October 24th, 2008

election 2008

New York Times Endorsement and a Cool Link

The New York Times today published their endorsement of Barack Obama for President. It's very well thought out and very thoughtful. The Times has a tendency to value experience very highly and in the primary season endorsed Hillary Clinton and John McCain. The editorial explains very clearly, citing a variety of issues, how they have come to develop greater confidence in Obama's ability since that endorsement as well as how the conduct of McCain's campaign has led them away from an endorsement of him.

There is such a cool interactive feature on the same page. Called New York Times Endorsements Through the Years it shows whom they endorsed in each presidential election and links to the actual endorsements. I've spent way too much time wading through this. Sometimes the endorsements themselves were a surprise to me (Wendell Wilkie, really?) but more often it was just fascinating to see what the issues were at the time and how they were presented. The endorsement of Lincoln in 1860 is remarkable for its snide derogatory tone, for its assurance that there would be no civil war, and for its statement that Lincoln was 6 foot 7 inches tall (all the history books seem to think he was 6'3" or 6'4"). One hundred years later, the endorsement of Kennedy devotes close to half of its text to consideration of Quemoy and Matsu (leaving me to ask "Who and what?" and go look it up) and concludes that with Kennedy as POTUS we would not be in danger of getting involved in "local war in Southeast Asia."
election 2008

The Weird Story of the Woman Who Was Supposedly

attacked because she had a McCain bumper sticker. She had a "B" carved into her face by her assailant after being robbed at an ATM. Speculation was that it was an Obama supporter who was her attacker. Later reports suggested that it might be a hoax: the cameras from the ATM where she says she was attacked don't show her there, the "B" is backwards (as if carved looking in the mirror, rather than by an attacker), it's awfully neat.

And then I read this:
Collapse )

I'm completely mystified. I don't get why this incident should have a bearing on anyone's vote. If a violent robber attacked someone who supports John McCain, how does that in any way reflect on Barack Obama? If the violent attacker did so while wearing an Obama t-shirt and escaped in a car with an Obama bumper sticker and then donated the stolen goods to the Obama campaign it still wouldn't reflect on Obama. How does it mean that someone "doesn't know enough about the Democratic nominee"? Surely she was not suggesting that it was Barack Obama who attacked her!

But similarly, if some crazy McCain supporter made this story up (and the latest reports are saying she admits to doing so) how could anyone conclude that reflects on John McCain? To think that he planned or condoned this hoax (if it is one) is just as absurd as thinking that Obama condoned or planned the attack (if, as seems increasing unlikely, there was one).

ETA: Now even Drudge, who originally reported this story, is admitting it was a hoax. I still say it has no bearing on the election.