Monday, October 27, 2008

Questions about polling

I've had many conversations over the last month about polls. I've also had a running dialog with myself over the last few days as the election draws closer and closer. My inner conversation has been one whose tone I can describe best by using the term, "caution." My conversations with friends have veered more towards discussion of the remarkable trends you can see in the last month + of polling data compiled in the trends graph from below.

The reason my inner thoughts have veered towards caution is that I'm superstitious and I'm worried. In 2004, I was convinced there was no way America could possibly think more Bush was a good idea, and yet somehow on November 5th I found myself wandering around Washington DC wondering to myself, "wtf???"

Now, 4 years later, it seems clear that Obama is in a much stronger position than Kerry ever was able to establish for himself, but still I am one who will keep his fingers crossed into the evening of November 4th. I'm excited, hopeful and looking at the trends you can see above I am encouraged, but I cannot and do not assume this is in the bag by any means. I'm excited to get into the booth and cast my ballot, and I hope all the other Obama supporters out there are just as pumped up, so that we show up in the record numbers that appear to be turning out already in early voting states.

Are you joking? Who's up for getting ANGRY on a Monday morning?

Given my leanings, you might think this post is going to be about John McCain's temper, but it is not. Instead, it's about my own. One thing I have grown increasingly tired about over the past few years is the hackery that is passed off in so many places as reporting. There sometimes seems to be a horse race between cable news and local news to see who can dig the deepest into the pit quickest, but sometimes that feels unfair. Is it worth pointing out that cable news personalities may be actually paid to be hacks whereas local news personalities may just be rookies or amateurs who don't realize how poorly they're executing on reporting?

I dunno, and maybe I don't even care. Do you? Either way, check out this lady from Florida "interviewing" Joe Biden. I think Biden keeps his cool and does a remarkable job in the face of some truly ridiculous questions taken from or even elaborated beyond McCain campaign talking points. If you want some further background on this lovely reporter, check out her interview with McCain.

Glad to have found all of this on HuffPo. Ugh, I really don't know what else to say here.

Conservatives for Obama

There is a good video out that was released last week showing interviews with conservatives who plan to vote for Barack Obama. The video is below, and truly speaks for itself, but Huffington Post also had a great piece put together by the video's creator, and I wanted to post a bit of that text along with the video.
There are a number of people in my life -- some family, some friends, some colleagues -- with whom I have never agreed upon anything political. Ever. These are my political opposites. My bizarre-o twins. And they have been my adversaries in countless debates; the kind nobody ever wins, but nobody ever seems to tire of, either.

Sadly, politics have become sort of a new sports league in modern culture. We don't really listen to each other's points of view so much as we pick a side and root for it. And just as with our favorite sports teams, our faith in our parties can become blind...

I fully expected the results to be compelling and convincing. And they are. What I didn't expect was the emotional wallop these unscripted interviews deliver. A combination of deep disillusionment with the last eight years, disappointment in John McCain's candidacy, and an undeniable draw to Obama brought these people to a political decision that was deeply personal and courageous. It became clear to me that these were more than interviews. These were confessions.

This is what democracy is supposed to be. These people actually listened, considered and were open to the possibility of change. They didn't support a candidate. They actually chose one. And while I'm happy this year they are voting for "my team," they also inspired me to be more open in my own political life.

Obama on Visiting his Grandma

I know this whole piece of campaign history is now in the books, but I caught this video last week and really wanted to post it. I believe it appeared on Huffington Post just before Obama left the trail to visit with his grandmother, who recently broke her hip and is in very poor, and possibly deteriorating health. What I didn't know, personally, is that he made the decision to visit Grandma, in part, motivated by the fact that he chose differently when his mother was sick before she passed away. He talks about that decision below.

As someone who lost a parent with very little notice I feel like his decision is something I can 100% relate to, and a choice I very deeply respect.

SNL Will Ferrell's Brilliant George Bush Returns

I'm a pretty huge fan of Will Ferrell, I'm not gonna lie. Elf? Perhaps my favorite Christmas movie... ok, perhaps second to It's a Wonderful Life, with Home Alone a close 3rd. Did anyone else see the Ice Harvest? That was kinda fun too. Crap, I'm totally off topic. Anyway, Will Ferrell, I love the guy, I'll be honest with you, I love his music, I do, I'm a Will Ferrell fan. For my money, I don't know if it gets any better than when he sings "When a Man Loves a Woman." celebrate his entire catalogue... yeah, oops, off topic again.

SNL rolled out Ferrell for the latest brilliant installment of the Tina Fey as Sarah Palin show. While we all now know that playing Sarah Palin causes Fey the kind of pain typically reserved for Guantanamo Bay interrogations, the sketches really are amazing. I'll be happy to see Palin and McCain lose so that Fey doesn't launch herself into space, but I will miss the comic hijinks. Check it:

The Best Way Back!

Hey, I have to say that I gave no notice to my friends who post some wonderful content up here and hence I'm glad some stuff made it up while I was away at Kim's sister Heather's wedding this weekend. Meanwhile we all returned home yesterday and mixed football with napping and general laziness. Good times were had by all. The wedding was great, but as weddings can, the experience was very all-consuming. Hence, there was no blogination for a few days now.

To pull back the curtain a bit on my blogging techniques, when I get super-busy I still find moments here and there to look for stuff to blog about. If I can't get to posting, I'll write myself an email with links to whatever content I had in mind to toss up. Today I'll post a bunch of stuff that hopefully isn't too horribly dated at this point, but I'll also mix in some amazing new news of the day. How's that?

Meanwhile, how about the whole picture of where things stand today, huh? 8 days out from the election it looks like Obama is holding onto double-digit leads in national polls. Down in Philadelphia the Phillies are up 3 games to 1 on the Rays in the World Series, with a chance to finish it off tonight in Philly! (that would be absolutely HUGE for the city of Brotherly love... don't believe it? Check out the "Clock of Fan Desperation" that counts down how long it's been since the last national championship won in Philadelphia.) Also, how about the whole thing with Jennifer Hudson? That's just horrifically sad. I can't imagine what it must feel like. Oh, and um... yeah, how about that stock market, huh?

Ok... seriously now, I'm so happy to be back blogging away. I had a great weekend and I hope you did too! Congratulations to Heather and Doug and my friend Shaun and his lovely new bride Jen who also got married on Saturday!