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Saturday, November 15, 2008

the Drama King

Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart.
Today's must-read comes from Rolling Stone
The LA Times has more on "Ace McCain's" military-era exploits
As a pre-emptive response to the McCain campaign's stated plans to step up the character smears in order to distract voters from the economy Obama is now (finally) bringing up the Keating Five issue. Go here to see a short documentary on the subject. Apparently Obama surrogates had up to now been told not to raise this issue... if I had known that I would have been very annoyed, but it may prove to have been wise. The media hasn't really discussed this much, because if Obama isn't bringing it up they see no need to, but now that Obama's making an issue of it they may decide to revisit this still relatively unexplored topic... and it couldn't come at a better time.
Biden spoke to Newsweek about being the VP pick:

When Obama phoned in June to tell him he wanted to vet him, Biden said OK, but that he might well decline. He consulted with longtime advisers Ted Kaufman and Ron Klain and went back and forth on whether the vice presidency was really the best place for him to have influence with an Obama administration. It helped that all spring Obama had called him every other week or so to get his thinking on varied matters (like how to question Gen. David Petraeus when he testified). They both knew that the role of the veep under Obama would not be like Dick Cheney's, but the terms remained to be worked out.

At a secret meeting in mid-August at the Graves 601 Hotel in St. Paul, Minn., that lasted two to three hours, Obama told him it wouldn't work unless Biden viewed the vice presidency as "the capstone" of his career, not a step down. "Not the tombstone?" Biden joked.

"Will this job be too small for you?" Obama asked, with a deft appreciation of the art of flattery.

"I said no, as long as I would really be a confidant. I told him, 'The good news is, I'm 65 and you're not going to have to worry about my positioning myself to be president. The bad news is, I want to be part of the deal'."

Biden, who had stayed neutral in the Democratic primaries after dropping out in January, told Obama that he was "ready to be second fiddle" and sought no specific portfolio—but only if he got a guaranteed hourlong, one-on-one session with the president every week (like Al Gore's lunches with Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush's with Ronald Reagan) and a presence at all important meetings. Obama said yes, that he wanted him for his judgment and for his help in enacting a big legislative agenda. And so the job was defined: "My role will be to say, 'Boss, here's the way I'd go about it'."

Biden says Obama reminds him of Bill Clinton in his "confidence, cognitive ability, judgment" and intellectual security—that he can listen and absorb advice without having to prove he's the smartest person in the room, a critical leadership skill. He says he experienced an "epiphany" during a recent conference call on the bailout bill with Bob Rubin, Paul Volcker, Warren Buffett, Paul O'Neill, Joseph Stiglitz, Larry Summers and Laura Tyson. "He [Obama] comes on the call and says, 'Well, folks, sorry I'm late. I've got four questions.' He was in total frigging command! Here's a 47-year-old guy in one of the most complicated economic dilemmas anyone has had to face since 1929 to '33. And it was like, 'Bang! Bang! Bang!' I called him afterward and said, 'You sold me, sucker!' "

A Norweigan newspaper has an article on a good deed Obama performed many years ago (original here)
KO distilled the VP debate down to 3 minutes (vid)
SNL's VP debate sketch (vid)

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