Obama and the Princess

I had planned to lace into President Obama this morning. As I waited for Vivien to fall asleep in her pop-up castle my mother gave her for her birthday, I composed the blog in my head. I would start out saying, “Look, you all know I was a Hillary supporter during the primary, but when that went south I threw my support (like I’m Al Gore and being sought for my backing) to Obama.”  I never thought he was the transformative figure others saw. I’m old enough to have been jumping up and down for Bill Clinton and though I love me some Bill, his flaws are well documented. So, I feel like I had been through this before.

I really liked Obama’s personal biography. Single mom, abandoned by dad, involved grandparents who sent him to the best high school while living in an apartment. And throw in first president of color and I’m in. Not to mention, I cried in 2000 and 2004 with Bush/Cheney. I was going door to door in Florida for Kerry, so unlike the “Yes I can” people, I didn’t need a cult of personality to know that Bush was not smart enough to be president and that Bush/Cheney are the kind of military industrial complex hacks that Eisenhower warned us about. And one of the big shovels Obama used to bury Hillary was his opposition to the Iraq war (which I never supported) and her vote to authorize forces. I used to argue, “But he was in the Illnois Senate at the time. He might have voted differently had he been in DC at the time.” No, the Obama mamas and others were so forceful at Vivien’s ballet class, I started talking about the weather.

So, now President Change is authorizing 30 thousand troops to Afghanistan. A war we have lost lives and spent billions on for 9 years. In a place that has no victory. I spoke yesterday to a former Marine officer who works in my building. He had tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. I always say, “Thank you for your service, and I’m sure I’m talking out  of my ass, but here is what I think; I really want to know what you think.” In short, he said unless we bomb the place to smithereens there is no victory in Afghanistan. They have home field advantage. They shoot from high up the mountains. And the “bad guys” mingle with the civilians so the enemy is not always clear (Vietnam anyone?). And they move into different countries when the heat is on and come back when they can. And in Iraq they are told not to shoot at mosques, but the insurgents (during Faloujah) went into the mosques and shot at them. And then there was the story of during a siege when they ran out of ammo.

Me: “You must have been so terrified.”

“Anyone who says they weren’t are lying,” the vet said. Finally they airlifted ammo and ordered air strikes on the mosque where they were being shot from.

We know the soldiers will do what is asked of them. We knew Bush wasn’t a student of history. But Obama seemed to be. So, we are still in Iraq, escalating Afghanistan, and the GOP is using this as an excuse to not fund health care, which is something that we all need. Americans do die, become sick, and go bankrupt because they aren’t covered. I support the war tax because I think unless there is a draft the cost of war will not come home to Americans and thus no political pressure will be applied.

So, except that Sarah Palin doesn’t get to fly in Air Force 2, what’s been the advantage to electing Obama over McCain, in regards to foreign policy?

Anyway, look, that’s the rant I had planned. I don’t want anymore of our soliders to die, and I don’t want to leave my children with a debt for a folly. But instead, my friend called early this morning and said she had $100 tickets for free to a special screening of The Princess and the Frog. The princesses would be there. Would Vivien want to go?  Would she! So, I’m scrambling to get showered and people fed and out the door.  But later I’m really going to speak my mind.

And Now for Some Good News…

(Sound of trumpet!) Yesterday we received a copy of Mark’s new cook book, “New Classic Family Dinners.”

It will come out in October. But it is already available for order on Amazon, and Borders and is going to carry it as well. Hard to sell books these days, so this is all great news. This is the first we have seen of it. It was VERY EXCITING. As many of you probably know it takes a LONG time to write a cook book (See my video about Kate Gosselin’s cookbook). A REAL cook book. Then once the lengthy part is done (he and his collaborator writing the book for over a year), it’s in production for quite a while.

For all those moments when nothing happens, when a day blurs into the other, it’s nice to have a day where one finally sees the fruits of ones labor. When we first started talking about this book, I was pregnant with Vivien and it was two homes ago. What a journey!

When it comes out, I have to have some kind of virtual book signing party on Cool Mom. Uncork the champagne and play “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.”

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Yesterday I was a last-minute guest on “Show Biz Tonight” on CNN Headline. Making jokes about Michele Obama wearing short shorts. Lemme say I was in the zone. I had so many one liners. The producer said, “I’ve been interviewing you for years, and you’ve never been this funny.”

Hmm, what did I say??

“Baby’s got back.”

“Why shouldn’t she wear shorts?  What are mom’s suppose to wear, dumpy mom jeans? No, her husband can do that.” (call back to baseball incident)

“Her shorts are in protest to the GOP’s opposition to the public option. The more they protest, the shorter the shorts will get.”

“Shorts-gate is such a big deal, Woodward and Bernstein are getting back together and…” (Can’t remember the joke. I work in the moment and don’t write it down, but I think that one was funny.)

I think it helped I did a double espresso beforehand. And I had already had an audition for a mom makeover show. First time auditioning in almost two years. More about that if anything comes of it…

Obama Mamas

Look, no one is happier than me that Bush is GONE.  I cried when the Supreme Court appointed him in ’00; I cried when he was elected in ’04.  I’ve been driving around with this sticker on my car for years…

Hmm… guess it’s time to take it off.  I voted for Obama and am happy he is President for historic and political changes.  But I can’t get in a lather about it.

My sister-in-law recently sent me all these political cartoons that should produce an “aw.”  Lincoln and MLK proud of President Obama, that ilk.  But I think now the combination of a very long campaign and the economy really hitting the fan has made this political junkie jaded and beat. Yeah, idealism is great, but can we please try to avoid double digit unemployment?  My job has been reduced; my husband is having to work hard to keep his business competitive in this new environment.  My condo in Florida is such a dog I’m begging someone to take it off my hands… no matter the loss.  I’m seeing more empty store fronts around my neighborhood.  So, big historical speeches. Yawn.

I like the more regulations for finance industry, the freeing up abortion rights, etc.  Keep it coming.  But do I keep having to listen to Will.I. Am?  I hope not.

Rah, rah, show me the money.

Cool Mom Poll: The Election is Going to End?

What? How can this be happening? I started watching the debates in April 2007. That means I’ve been following the election for a year and a half. Which makes it one of my longest relationships ever! Gosh, the old days. Back when there were like nine Democrats running, including that crusty liberal from Alaska. (I blogged about it on my other website.)

Cool Mom Election 2008

I cottoned to Hillary, worked for her in Texas. Resigned myself to her defeat, told Hillary people who were pissed we needed to move on and support Obama – some told me to shove it. I had my healing during the convention and just when I emotionally could have added an Obama sticker to my car next to my anti-Bush one, I realized, “What’s the point? He’s already going to win California.”

Through Sarah Palin and Rev. Wright and all the twists and turns, I have been there. Now people say, “I want it to be over, enough already.” Really, what do you have that’s filling your life up? Does your reality not depend on cable news and the newspapers and realclearpolitics.com, ’cause I think mine does.  

So for the poll today, as we bid farewell to SNL having any funny moments and campaign surrogates wipe off their pancake makeup, let’s make our predictions. Now this isn’t what you WANT to happen, but rather what you think will happen (since I know this site leans towards Obama supporters). So what do you think will happen on election day?

 

 

 

 

 

And please tell me what you are going to follow on November 5th. Oh, I know: the building of the transition team!

Pay Off At The Polls: Results Are In!

Hey, last week I laid out a Presidential poll and then never told you who won the “election.” And I thought the Supreme Court of 2000 was irresponsible!

So here are the results:

Now, of course you can’t have a more unscientific and biased poll than one on a website. I have espoused my pro-choice Democratic leanings here, so I can assume a majority of Cool Mom readers share this opinion – skew #1. What is interesting is that when I looked at the poll at about 4pm the day we posted it, McCain was in the lead by about 10 to 15 percentage points. So there was a late liberal surge, which does reflect the larger electoral trend that conservatives, older people, married people, and working people are more reliable voters.

The only way Obama can win is if he does get people who have never voted, or who rarely vote, to the polls. He has to get what Kerry got and more. That would mean his new registered younguns and every single African American, not to mention every latte-swilling lefty, has to show up, especially since he is losing some of his lead over McCain with women. The voting block that has the ability to push Democrats over the finish line has to be on Obama’s side.

Also, I’m always intrigued by undecideds. If any undecideds want to share why they haven’t decided, or what they still need to see, or if they are sitting this out, I would love to hear that. I understand if there is a lack of enthusiasm since my candidate of choice is no longer in the running. I am still voting, but not in a “whooppee!!! kind of way. But my distaste for the last few years is a huge factor… oh, and there’s that pro-choice thing.

Oh No, She Didn’t! The Sarah Palin Speech

Okay, for what it’s worth, I can’t close out the week without summing up my take on the Palin speech at the RNC. I hear that WHITE, MARRIED MOTHERS are who decides elections. Hey, that’s me!

I have many friends who have been fuming about her latest speech. I got messages like “I hate her,” “nasty bitch,” and “Well, I’d sleep with her.” (That last one was from a Republican guy friend.) I watched her speech a bit after the fact, on Tivo, after Vivien went to bed. I tried to watch with an objective eye, but I expected to want to throw her glasses on the ground and smash them. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that way when I watched it. Here’s what I was thinking.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In The Beginning
To start, where was the music? Where was the bio video, ’cause I love those. The Republicans know how to sell a war to us, but can’t figure out basic production value and stagecraft? Come on! I had to hand it to my niece – she won the bet on how Palin would wear her hair, which was mostly down. She looked nice, as did the family, but The Fashion Team side of me (BTW, this Tuesday we will do some political fashion critiquing on the FT at 8pm on the TV Guide Channel) feels her youngest daughter has to be worth a couple points in the polls. Her youngest daughter is a happy-spirited girl who lovingly held her baby brother – awwww! And the pregnant daughter gets an ovation. Which is kind, but can we try to remember it’s probably best not to encourage that?

Special Needs
Sure, Palin scored points with a lot of people by saying she’d be a friend to families who have kids with special needs. No specifics, but it was Bush #1 who signed the disability access law, so who knows? Then there was Todd, the first dude, who was happy to have his ovation.

Better Parts Of The Speech
She mentioned Truman? They wouldn’t let her shout out to Ferraro or Clinton anymore, but she got one Democrat in there. The pit bull line was great, and she ripped into Obama’s community organizing.

Sorry lefties, this was long overdue. I was just talking with my brother-in-law about this during the DNC. What the frig is “community organizing”? They keep saying it like I should care, but I don’t. Say something specific, like “helped drive old ladies to get medicine.” Or “took slumlords to jail.” I don’t know. It reminds me of when my friend used to work in “supportive housing.” After five years, I think I finally figured that out.

Palin scored another “ouch” moment with her “styrofoam Greek column” line. The crowd was so whipped!  She could have farted in tune and they would have loved her. I noticed Newt Gingrich in the audience was holding his applause.

Her delivery was confident, strong, and in charge. I found myself thinking, “If McCain loses, she could very well be the nominee in 2012.” Maybe even her against Hillary? She was slinging some insults, but no more than I expected all along from the GOP. When Obama fans were decrying the “rough” treatment the Clintons were supposedly giving him in the primaries, I thought, “Babies, the Republicans are going to rip him to shreds, just you wait.” I think one of the most cutting things was that she didn’t use Obama’s name until 3/4 of the way through the speech. As if to say, “I won’t dignify him by using his name,” which is meaner than the Democrats did to McCain at their convention.

Weaker Parts
I needed more bio. I needed to hear what motivated her to go from the PTA to the Governor’s Mansion. I think that’s a lost moment. I felt like we went from “Hockey Mom” to “Obama Sucks.” I needed the in-between.

I’m fine with snarky comments, but then she went into bold-faced lies and scary stuff: That Obama will raise your taxes (if you make over $250,000 and, of course, if he can get it passed, which is another thing), then there was the matter of claiming near-victory in Iraq… Hmm, not really. And the oddest statement along those lines was, “Instead of catching terrorists, he would rather read them their rights.” Oh yeah, a nation of laws is such a drag! Didn’t she just tell us for the 4,359th time about McCain being tortured as a P.O.W.? Wouldn’t it be nice if our country, above all others, learned from that? That was the point at which she really turned me off. And the more she plays up McCain’s heroics, the smaller it makes her look. The war hero and the hockey mom? Doesn’t help sell the idea that she could take his place.

The Billing
One thing I like better about the GOP than the Democrats is that they gave Palin equal billing compared to McCain. Her font is the same size as the McCain font, whereas Biden is smaller than Obama’s, like Biden is the sidekick.

Joebama better keep tearing into the economy, because Palin and the rest of the GOP really left that out. Since Obama is such a chicken about talking about being pro-choice (the lame response at Saddleback is a PERFECT demonstration of that), they better get some snappy sound bites about the party of Hoover if they want to win. At this point, I think Palin is an asset.

If only Obama had picked Hillary as his running mate…

Cool Mom Political Poll

And I thought all the fun was over with the primaries! The Democrats pulled it together with Hillary, Bill, Gore, Biden and all to be a superb opening act for a great speech by Obama where he finally forcefully went after the Senator from Arizona. Could this Hillary fan luxuriate in my make up sex with BO? No, cause Friday McCain yells, “take that, kid.” And taps Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska for his VP. Have to hand it to his campaign, they really kept that under wraps. No texting the supporters gone asunder, just a well played political surprise.

It’s a controversial choice for sure…and that was before we found out about her daughter being in the family way (more about that tomorrow). But I gave McCain a gloved applause. After being told by Obama that big Mac was not a maverick he gets to wear the mantle again.

HILLARY FACTOR
Will it bring this pro choice Hillary fan to vote for McCain? No, because my vote goes toward the betterment of all woman and I Believe, that is best accomplished by having more liberal justices on the Supreme Court than the GOP would place. But I have to admit I did like Palin, she is charming. Love that she popped another kid out in her forties and barely missed a beat in her work, even though her baby was born with Down syndrome.

Palin is plucky even if she loses she will get a book deal and a good speaking fee after this. And some of the sweet old ladies in the South I spoke to when I was working for Hillary might go for it. They aren’t comfortable with Obama, don’t love McCain either, maybe a down to earth lady will help them decide.

But, are there some of us who have not decided? Or like my mom, and few friends, are sticking with the Libertarian party, who I have great affinity for?

If the election were held today, who would you, vote for?

Hillary Hits It Out Of The Park (Bonus!)

I could not be more proud of Hillary Clinton. Her speech Tuesday night was picture perfect. I had been waiting to see it for days.  As an HRC supporter I knew she’d be good, but she exceeded my expectations. And it did hurt a little knowing she came this close…

HARD FOR A MOM TO WATCH

I had trouble watching it since Vivien was in a cranky mood and I gave her chocolate cake just so I could watch the speech that I told her, “is really important to mommy, and you can watch Diego in the other room if you want.” She proceeded to make a mess–I didn’t care–but Mark did, so he took the cake away prompting her to flail her body on top of mine. I kept pausing the opening movie and saying, “I said this is important to me!!” After a body blow to my back I jumped up, “that’s it, I said this was important to me.” I then ran to my room, shut the door behind me, and watched the speech by myself.

My stepdaughter Vanessa was more fortunate than I. She saw the speech from the upper reaches of the floor of the convention, where she said Bill Clinton was crying as Hillary spoke. I am so excited (i.e. jealous) that she actually got to be there. She sent me the above picture from her vantage point.

ROLE MODEL

I am so proud of Hillary for her accomplishments they are considerable. She didn’t win the democratic nomination, but she is more than ever her own iconic political figure and has established a standard for future woman candidates. What a great role model for our daughters. A woman educated, well spoken, and has the guts to take on the boys. After having gone through being publicly humiliated by her husband (I wish Elizabeth Edwards could have a similar triumph), she did what she exhorted in her speech, “to keep going.” Using Harriet Tubman was genius.

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO ME ON THE WAY TO THE NOMINATION…

And how about all the funny?  She had some great lines, “sisters of the traveling pantsuits,” Twin cities, “cause they are so much alike,” and how could you forget, “no how, no way, no McCain.” I spoke to a pro Hillary friend who said, “I can’t put an Obama sticker on my car, but I can put that line on my car, I’m going to make a bumper sticker out of the that.” The DNC should as well.

GET OFF HER BACK

She hit all the notes she needed to. Paying tribute to her campaign and her supporters, but so personally transitioning to the next phase, support for Obama. I loved it when she said, “were you in this campaign just for me?,” how magnanimous to take that tact. She rightfully placed the campaign in a larger context. (Hillary could have mentioned the Supreme Court as well, the only thing she did miss).

WALK IN THE PARK

Didn’t she look like she was having fun? Didn’t she make it look easy? If you watch like I do–on CSPAN– 90% of the speakers are not that great, the same old examples of sad people, no kicking up the crowd, or attacking the GOP. Hell the Democrats are going to get skinned next week!  Mark Warner, was okay, but no keynote, some good themes, but hardly going to fill the voter registration roles with that performance. The best opener and middle act for Hillary were Dennis Kucinich (congressman from Ohio, who I’ve always loved for speaking his mind and wanting to impeach Cheney), and Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana.

I don’t think anyone is going to top Hillary’s speech for me. One large factor is, none of them are going to be from the first EVER viable female candidate for President. I am looking forward to Bill and Biden tomorrow night. But, I might get a sitter and go to a friend’s house to watch that one.

Political News

This makes me so sad, the sudden passing of Stephanie Tubbs- Jones. She was very gutsy out supporting Hillary Clinton in the primary, she was going to go to the Democratic convention and support Obama. Like my big, big favorite, Shelia Jackson -Lee, she stuck with Clinton even when other African American politicians fell away. In general there are not enough women in public office, what a shame to lose her, and at such a young age just 58.

In this April 10, 2006 file photo, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, ...
AP

Wed Aug 20, 1:57 PM ET

Since we are talking politics… I’ve been spewing to anyone who will listen that Obama has lost the golden touch in the last month. As annoying as McCain’s “I will follow (Bin laden) into the gates of hell” line is, he’s gaining some steam with his sound bites. Obama has to many “um, you know, uh” long sentences. Hello, two terms of “W,” keep it simple!

My take is, Obama has already gotten all the people who are in love with him. That is how he got through the primary, but that well has been tapped. In order to win he has to get the “I Hate Bush” people. They include conservative Democrats, Moderates and even Republicans. He has to make this a referendum on Bush, not Obama. He also needs to keep running ads with McCain hugging Bush, and for God sake, get Hillary to coach him on the debates. If he wants to keep his professor thing going, fine, but get some zingers off! And be a fighter.

Politics: That’s Hot

Who would have thought Paris Hilton could seem so smart? Then again, to cultivate a career out of a nice body and a famous last name must take some moxie at the very least. Check out her response to McCain’s “celebrity” ad. I kind of love it!

Paris Hiton’s response also comes at a time when I have been saying, “why is Obama running neck and neck with a corpse?” Of course, back in my Hillary days I always thought Barrack Obama would have a tougher time than the fawning MSNBC and ilk projected. But, he has been running a good campaign up until about two weeks ago.

Celebrity Paris Hilton
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rafael Amado Deras
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tony the Misfit

Obama is not responding quick enough or hard enough to problems. He should have made the Ludacris song that said, Hillary was an “irrelevant bitch,” this was his potential Sister Souljah moment. He does still want the moderate woman vote, right? Instead, he has allowed McCain to get significant traction with off shore oil drilling.

Obama needs to run an ad on a loop (they have the money, right?) of McCain giving Bush a bigger hug than even Cindy Sheehan gave Hugo Chavez (bye Cindy, thanks for playing). I think for a lot of people a vote for Obama is a vote against Bush and for many others a vote for McCain is a vote against Obama.

The Paris video shows something else, the left can lack a sense of humor. If they got their panties in a bundle about the New Yorker cover, featuring the Obama’s making a parody of McCain in a diaper, dropping a bomb on Iran.

Dare I say it, “the bimbo shall lead them.”