Did the Media want Obama to Win the Election?

With the Presidential election looming upon the citizens of America many voters were confused as to whom they could trust to give them the truth about candidates and their positions on important issues. Traditionally the news media had been relied upon to inform voters and ultimately help them make their decision, but lately there has been a revolt by voters against the media as many reports of bias and favoritism towards a specific candidate have circulated among major news outlets. But is this so-called “bias” just a conservative conspiracy theory, or did the media really want Senator Barrack Hussein Obama to win the Presidency?

 

Introduction

          When asking the question of whether or not the media wanted Obama to win the election, the first thing one must determine is who exactly the “media” is. The Main Stream Media, or MSM as some bloggers refer to it as, is most commonly described as consisting of the top 3 News Media outlets of NBC, ABC, and CBS. These three outlets will be the main focus of this study.

The next thing that needs to be determined is what exactly will be classified as bias for the duration of this study. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, bias is defined as “a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment.”  So what needs to be found in order to answer our question is whether or not members of the MSM have been letting their personal opinions into their reporting, shedding too much positive or negative light on particular candidates.

 

Media Leanings

For quite awhile now there has been the persisting idea of a “liberal media bias,” existing here in America, and according to a Pew Research Center (2006) study which found that journalists are more than twice as likely to lean to the “left” when compared to the average American citizen, there is obviously some truth to this idea (“Politics and Party”).

Perhaps the political leanings of journalists were somewhat responsible for the supposed bias viewers were seeing towards Senator Obama. After all, a second Pew Research Center (2008) study found that nearly 70% of all news stories between February 25, 2008, and March 5, 2008, were about the Democratic candidates, with less than 20% of coverage devoted to the plethora of Republican contenders for the White House (“Media Exposure”).

Further proving the public’s perception of media bias, a Gallup (2007) poll revealed that 42 percent of respondents believed that the national news media was “too liberal,” while only 16 percent thought it was “too conservative”. Somewhere in the middle were those who believed the national news media’s tone was just about right (“Media Use and Evaluation”).

 

Primary Coverage

While the media’s liberal leanings may be a factor in the bias debate, from the early stages of the Primary Season people have been questioning the media’s apparent fascination with Presidential Candidate and Illinois junior Senator Barrack Hussein Obama. The media declares itself to be unbiased in their coverage, but has this assertion held true this election cycle? Fellow Democratic contender and junior Senator from New York, Hillary Clinton and her supporters obviously did not think so. Polls conducted by Pew Research Center (2008) show that although Senator Clinton was a top newsmaker in 2007, that only 28% said they had heard mostly about her in the media after the Iowa caucuses, compared to Senator Obama with 38% (“Democratic Candidates”).

Many also thought that the media attempted to declare Senator Obama the winner of the Democratic nomination over Senator Clinton prematurely. One Gallup (2008) poll has 72% of responders saying that “ say that journalists should not be anointing Obama as the Democratic nominee at this stage in the race,” (“Public Says”). Senator Clinton herself poked fun at the media’s overtly obsequious treatment of Senator Obama, quipping at a Democratic debate, that “maybe we should ask Barrack if he’s comfortable and needs another pillow” (“Press Takes”).

            Clinton supporter (and journalist) Diane Sawyer summed up the sentiment among Clintonites by asking, “Have all of us in the media used boxing gloves on Clinton and kid gloves on Obama? Have we been unfair?” (Good Morning America, Feb. 28, 2008). If Clinton and her supporters are correct, then the perception of bias for Senator Obama is not merely one of choosing a Democrat over a Republican, but rather one of an outright desire for Senator Obama to win the 2008 Presidential election over all challengers regardless of party identity and political ideology.

Before it was decided who would have their parties candidacy, voters told Gallup (2008) researchers that they felt the media was being easier on Obama and McCain than they were on Hillary Clinton (“Public Says Media Harder on Clinton than Obama, McCain”). Of the 1,013 adults polled, 21 percent said the media was being too easy on Clinton, while Obama and McCain got 37 percent and 33 percent respectively. The study also found that of the 52 percent of respondents who were not happy with the media coverage of the election, the main reasons for being unhappy were the perception of bias (24 percent), the uncertainty that outlets were being honest (20 percent), and feelings that the media coverage was “too shallow” (17 percent). Even before Obama was the official candidate, many believed he was getting special treatment by the media compared with treatment of the other candidates.

In a Pew (2008) study entitled “Character and the Primaries of 2008,” statistics gathered using the NCI from January 1- March 9, 2008, showed that Obama’s coverage was 69 percent positive, and 31 percent negative; Clinton’s was 67 percent positive, and 33 percent negative; and McCain’s was only 43 percent positive, and 57 percent negative. Given earlier research concluding that news outlets typically lean towards Democratic candidates, it is not surprising that both Clinton and Obama received far more positive stories than McCain. But it is interesting to note, that Clinton, long a media darling, had fewer positive, and more negative coverage than newcomer Obama. This is said by some to be an early indictor of the media’s infatuation with Obama.

 

General Election Coverage

            With the media so obviously focusing more on Senator Obama rather than Senator Clinton, research could now shift focus towards Senator Obama’s press exposure compared to that of the Republican contenders. The two men that received the majority of the press on the Republican side of things were now-Republican Presidential nominee Senator John McCain, and former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee. In a study quoted earlier by the Pew Research Center (2008), while Senator Obama received 70% of the news stories (which the study also reported was the highest mark for any candidate in the 2008 election) within the time frame (Feb. 25- March 5, 2008) researchers looked at, Senator McCain, who had all but clinched his party’s nomination at the time, barely registered at only 28% (“Race for Media“). The study also focused on Governor Huckabee’s astounding lack of media exposure, telling us that “Huckabee, who was written off by the media in the early stages of the campaign and again before his surprising Super Tuesday wins, appears to have been counted out for the third, and probably final, time by the press, registering at about 2%” ( “Press Takes”). Comparing Senator Obama’s 70% to Senator McCain’s and Governor Huckabee’s 28% and 2% respectively, leaves little question to whom the press is paying the most attention to.

            Another example that many believe is evidence of media bias towards Senator Obama is the unprecedented amount of press coverage for his European and Middle Eastern trip in July 2008. Over 40 journalists traveled with Obama, at a cost of nearly $20, 000 each, on the converse, only two reporters followed Senator McCain to New Hampshire that same week (“Obama’s Trip”). During the week of the trip over half of all news stories were about the trip itself, also “the press devoted significant attention to whether it was tilting toward the Democrat (“Amid Charges”). That same week, Senator McCain garnered less than 10% of news stories on his own, with about 10% going to comparing the two candidates’ varying campaign strategies (“Top Campaign”).            

After Senator Obama gave a speech in Berlin, Germany on July 24, 2008, NBC news anchor Brian Williams reported that ‘If the elections were held today, Barrack Obama Could sail to victory by a margin of 70% or more as President of Germany, perhaps all of Europe,” that is high praise for a candidate, although Williams did add that, “the only problem is Senator Obama is running for President of the United States” (“Obama’s Trip”).

            In a rare moment of insight by the press, they actually began to question their own motives in giving Senator Obama so much overt exposure. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote, “Reporters are generally biased toward Obama…This situation continues on his overseas campaign trip. TV anchors were all but ululating…at his approach, desperate for interviews after he sank that three-point shot in front of American troops and hit nothing but net ” (“Amid Charges”). Later the same day, Lou Dobbs of CNN, read a series of viewer emails during his newscast, that were suggesting the same general feeling: “I thought the media was supposed to be unbiased,” wrote one viewer. “When did the media elect Obama?” added another. Yet another called it “the worst one-sided coverage I have ever seen” (as cited in “Amid Charges”).

            Public perception obviously shows that the majority of people believe the media to be biased towards Senator Obama. In fact, a poll undertaken by Pew Research (2008) shows that nearly half (48%) of respondents felt that they had heard too much about Senator Obama in the media, and actually thought he was being dramatically “overexposed” (“Obama Fatigue”).

            Comparatively, the same poll had only 26% of respondents saying they were tired of hearing about Senator McCain, while 38% said they wanted to hear more about the Republican nominee (“Obama Fatigue”).

Less than two weeks before the  Presidential election, Pew Research (2008) released a poll revealing that 70 percent of respondents believe that the media wanted Obama to win the Presidency; only 9 percent said they wanted McCain to win (“Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win”). This figure, which was derived from the Pew Excellence in Journalism News Coverage Index ( a survey of forty-eight  media outlets across five different media sectors), reveals the public’s perception of the news media’s love affair with Barrack Obama.

            In another Pew (2008) study, once again using the Pew NCI, statistics showed that 36 percent of news stories about Obama were positive, while only 29 percent were negative. Comparatively, McCain received negative coverage 57 percent o f the time and positive coverage 14 percent of the time (“Winning the Media Campaign”). The media overwhelmingly showed favor to Obama as compared to John McCain, as supported by Jennifer Harper in the Washington Times (2008). Harper’s statistics showed that 61 percent of media stories run on ABC, NBC, and CBS reflected positively on Democrats, on the other side of the aisle, just 39 percent of stories reflected positively on Republicans. According  to a study performed by Comcast (2008), “Comments made by sources, voters, reporters, and anchors that aired on ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news casts over the past two months [August – October 2008] reflected positively on Obama in 65 percent of cases, as compared to 36 percent of cases with regards to McCain”( “Study: Media Coverage has Favored Obama Campaign”). Together these studies provide evidence of a trend among national news outlets, and their coverage of the presidential contenders.

Later on in the election cycle, a Pew (2008) study looked exclusively at the MSNBC coverage of Obama, McCain, and Sarah Palin, in comparison with the news media in general (“The Color of the News”). While the media coverage at this time (September 8- October 16, 2008) for McCain was 14 percent positive and 57 percent negative, MSNBC’s coverage of McCain was only 10 percent positive, and 73 percent negative. His running mate Palin received 28 percent positive and 39 percent negative in general, but MSNBC coverage was overwhelmingly negative at 68 percent while positive coverage only accounted for 21 percent. Meanwhile, Obama’s general coverage was at 36 percent positive and 29 percent negative, his MSNBC coverage however was 43 percent positive and only 14 percent negative. While in general McCain and Palin were reflected more poorly than Obama, MSNBC’s statistics showed considerably more bias.

 

Past Elections

            For the second part of my research I decided to look back at a previous presidential election, in order to see what the media said about the various candidates, how they were portrayed, and who eventually was victorious. I focused mostly on the 2004 election pitting then President George W. Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney, against Senator John Kerry and his Vice Presidential Nominee John Edwards.

            It quickly became clear to me that this was indeed a good comparison to the current election between McCain and Obama, when I found the following quote:

            The media, I think, wants Kerry to win, and I think they’re going to portray Kerry         and Edwards- I’m talking about the establishment media, not FOX- but they’re     going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic   and all.

This quote by Newsweek’s Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, is eerily similar to a recent snippet from the article “The Triumph of Narrative” by Paul Waldman, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America. In the article he says the following in regards to Senators Obama and McCain:

            And if he should find himself facing Obama, McCain will discover that his own   weaknesses fit in neatly with the story Obama tells. Where Obama is young,       dynamic and optimistic, McCain is old, subdued, and prone to telling voters that       things are likely to get worse before they get better.

            The media has been proven to have a habit of supporting Democratic candidates, while running their Republican counterparts into the ground. One good example of this is a study by the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group, in coordination with the Free Market Project. Free Market Project researchers analyzed TV news coverage the day of, or newspaper coverage the day after, the release of unemployment and job creation reports during the summer re-election season (May to September) in 1996 and 2004. The outlets studied were ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times. They found that while the economic factors were nearly identical during both Democratic President Bill Clinton’s and Republican President George W. Bush’s reelection campaigns, the media was 85% positive on economic issues during Clinton’s campaign, and 77% negative on the same issues during Bush’s.

            Since the economic factors were so similar, it was the conclusion of the study that the media was more favorable to Clinton because they wanted him to be reelected, whereas they wished for Bush to be defeated by Kerry. Casting the same economic information differently based on who it will favor in elections is only one of the obvious biases embodied by the press.

            Another example of media bias in the 2004 election, was the issue of both Bush’s and his Democratic opponent Kerry’s military service. While both men served our country, there were rumors surrounding  both men’s military records. The problem started with what has become known as “Rathergate”- when then CBS Evening News Anchor Dan Rather claimed to have been given documents proving that George W. Bush received favorable treatment during his time with the Texas Air National Guard, refused to obey orders, and was repeatedly absent from training and meetings. The Democratic National Committee Chairman at the time, Terry McAuliffe, accused Bush of being “AWOL” ( a military term for Absent With Out Leave, by law a punishable offense). The media jumped on the story for a few days, until ultimately the documents were revealed to be forgeries. Dan Rather refused to take responsibility, and still claims that he believes the documents were either real, or forged by the Bush administration in order to discredit CBS and himself. Rather retired a few months later, although reports circulated that he was pushed out over the scandal.

            The second shoe dropped when a group of Vietnam veterans who served with Democratic Nominee John Kerry, and called themselves “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” came forward with accusations that Kerry had greatly exaggerated his heroism during the Vietnam War. They asserted that Kerry had lied about injuries sustained during the war, and that they may have even been self-inflicted. They further exposed Kerry’s mistruths about various battles, dates, and places. The story greatly reminded me of the Hillary Clinton gaffe regarding being under fire in Bosnia during her time as First Lady.

             Instead of reporting these accusations and allowing Kerry to respond, the media largely ignored the story. In fact, the Media Research Center analysts examined ABC, CBS and NBC’s morning and evening news shows, and found 75 stories in 2004 questioning Bush’s National Guard service, but only nine detailing any of the Swift Vets’ anti-Kerry charges, an eight-to-one disparity.

            I also found a few choice quotes from several media heavyweights concerning the then largely unknown Illinois Senator Barrack Obama. After giving a keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama had Democratic pundits more excited about him than the Democratic Candidate for President.

              NBC anchor Katie Couric called Obama “very impressive” and “a real rising star,” while “Meet The Press” host Tim Russert noted how some were already wondering if Obama could be “the first black president.” CBS’s Cynthia Bowers continued the praise, calling Obama’s speech “the night’s most electrifying moment,” while ABC’s Charles Gibson repeatedly gushed that Obama had “brought down the house.” Gibson also giddily predicted that “Last night, a political star may have been born.” ABC anchor, and former Clinton campaign operative, George Stephanopoulos was equally as enthusiastic about Obama:

He’s the Tiger Woods of the Democratic Party right now, not just because of his            blended background, but because of his ease. He’s such a natural politician and because he’s got cross-over appeal. One of the things that he did on the podium last night, very few other speakers have done it, he reached out to Republicans, to Independents, and that’s what he’s done in his campaign in Illinois, reached out across party lines.

 Russert even went so far at the time to suggest a future White House run:

His uniqueness, father’s Kenyan, a mother a white woman from Kansas, raised by         white grandparents. Someone who went to Columbia University, Harvard Law School. He seems to have all the tools, Katie. He’s a state senator, and people are already holding their breath last night saying he’s going to be the first black             President.

At the time this was quite a stretch, and the Media Research Center responded to the praise by saying only that, “If Obama does ever run for President, he can certainly count on a helpful news media — if the three network news divisions (ABC, NBC and CBS) are still in business, that is.” This assertion has certainly turned out to have merit, as all three of these news outlets have been accused of being biased towards Senator Obama.

            A look at 2004 quotes regarding future Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain, is quite surprising; CBS’s Dan Rather, a firm Bush critic built up McCain saying, “Arizona’s Republican Senator and Vietnam War hero, John McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate, is stepping up his criticism of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.” This is a huge deviation from Rather’s more recent words regarding Senator McCain, accusing Big Oil companies to be lowering gas prices in a conspiracy to help the GOP candidate win the election:

Things to watch with the thought in mind many people vote their pocketbooks when it comes to voting for President: price of oil. The price of oil has been high. The people who can affect the price of oil would prefer a Republican presidential candidate. Watch the price of oil. If it goes down, which it may very well it could help John McCain quite a bit.

My research has shown without a doubt that John Kerry and his running mate John Edwards has the media on their side, in fact I found many parallels between descriptions given of the 2004 and 2008 Democratic tickets. But while they may have had a media advantage, it either was not enough to make a difference, or it was not an advantage at all. Despite the media bias against him, George W. Bush successfully won his reelection bid in 2004.

 

Media Influence

          But none of these statistics and figures matter unless it can be proven that the media influences the way the average American votes when it comes to presidential elections. In order to solve for this, one only has to look to a study performed by Sungtae Ha (2008). This study conducted comprehensive content analyses of network television newscasts and survey data analyses of the National Election Studies to compare news content and public opinion regarding the 1992 and 2000 presidential elections. This study found remarkably strong correlations between campaign issues in the news and voters’ national agendas, and between the news descriptions of the presidential candidates and voters’ criteria for candidate selection. The results imply that, “news coverage of presidential campaigns have significant influence on voters’ perception about nationally important issues and their image and judgments about their presidential candidates. In addition, those media effects were found to be stronger particularly for new and winning candidates, which provide an underlying psychological explanation about media influence” (“Beyond Cognition: Influence OF Presidential Campaign News on Voter’s Perception” pg. 1).

A related study entitled “Parties, Candidates, And Policy Issues in the 2000 Presidential Election: Being Primed or Muted by Media and Interpersonal Discussion,” by Jaeho Cho questions the explanation scholars give for voting, namely that “party identification, issues, and candidate images are key determinants of the vote” (pg 1). Cho’s hypothesis was that television news use will promote candidate image-based voting, and interpersonal political discussion will encourage party-based voting. His conclusion supported this, and he went on to say that “In the 2000 election, candidate character (i.e., competence and personal quality) and party identification were primed by television and interpersonal discussion respectively whereas policy issues have been muted by television news” (pg. 21).

So according to the studies presented, the media influences the way people vote, than then way the media portrays candidates, issues, and policies has a direct influence on how people will vote in he presidential election. Based on the evidence submitted in this study, one may come to the conclusion that the media, if aware of its influence, could purposely portray certain candidates in a more favorable light than others in order to sway viewers to vote for the candidate of the media’s choice.

 

Conclusion

          Over the course of this study many statistics, studies, and figures have shown that there is a significant bias among members of the Main Stream Media. From sly innuendoes, to outright lies, some reporters and journalists have clearly let their personal political convictions take precedence over their duty to inform the American public of the facts surrounding the major candidates. My research findings make me feel confident in condemning the Media of extreme bias towards Democrats in general, but in this specific case, that bias transcended party lines with their overwhelming support for Senator Barrack Obama.

All of the evidence put forth in this study supports the idea that the media did in fact want Obama to win, and that they willingly abandoned any attempts at “fair and balanced” coverage in order to further Obama’s chances of winning the presidency. It is not a stretch to conclude that the evidence complied in this study supports the idea that the news media’s proven bias towards Barrack Obama, along with their dislike of McCain and Palin, was both knowledgeable and purposeful. The conclusion of the author is that the media abused its influence on the American people in order to put the candidate that they favored into the White House. They made little or no attempt to provide fair and equal coverage to the candidates, and the results of the election reflect this. On November 4, 2008, Barrack Obama was elected President of the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Baker, B. (2008, July 21). Conspiritorial Dan Rather: Big Oil Will Cut Gas Prices to Help McCain. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from             http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2008/07/21/conspiritorial-dan-  rather-big-oil-will-cut-gas-price-to-help-McCain

 

Bias. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Retrieved December 9, 2008, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bias

 

Cho, J. (2003). Parties, Candidates, and Policy Issues in the 2000 Presidential Election: Being primed or muted by media and interpersonal discussion. San Diego: International Communications Association.

Comcast Cable Company. (2008, October 31). Study: Media Coverage Has Favored Obama Camapaign. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Comcast: http://www.comcast.net/articles/tv/20081031/campaign.media.com

Gallup Polling. (2007, September 16). Media Use and Evaluation. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Gallup: http://www/gallup.com/poll/1663/media-use-evaluation.aspx

Gallup Polling. (2008, May 21). Public Says Media Harder on Clinton than Obama, McCain. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/107557/public-says-media-harder-on-clinton-than-obama-mccain.aspx

Graham, T. (2004, October 20). Bill Clinton Boom, George W. Bush Doom. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://www.mediaresearchcenter.org/realitycheck/2004/fax20041020.asp.

 

Graham, T. (2004, December 14). McCain Speaks Out Against Rumsfeld, CBS and NBC Trumpet His Words. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://www.mediaresearchcenter.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20041214.asp#1.

 

Graham, T. (2004, July 28). Media Praise For Barrack Obama, Less For Teresa Heinz Kerry. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://www.mediaresearchcenter.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040728.asp#1.

 

Graham, T. (2004, August 18). TV Gives No Respect To Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://www.mediaresearchcenter.org/realitycheck/2004/fax20040818.asp.

 

Ha, S. (2003). Beyond Cognition: Influence of Presidential Campaign News on Voters’ Perception and Judgment. San Diego: International Communications Association.

Harper, J. (2008, October 14). Study: Big 3 Networks Still Fixated on First Love- Obama. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Washington Times: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/2008/oct/14/study-big-3-still-fixated-on-first-love-o

Murphy, J. (Executive Producer). (2008, February 28). Good Morning America         [Television Broadcast]. New York City, NY: ABC News.

 

Pew Research Center. (2006, October 6). Politics and Party Affiliation. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from http://journalism.org/node/2304

 

Pew Research Center. (2008, March 2). Press Takes Harder Look At Obama- And Itself. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from http://journalism.org/node/10004

 

Pew Research Center. (2008, July 27). Amid Charges of Bias, The Media Swarm on Obama Overseas. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from http://journalism.org/node/12097

 

Pew Research Center. (2008, May 14). Public Says Press Should Not Declare Obama the Winner. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from http://people-press.org/report/42/Public-Says-Press-Should-Not-Declare-Obama-the-Winner

 

Pew Research Center. (2008, January 10). Intense Iowa Coverage Leads Many to Say “Too Much”. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from http://people-press.org/report/383/Intense-Iowa-Coverage-Leads-Many-to-Say-Too-Much

 

Pew Research Center. (2008, August 6). Obama Fatigue- 48% Hearing Too Much About    Him. Retrieved September 19, 2008, from http://people-press.org/report/441/obama-fatigue

 

Pew Research Center. (2008). Obama’s Trip A Top Campaign Event. Retrieved       September 19, 2008, from http://pewresearch.org/pubs/916/obama-trip

 

Pew Research Institute. (2008, May 29). Character and the Primaries of 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Excellence in Journalism: http://journalism.org/node/11268

Pew Research Institute. (2008, October 22). Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from People Press: http://www.people.press.org/report/463/media-wants-obama

Pew Research Institute. (2008, October 19). The Color of News. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Excellence in Journalism: http://journalism.org/node/13437

Pew Research Institute. (2008, October 22). Winning the Media Campaign. Retrieved November 16, 2008, from Excellence in Journalism : http://journalism.org/node/13307

Thomas, Evan. Interview with Gordon Peterson. Inside Washington. PBS. Washington, D.C., 11 July 2004.

 

Waldman, P. (2008, February 19). The Triumph of Narrative. The American Prospect. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_triumph_of_narrative.

 

 

 

 

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RNC 2008

So I made it home to good ole Shreveport, LA on Friday night. I spent yesterday catching up on sleep, and today unpacking and distributing souvenirs. So now I have time for a brief overview of my impressions of the Convention.

Day One was pretty sedate, everyone was worried about the Hurricane, and we pretty much stayed glued to the news to see what was happening. It was very disconcerting to be so far away from home with all of this going on. Reports were so varied, that I half expected my home to be flooded or otherwise gone when I returned. But luckily everything was fine in Shreveport. Others were not so lucky. Many of our delegates were from South Louisiana, and were greatly affected. The McCain Campaign chartered a plane to take those who needed it home, and also to bring some of the delegate’s families back to Minneapolis. It was a very kind gesture on McCain’s behalf. That night there were no speeches, no pomp, all we did were the things necessary to officially start the convention proceedings.

Day Two started out really well, with First Lady Laura Bush, and our next First Lady Cindy McCain joining the Louisiana Delegation for breakfast. The media also joined us, and proceeded to hound us for the next few days about Gustav.

That evening, the CNN Grill gave us passes to come eat, and treated us to a free meal. They had a very kind waitstaff, and treated us with compassion. I also managed to meet Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Meagan Kelley, and Bill Hemmer.

Sean was my favorite, and by far the nicest person at the entire convention. A lot f the “celebrities” blew everyone off, but even though his handlers kept trying to whisk him away, Sean took the time to pose for tons of pictures, sign a truckload of autographs (including a pic and autograph for yours truly!), and just talk to people. He even got on the phone with my debate coach who is a HUGE fan of his.

My favorite speech of the night surprised me. It was Joe Lieberman. I had not expected to enjoy it, and am not a fan of him- but it was very good. It was very strategic as well, to have the first person to take a swipe at Obama at the convention be a Democrat. But it was very heartening to realize that a Democrat with such influence and power realizes that John McCain is the right choice.

Day Three was probably my favorite day of all! We started out by listening to a POW who had been in Hanoi with John McCain, and then headed to the Convention Center to put together Hurricane Relief Packages. The people at Target and The Red Cross put that together, and we had an amazing time. Everyone was so pumped up, cheering, singing, and just having a good time helping people out. John and Cindy McCain stopped by and helped, took pictures, shook hands, and listened to stories of people form Louisiana affected by Katrina. On our way out, it really touched me to see people from all over the nation gathered together to help my state. It meant alot, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who help with relief efforts for Gustav, it means so much to the residents of Louisiana.
That night there were soo many great speakers! Giuliani did an amazing job of firing up the crowd for Sarah Palin. And when she finally took the stage the applause was deafening! Everyone was so excited to see this woman everyone was talking about. And she didn’t disappoint! She delivered an amazing speech, put Obama in his place, and inspired a new generation of females to get into politics. For me it was a dream come true to see a strong woman candidate up on that stage, and I could not be more proud that the woman in question shares my values.
Day Four was good, part of me wanted to go home, and the other part wanted the convention to never end. I was looking forward to McCain’s speech, but I most anticipated the famed balloon drop at the end of the night! McCain did an amazing job on his speech, especially considering he is not known for his speaking abilities. With a mixture of humility and confidence he told us exactly why he wanted to be President, and the thing that struck me most was his assertion that he was old enough that it wasn’t for his future in politics, but rather it was his desire to serve a cause greater than himself that inspired him to reach this office.
Though his speech was good, I was most impressed with the video about Cindy McCain. To see all of the amazing things this woman has done during her lifetime makes me wonder what she will be able to achieve as First Lady. After all the First Lady’s job is to be an ambassador of kindness to those in need, and I have no doubt that Cindy McCain would make an amazing First Lady. From adopting two children, to going on aid missions all across the world, Cindy McCain has already led the life of a servant. Who better to serve others in our country’s name than her? It strikes me as wort mentioning that the difference between the candidates’ wives is almost as stark as between the candidates themselves. Cindy McCain has clearly done a lot of amazing things with her position of power, yet what has Michelle Obama done? Nothing comes to mind…

Well that’s my wrap up for today. I wish that each and everyone of you could have shared this experience with me. But I hope that my story will make you realize that anyone can be a part of history, all it takes is a little effort, and a passion to make a difference! God Bless!

Media Coverage

Sorry I haven’t gotten to write, but the internet at my hotel is crappy. I’m going to cut and paste links to the stories I’ve done this week, and thats all for now, because i’m really busy!

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/09/02/palin_provides_a_striking_alternative/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec08/delegates_09-01.html

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/08/31/delegates-supportive-of-gop-convention-changes/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vote2008/reportersblog/2008/09/louisiana_delegates_attempt_to.html

http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1220161242139690.xml&coll=1&thispage=1

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080819/NEWS01/808190336

There’s another one somewhere.. but I’m having trouble finding it… later gators!

EDIT:
This isn’t it, but this is one I wrote…

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080830/OPINION04/808300307&s=d&page=2#pluckcomments

One more day

So tomorrow is the last day before I leave for Minneapolis. Luckily for me, my astute Debate Coach at LSUS gave me some books to keep me occupied during my Dallas layover. So here’s a peek into by carry on bag:

Treason by Anne Coulter
Politics and Communication
How to Win A Local Election

I was going to be reading the Lincoln Douglas Debates as a prelude to our Debate Team putting on an exposition in honor of the 15oth anniversary of the debate. I’m in charge of editing the nearly 4 hour debate into a 40 minute teaser for students, and about an hour and a half for a full on program at LSUS in November. We are also putting on a mock Presidential Debate, which I am in charge of putting together, shortly before Election Day.
Currently I’m awaiting the Lord Messiah Barrack Obama to give his speech at the Democratic Convention.
I was thinking of who McCain should pick as his VP, and I am thoroughly convinced that the best choice is Kay Bailey Hutchison. Not only is she a woman, but she is the first woman to ever be elected to the Senate. She was first elected in 1993, and has years more experience than the top two Democratic contenders. She has experience with military affairs serving as the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and as a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
The senator worked to secure funding for an additional 1,500 Border Patrol agents to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws. In 2004, she helped pass the National Intelligence Reform Act, which included provisions she authored to ensure greater screening of air cargo. That legislation instructs the Transportation Security Administration to establish a database of known shippers, develop facility security plans, and mandate use of worker identification cards.
During her term as Chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation, she played a major role in drafting the airline security bill passed by Congress after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Senator Hutchison has consistently championed tax relief for working families. In recent years, she has led the fight to provide relief from the marriage income tax penalty and to reestablish the deduction for state and local sales taxes for Texans. Senator Hutchison has worked to reduce marginal income tax rates, eliminate the death tax, and lower taxes on capital gains.
Early in her Senate career, she was lead sponsor of a bill to create the new Homemaker IRA. It allows spouses who do not work outside the home to save for retirement through an IRA.
January 2005 to December 2007, Senator Hutchison served as Chairman, then Ranking Member, of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee, overseeing NASA and the National Science Foundation. In December of 2005, the president signed into law the Senator’s five-year blueprint for NASA’s exploration and research initiatives.
In December of 2007, Senator Hutchison became Ranking Member of the Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee, having led efforts in 2006 to repeal the anti-competitive Wright Amendment, which limited flights out of Dallas Love Field Airport. Originally intended to encourage growth at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the harmful provision artificially inflated air fares at both airports. At the Senator’s encouragement, airlines and airport owners reached an historic agreement — now enacted into law — that will remove unfair barriers and restrictions at Love Field.
Senator Hutchison became the Ranking Member on the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation in July of 2008.
all in all, if Obama is qualified to be President, or Hillary is for that matter, then Senator Hutchinson should have run too! She is my pick!!!

Republican National Convention 2008

Republican National Convention 2008 – September 1-4, 2008

This is a link to the list of speakers for the convention. Other than of course John McCain, and our very own Bobby Jindal, the speaker I am the most excited to here is Arnold Schwarzenegger! That’s right, the Governator himself. Ha ha ha! But no really, I’m excited to hear of of them speak, with the slight exception of Guliani and Lieberman.
I leave this Saturday, and I’m getting pretty pumped…
But I’m in school now, and class is about to start, so I gotta run!

School

So I just spent nearly 300 bucks on books for school, which actually isn’t that bad. But it sounds awful, especially when I think about the fact that I’m spending a tremendous amount of money to attend the Convention next week. I leave on Saturday, and I am excited to go, but not so excited about the 5 hour layover I have at the Dallas airport on the way there. I guess I’ll have to bring a huge book with me. Ugh… I have a headache from spending all that money on textbooks… I’d love some clothes, or fun books, or most importantly… A NEW PHONE! I have a refurbished Blackberry, but it has no Internet, and my dog chewed up the bottom of it, and now the Sim card is going crazy and keeps deleting my text messages. I want a Palm Centro really badly!!!! It’s killing me… I thought my parents were getting it for me for my birthday, but they gave me my present early- new luggage for the Convention. So now I am without hope… It’s very sad… I can’t even think about politics right now… I am too depressed… farewell…

WOW

Okay, so I got an E-Mail today from a producer at Fox News, and they want me to do a video diary at the Convention! That is going to be so awesome, now I’ll have a way to show my friends and family back home whats going on! Plus I will be able to look back on my memories for as long as I want.
Things have been crazy lately… I took summer classes so that I can graduate a year early, and I’m starting to plan my wedding, and fall semester is about to start… That’s going to add alot of other things into the mix. I’m going to be heading a new Student organization, Campus Conservatives, as well as being a big part of the College Republicans, and our Student Government Association. And on top of all of that, I am a member of our school’s nationally ranked debate team! That’s alot of stuff to do, and that isn’t even including my 19 hours of class!!
Yikes! Anyways I forgot to start supper, so I better get to it! As a reminder to myself, my next post will be about Obama and War, and the difference between John McCain & John Edwards.