Message In A Bottle

It’s not every day that the most powerful woman in America (no, not Sarah; well not yet, anyway) visits locally. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be stumping for Democratic Congressional candidate Jim Himes Saturday afternoon in Westport and Stamford. A quick detour to Bridgeport is not expected.

This should develop into a nice media hit for Himes. Speaker shows up on Saturday and the next day it’s all over the Sunday papers. It allows for a recasting of the candidate with less than two months to go.

All those political science professors were at it again the other day after OIB broke the news of a change at the top of the Himes campaign. Maura Keaney out, Dana Houle, a more seasoned campaign manager, in. Omigod, said the professors — most of whom never ran a race — this is ominous for the Himes campaign. What a bunch of crap.

The bigger question is, where do they go from here?

Himes is bright, intelligent. His problem is message. What is it? He doesn’t tell you why he’s running. Oh yes, he says, “To restore the American dream?” BFD.

Here’s a message: “Washington is broke. It doesn’t work. It spends money on all the wrong things. We need sanity back in the budget process to prevent politicians from picking your pockets.”

Granted, this is not a traditional Democratic message, but a traditional Dem message in a sucky economy will not beat a 21-year Republican incumbent such as Chris Shays.

And now that America, or at least more than half, is having a love affair with Lipstick Palin, including Fairfield County Republican towns, it makes the Himes-Houle message challenge that much more difficult.

I’ll give Palin this, she’s hot, good on her feet, with a cutting, slashing, slapstick style that creates the mighty aura of independence. And so far the national neophyte is sticking to the script after emerging from her foreign policy cramming sessions and another manufactured controversy. “Those boys from Russia better watch themselves.” Yes, let’s scare the crap out of people because the fear factor equals advantage John McCain. The entire Republican game plan will center on manufacturing bullshit issues. It’s risky. With so much going on she might forget her lines. Just like she conveniently forgot that the jet she “sold” on eBay didn’t sell on eBay.

Can’t wait for the ice lady’s frozen trek across the Bering Sea to Russia’s Siberia for her first meet and greet with Putin.

“You want some Stoli with your lipstick?”

“Sure, Put boy, after I plant a hockey puck in your soft palate.”

By the way, my friend John Gilmore, former political reporter extraordinaire, passed along this nice nugget:

“When Chris Shays was elected in a special election (after the death of Stew McKinney), he became the ‘least senior member of the House of Representatives.’ Who did he replace? What sitting member of Congress moved out of the cellar? Time’s up … it was Nancy Pelosi! And now she’s coming to the Fourth District in an attempt to retire the man who gave her a career bump!”

Party Time

Okay, kids, don’t forget to mark your calendars. September 25, 5:30 p.m., Captain’s Cove Seaport for the next OIB party. We’re inviting all local candidates to put up with us. First cocktail on OIB, plus plenty of munchies.



  1. Palin’s full of platitudes.

    Sarah “My bytes are worse than my bark!” Palin in her interview with Charlie Gibson was laced with Republican platitudes.

    She reminded me of that doll Chatty Cathy. You remember that she was the doll, in the late ’50s and early ’60s, and you pulled the ring in her back, and she would repeat all the same sayings. Palin got a little tongue-tied on the Bush Doctrine. Must have been the lipstick.

  2. “Those boys from Russia better watch themselves.”

    Russia is laughing at us and here’s why:

    1.They won the Cold War and in the process crippled us. The Soviet Unions’ demise saved them money, too.
    2. Russia defaulted on a strategic $23 Billion and the world yawned.
    3. Russia invaded Georgia; got exactly what they wanted and went home, their position fortified and complete.
    4. Russia is a global energy supplier; we’re still a buyer.
    5. Our recent GSE bailout benefitted them tremendously.

    Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and misjudged his character. Putin’s success enabled him to rewrite Russian law and extend his political career indefinitely. Can you imagine that happening to Bush ? I can’t.

  3. Lennie, I don’t recall that Sarah Palin said she sold the plane on eBay – only that she put it on eBay. Did I miss a conversation? I’m interested if I missed it – can you bring me up to speed? I recall McCain saying she did something with it on eBay and sold it at a profit which I know is false.

  4. My, My, My. It seems the liberal block here is having trouble with Palin. She handled herself well with Charles Gibson. She answered the question about the Russian invasion of Georgia.
    Lennie your liberal slip is showing. You are starting to sound like the rest of the ultra-liberal newspeople who are distorting facts and looking to make up issues. The lipstick comment she made was part of a joke. No brainer tried to make it something else.
    Take a look at the Pennsylvania poll that came out today showing that the McCain-Palin ticket has now turned what was a guaranteed Nobrainer state into a real contest. Losing ground?
    You have your vp candidate saying that the Dems picked the wrong candidate and should have named Clinton who has more experience than he does.
    I expect that after the debates the drop for nobrainer will really be dramatic.

  5. Pelosi is a huge part of the problem; it took her two short years to break every promise from the 2006 campaign and now she is coming to CT to make Himes her lap dog like she has done with Courtney and Murphy. She stands for nothing and all the change she said she would bring to Capital Hill has not happened except make Washington a more partisan place.

  6. Gee Uncle Lennie, how many local candidate’s are running in Nov’s. election from Bpt.? And have they all gotten an invitation to the OIB @ the Cove for Sept. 25th? Plus, I heard the plane was “sold by the Goverment” for a lot less than they were hoping for, not that dip-shit Palin & certainly not on eBay!

  7. Thank you Lennie. That is what I thought. I have to tell you I’m getting very concerned about all of this. Someone in my family told me they listened to both convention candidates’ speeches and decided that John McCain is the one who will put “country first.” He found him sincere and the one he can relate to. This person is a white male, age 50 – who has never ever supported a Republican. Barack is just not getting through. And, what a stupid remark for Biden to make about Hillary being a better candidate. Although I agree with him, but it is over – why did he ever say that? It appears as though the campaign is falling apart at its seams. I’m getting real nervous about this. Is anyone else?

  8. I am concerned but not worried about Obama’s campaign. He’s a basketball player and knows that games are won in the fourth quarter and it’s barely halftime. Ya gotta peak at the right time.
    We all make mistakes. But 1junkyarddog, I’m worried yours are chronic.

    As an addendum to my earlier post, NO LESS an authority than Time Magazine named Putin their Man of the Year – he thinks America will sink of its own weight.

    And finally, LEVERAGE works both ways – ask any banker, broker or upsidedown homeowner.

  9. #12- That’s one of many claims she has made according to the news; she personally is responsible for getting it sold! MSNBC, Glenn Beck, etc. stories; Palin claims? Besides, I got a bridge in Brooklyn, you got any railroads on sale?

  10. The plane was sold at her direction as governor so she is human and took the credit. Who really thought she was holding tours of the plane and test flights for prospective buyers?
    Hey you never know when a bridge is for sale; remember they sold the London bridge and it is now in the US.
    Do I sense a slight realization that the Dems are in trouble? Normally at this time of the election cycle they would be up 15 points in the polls not down like they are now.

  11. Wondering // Sep 12, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    (Palin) “She handled herself well with Charles Gibson.”

    I especially liked her thoughtful and erudite analysis of the Bush Doctrine.

    For the record – Obama and his supporters need to stop talking about Palin and get back to talking about McCain and the issues.

  12. Listen, as a Registered Dem. that was thinking for quite some time about voting for McCain, I finally made my decision when the GOP & their election’s party managed to talk McCain into agreeing to this Dip-shit for V/P! A move that in the future when looked back at, was nothing more than a quick-sell marketing attempt to get leftover (pro.) Hillary women voters to swing towards McCain! But the problem is that when you really take a good look @ Gov. Palin & realize that McCain is 72yrs. old and if anything were to happen to him, she would be “Comander-in-Chief” of this nation! Is that not a scary thought or what? On the other hand, Biden seems capable of leading this nation if needed to. It’s time for the GOP to realize that they shot themselves in the foot with this choice; because unless the Dem’s. commit political suicide between now & Nov.4th 2008, this country will have its first minority President in the White House to start the year 2009! McCain & Palin have as much chance winning the election in Nov.’08 as Lennie has winning the first-prize Power-Ball in 2008. “Forget about it”!

  13. Mojo I think you had better take another look. i believe that it was the dems that shot thmselves in the foot by naming Joe Biden the VP candidate.
    If you are following the campaign and i know you are you have to realize that the dems are imploding and by November they will be a distant memory. The debates will be their downfall.
    Barack is a great public speaker but has trouble in a regulated setting like debates. Biden will definetly self implode and he has a history of open mouth insert foot disease.
    Commander-in-Chief lets look at that a little. While Palin is #2 as VP. Obama if he wins will be the Commander-in-Chief. My question to all is where is his experience to be Commander-in-Chief everyone seems to gloss over that and keep pointing to Palin.
    Let me ask you does the following qualify one to be the C-in-C?
    1. Community organizer.
    2. State Senator who voted present more than he voted yes or no.
    3. US senator for about 2 plus years who authored no meaningful legislation.

  14. Wondering:

    NEITHER candidate has experience as Commander-in-Chief.

    But only Obama has the judgement needed to be in The White House.

    Only Obama has executive experience. Obama put together his entire organization. He calls the shots — NOBODY has ever done that in American presidential politics.

    Today, McCain’s campaign is being run by the standard Republican party apparatus which has put candidates in office but never done anything good for the American public. He is controlled by them; not the other way around. He’s a follower.

    McCain won his party’s nomination by default. He put politics ahead of country by picking Palin (I think his “handlers” made that decision). He might win the battle but I think he’s gonna lose the war.

    Obama came out of the blue and won his party’s nomination by design and intent. He’s a leader.

    One more thing: (wink) don’t forget to vote.

  15. There’s an adage in politics: “A June rose is dead in November”. So at this juncture I shouldn’t think that anyone should take solace from his or her candidate looking good in the polls. – It’s eight weeks ’til the election.
    The sad part of this election is that we, the electorate, don’t win with either candidate. Neither is the statesman that we need. The whole thing is turning out to be a comedy.

  16. Local I believe that Obama had a lot to do with how his campaign is run and I believe that he had a lot to do with the online campaignng but to give him sole credit for putting together his organization is a bit over the top.These are very complex processes and I don’t believe that one person could put it all together and campaign at the same time.
    Believe me he is surrounded by advisors and professionals who are helping him.
    Whether the Republicans or Democrats have really done anything for the american public is open for debate. Once you get by FDR who really did something for all americans there isn’t much left. I think that the only significant thing that really happened was ending segregation. Sure incomes have gone up and sure we put a man on the moon but getting past that there isn’t much else. Sure we are making more money but we are also paying more for goods so that is a wash. I hate to be negative but by and large politicians are more the problem than the solution.

  17. Remember these words spoken by a recent blogger in post # 19, trying to qualify a Presidential candidate?

    1. Community organizer — yes — America is one big community, right?

    2. State Senator who voted present more than he voted yes or no — duuuuuuuuuuude, ya gotta start somewhere…

    3.US senator for about 2 plus years who authored no meaningful legislation — junior Senators are not allowed to author ANY legislation.

    America’s never had a C&C, only a Commander-in-Chief. I urge you to upgrade your political vocabulary.

    Finally, you might be qualified for munchies and a free drink at the next OIB party, but you’re not qualified to be my dinner guest.

  18. #19- Point made however, Palin is running for V/P not President, and still seems to not have the stuff thats needed to do that P/R job! And when you look @ it, no one has the experience to be President ’til you actually are. If it were just McCain vs Obama alone, I believe McCain has the upper hand in political experience but if he’s going to let his campaign leaders make decisions like picking Palin & accept it, can you imagine what B/S his Presidencial advisors can get him to go for? Basically the V/P should be just as ready & somewhat politically up to speed, as the one running for President to step in if needed & I don’t see that in Palin. Also McCain, though more politically savvy than Obama, basically is bringing the same old song & dance that America has had & seen for the last #8yrs. It’s time for a new song & dance in D/C; new energy in the way things are done and approached. Like when America first laid eyes on a curly haired, freckle-faced young charismatic man with a Boston accent that was an Irish catholic with little political experience. That’s the type of energy & change this country is in need of, not the same old trickle-down economics of the past! Right now, Obama seems to be the one to bring about that change. If America is not ready to move into the future, then we are all doomed to dwell in the past. Personally as a retired, over taxed, unemployed ex-veteran, family homeowner & community active, minority latin american, I’m ready for some positive change.

  19. I WAS WRONG.

    New Senators have strict limitations regarding initiating and authoring new – nevermind meaningful – legislation.
    However, nothing prevents them from running for President.

  20. Since getting rid of the domestic help at the Governor’s Mansion because Palin didn’t have that at home, she has charged the state of Alaska $17,000 for the use of her personal residence when she works at home. Such a deal! Who wouldn’t want to be a work at home mom under those terms?

  21. Palin is pro-life but feels she can work with the pro-choice groups to reduce the number of abortions.
    Palin is pro-gun-ownership and believes any effort to reduce the number of guns, even assault weapons, will eventually lead to all guns being banned.
    There’s a bit of a contradiction in logic here or just more of the same old Republican rhetoric.

  22. Palin is pro-life, pro-gun-ownership, and claims to be ready to assume the mantle of Vice President of the United States (and POTUS, if it comes to that). If she is so ready, why is it that Charles Gibson got her to slip up on the question of Dubya’s doctrine? (There is such a document, by the way.) After an uncomfortable pause, she reached for the old Bush-Cheney safety ring and mumbles something about “ridding the world of Islamic extremism.” Bush himself would use the old “war on terror” position as a fallback when he couldn’t think of anything more substantive, which is usually the case.

    Senator McCain is no better. Babwa Wawa confronted him on “The View” about Senator Obama’s remark regarding applying cosmetics to the porcine. Senator McCain has used this analogy himself (“You can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig”), which is something of a favorite among the GOP leadership. Dubya has employed it, as has Dick Cheney (a man who likes to shoot his friends). Ol’ McCain got his hackles up, telling Babwa that Senator Obama was referring to Governor Palin. The sound bite, which has been taken out of context, was in reference to failed GOP economic policies.

    The national media is not taking any steps to hide its bias. With a few small exceptions, the news media supports the Obama/Biden ticket. Taking the lipstick-on-a-pig comment out of context was sure to upset the McCain camp. It did. Immediately after the comment was circulated McCain’s representatives began demanding an apology, which is not forthcoming. Governor Palin opened the door with her comment about the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull. (Lipstick, in case you live in a cave and missed it.)

  23. Mission accomplished on a small scale. No one is really talking about Obama and Biden anymore. It’s like they fell off the face of the earth. You all can grasp at straws with Palin but maybe you should take a look at your candidates. Look at the millions spent to improve rail travel between Delaware and DC; I wonder who uses that rail line?
    The press by and large is ultra-liberal and it is no surprise they are in attack mode and not having much luck. Just so you know the very liberal NY Times wrote a favorable piece on Palin’s interview with Gibson. How’s that for a switch?
    Mojo before you get all warm and fuzzy about JFK let me remind you he got us into Vietnam when he started sending in advisors and he was also responsible for the Bay of Pigs invasion when he and his brother Bobby pulled the air cover as the Cuban liberators were heading toward the beaches of Cuba, needless to say they were slaughtered. That’s what inexperience can do.

  24. #31- You’re too young to know the facts; I can tell by your comments about Kennedy & Vietnam advisors, which were already there in the late ’50s before he was President. Also Kennedy really didn’t have a lot of time in office to get a good sense as to whether he was a great President or not on certain things. My remarks about him were based about his Presidential campaign and the energy he brought to this country during it, kind of like Obama has done & continues to do! And people, let’s not forget Fox News & their pro-McCain, anti-Obama stance, etc.

  25. Mojo thanks for the compliment but I am an old man and I lived the facts. I was in the service when Kennedy was looking for more volunteers to go to Vietnam. It was a service-wide search for volunteers and they were only looking for certain expertise. I was in the service when the bay of pigs happened. As for Fox news I watched Obama’s interviews with O’Reilly and he came off well. The questions were fair and he was given time to answer. So what is biased about that? You did not mention the bias shown by NBC, ABC, CBS and CNBC where Olbermann and Matthews fall over each other knocking McCain and praising Obama. I doubt if McCain would get the same treatment from these stations that Obama got on Fox.

  26. Wondering (#31):
    “Mojo before you get all warm and fuzzy about JFK let me remind you he got us into Vietnam when he started sending in advisors and he was also responsible for the Bay of Pigs invasion when he and his brother Bobby pulled the air cover as the Cuban liberators were heading toward the beaches of Cuba, needless to say they were slaughtered. That’s what inexperience can do.”

    Whereas I would like to agree with you, history does not fully serve your position well. Wikipedia says:
    “The United States entered the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of a wider strategy called containment. Military advisors were sent beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s and combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive.”

    Harry Truman was president until 1953 so it appears that he was the first to send “advisors” to Vietnam.

    As for the Bay of Pigs offensive, I believe that it was a hand-me-down from the Eisenhower years to the Kennedy administration. Once more according to Wikipedia it goes as follows:
    “On March 17, 1960, the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed to a recommendation from the CIA Central Intelligence Agency to equip and drill Cuban exiles for action against the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.[4] Eisenhower stated it was the policy of the US government to aid anti-Castro guerrilla forces.”

    And just months after Kennedy took office he permitted the launching of forces which landed in the Bay of Pigs. Yes, I doubt whether Kennedy would have permitted the attempted invasion had he more experience in the presidency. He probably assumed that Eisenhower’s experience and judgement as a military man together with the CIA’s expertise was sufficient to insure a successful invasion.

  27. Con you are right but Kennedy did escalate the number of advisors sent to Vietnam and he did pull the air cover that was supposed to cover the landings by the Cuban expatriots. It is a perfect example of someone with very little experience in foreign policy making the wrong decisions. I did vote for the man.

  28. #34 Thank you for a good followup on Nam & the B.O.P.’s. Even with experience, sometimes mistakes can be made. Back on foreign policy; Obama’s pick of Biden will be helpful. You think Gov. Palin would be helpful on foreign policy, how about glass frames? Bottom line is that one-on-one inexperience, McCain is better qualified for the Presidency, however in reality it’s not a #1-man show! Therefore the #2 person in the race becomes a very important person that can say a lot about what the party in general is thinking. And frankly the GOP’s #2 pick is basically saying & representing the same old shit. So it leaves to reason that this country is in need of some major changes which @ this time, seems to be the Obama/Biden choice. After the upcoming debates by both party candidates, it will be a much clearer picture for americans that are still unclear on who to vote for?

  29. I think Sarah Palin was a terrible choice – she does have the disposition of a pit bull, lipstick and all. She needs to put her thermal undies back on and stay in Alaska. Thanks to Con Filardi, I learned a lesson in history. Thanks for sharing.


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