.
    “At this moment, we must come together and act to address the housing crisis that set this downturn in motion and continues to eat away at the public’s confidence in the market,” Obama said. “We should pass the legislation I put forward with my colleague Chris Dodd to create meaningful incentives for lenders to buy or refinance existing mortgages so that Americans facing foreclosure can keep their homes.”
    Dodd did say that Obama supported the bill, as does Clinton. But he could not offer pride of authorship to the candidate he wants to see in the White House next year.
    “I’ve talked to him about it at some length,” Dodd said. “When Senator Obama was there for that full day of voting, we had long conversations about it. He had excellent questions and decided to support it.”
    Clinton also has her share of colleagues only too willing scrutinize her claims. Her campaign Web site describes Clinton’s “successful effort to create” the popular State Children’s Health Insurance Program during her husband’s tenure in the White House, and she has placed herself in the middle of major international events, including the Northern Ireland peace process and the Balkan conflict.
    But prominent Democratic senators, Irish historians and even Sinbad the comedian, who accompanied Clinton to Kosovo, are challenging some of her assertions.
    During months of SCHIP negotiations in 1997, her name rarely surfaced in news accounts. Clinton never testified before Congress or held a news conference on the bill. When Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), the lead GOP negotiator of the children’s health bill, heard reports that Clinton was depicting herself as SCHIP’s main advocate, “I had to blink a few times,” he said. Hatch said he doesn’t recall a single conversation with Clinton about SCHIP, even a mention of her name. “If she was involved, I didn’t know about it,” he said.
    “You know how she says, ‘I started SCHIP’? Well, so did I,” joked Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), one of the Democrats who pushed the bill across the finish line along with Kennedy. Both have endorsed Obama.
    Some Clinton insiders also are uncomfortable with some of her assertions. “I don’t really like the way she talks about her role in SCHIP,” conceded one former Clinton administration official, who supports the first lady’s candidacy, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to express his views candidly. “She doesn’t say it right. What she should say is ‘I was the driving force in the administration.’ That’s pretty big, and it’s all true.”
    Obama has left discussion of SCHIP authorship to his allies. But his campaign has launched a broad challenge to Clinton’s international bona fides.
    In a memo last week, senior Obama adviser Gregory B. Craig, President Bill Clinton’s lawyer during his impeachment proceedings, disputed a series of Clinton foreign policy claims. “When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have experience to support that claim,” Craig wrote.
    But it may be SCHIP that presents the biggest question marks for her. The issue combines Clinton’s twin passions for health care and children’s causes, and Clinton talks of it like a proud parent. Speaking to General Motors workers last month, Clinton said: “If you want universal health care, you have to take on the insurance companies — that’s exactly what I did as first lady. And when we weren’t successful, I kept on fighting until we got health care for 6 million children.”
    Last fall, Kennedy said SCHIP “wouldn’t be in existence” without Clinton’s support inside the White House. But when her rhetoric on the campaign trail started to filter back to the Capitol, the veteran legislator became stingier with his praise.
    “At the last hour, the administration supported it, and she was part of the administration, so I suppose she could say she supported it at the time,” Kennedy said.
    Chris Jennings, health policy coordinator in the Clinton White House, offers a different account. He recalled discussing an SCHIP-like program with the first lady even as her universal plan was unraveling. Jennings said Clinton pressed her husband to include children’s health coverage in the 1997 State of the Union address and fiscal 1998 budget request.
    But context is key, Jennings added. Barely two years had passed since the collapse of the universal health-care idea, and Clinton was still nursing deep political wounds. “She low-keyed her exposure, but that was on purpose,” Jennings said. “Her feeling was ‘I know my role, I’m going to be quiet, but I’m not going to go away.’ ”

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