Political Weekly: The First Installment

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2008 is Bwog’s first Presidential election year ever, so we’ve asked resident political junkie Jim Downie to write a weekly column summarizing, analyzing and sometimes mocking the past week in national politics. Political Weekly will run on Mondays, Obama, McCain, Huckabee and Clinton will run all year long. 

So why does Bwog feel you need more politics in your life? Well, apparently 75% of Bwoggers need just that during midterm week. That’s right, 75%, according to a poll I made up just for that answer. Political Weekly is here to give you a personalized spin on the past week in politics. The idea: “It’s not for political junkies. It’s for normal people.” Sometimes serious, sometimes witty, sometimes nutty, and sometimes not even political (or linked). So sit back, you’re in for a treat… or at least 10 minutes and 22 links worth of further procrastination.

Sophomore slump: After the hit video “Yes We Can,” Will.I.Am has come out with another video for his fellow Obamamaniacs. Problem is, this one does not use an Obama speech (which made the first one so good), leaving Will.I.Am to actually create a song. Not surprisingly, he fails at that. Also, Jessica Alba and Ryan Phillipe show up, but real kudos to Scarlett Johansson for being in one “before it was cool.”

Live from New York: The blogs are abuzz with Hillary Clinton on SNL, and it’s pretty good (“Do I really laugh like that?”), but this blogger thinks Mike Huckabee’s appearance a week earlier was even funnier. Oh, and, SNL’s not funny, it’s been on too long, blah, blah, etc., etc.

The Predicted Mean Value of the Result of an Experiment: Or for those of you who don’t do quantum mechanics, expectations. The Washington Post outlines expectations for both candidates here. In short, it comes down not just to who wins Ohio and Texas, but by how much. Clinton needs to win big for the candidates’ delegate counts to significantly change. Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic outlines the math stuff here.

The CBS Fridays at 10: Today’s polls for Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Vermont are all available here.

Your Secret Ingredient for Tonight Is…Freedom: Mike Huckabee challenges John McCain’s culinary skills, and actually wonders why reporters would rather have BBQ than a 253rd candidate debate.

The Spin Cycle: “”I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” became a phrase John Kerry really wished he hadn’t said. This election’s version, if the Democrats have their way, would be John McCain saying we could be in Iraq for 100 years. Of course, as the AP points out, he actually was only okay with 100 years “as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” In other words, he’s cool with a 100-year war as long as it isn’t, well, a war.

How Do I Bail On My Friends? Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s pollster/”chief strategist,” teaches you how inside this excellent L.A. Times piece (the good part is about 2/3rds of the way down). Apparently, you just deny responsibility for every department taking your orders.

Too Easy: The big new ad from the Clinton campaign (asking who you want to pick up the phone when Osama attacks us at 3 A.M.) was just begging to be parodied. Some of the better ones are here, here, here, and here. And this is only after one weekend.

Fall’s Not Almost Upon Us: But fall polls are. Interesting change from 4 years ago is that Florida looks to be far less in-play: McCain beats Obama by 10 and Clinton by 9. That’s a big problem for the Democrats—Florida was one of the big three swing states four years ago, and a safe Republican Florida makes the Electoral College math more difficult.

A Date With a Lady Named Destiny: Those of you who believe that Obama can heal the blind will be even more awed to hear that, if he wins the Democratic nomination, he will give his acceptance speech 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream Speech.” The rest of you will think it another lucky coincidence.

It’s Not JuicyCampus, and It’s Certainly Not Relevant: Obama answers the age-old question for all young men—boxers or briefs? Strangely, he believes he looks good in both. Sources inside the campaign tell me that this isn’t true, but that he does know how to “rock the bike shorts.”

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  1. cool feature  

    I'll keep reading. But maybe less stuff at one time? I only take 15 minute breaks to procrastinate.

  2. alexw

    Fuck Ohio do not fuck this up.

  3. RP 2008  

    Ron Paul for President 2008

  4. BAH  


  5. you forgot  

    the gloria steinman debacle

  6. emilyw  

    Ron Paul's a gynecologist. Hot.

    ...but no gross have you seen this man? Even Hill wouldn't let him get her in stirrups.

  7. wonk  

    if you don't want to have things parsed and prodded and pundit-ized for you, go to for polling data. they aggregate all the other polls. it's easy to use and they have it split every which way.

  8. Mrs. SEAS again  

    Oh my God Bwog the last 15 minutes of wasted time I could have been typing my paper went towards watching parodies of Hillary's ad. .........But thanks all the same.

  9. jim  

    nice job. i thoroughly enjoyed it, only suggestion is to break it down into multiple more procrastination-sized seegments. great work though

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