Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Pick Makes It a Horserace

In my last post I wondered if John McCain would repeat the V.P. choice mistake made by the Democrats.

He didn’t.

Instead, he may have hit a political homerun.

With one fell swoop, he made an unexpected and astounding pick for his V.P. by naming Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, which is likely to help attract female undecideds, progressive thinking voters of all ilks, and social conservatives in both parties.

And in so doing he elevated his own status as a discerner of what his party needs not only in order to have a shot at winning, but also to focus its direction.

Plus, what I didn’t see noted much anywhere today, even in the abundance of coverage, was that by picking Gov. Palin, he now has an excellent chance to pull in and secure the evangelical base which his party needs to win and which he has had difficulty so far in corralling. These are the critical voters who turned out to allow G.W. to eke out a victory, especially in 2004.

The big question: Is Sarah Palin the catalyst that will make them come out again for McCain?

At any rate, it looks like we now have a horserace that will take us right up to election day. This is gonna be interesting!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Will the G.O.P. Make a Similar Gaffe?

In the previous post I implied I thought that Democrats (read Barack Obama) made a serious, obvious error in naming Sen. Joe Biden as the V.P. choice, and that’s with all due respect to Sen. Biden’s credentials. Had the nominee been Sen. Hillary Clinton, a change in Party in the White House, come January, would have been virtually assured.

Now, I’m beginning to wonder if Republicans (read John McCain) will sip the same Kool-Aid. A Mitt Romney pick (rumored to be strongly in the running), in my estimation, does just that.

What the Republicans need is a candidate who will lure “disgruntled Hillary-supporters” into the red camp. And what is the logical candidate gender to best do that? Duh. And then which party would be the more “progressive” with its ticket?

There are three female V.P. candidates I’ve seen or heard being bandied about as among the top choices. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, and McCain campaign economic advisor Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO. Of course Condie Rice is always mentioned as well but appears not to be interested.

In my humble opinion, Carly Fiorina stands head and shoulders above the others. She’s a brilliant economist, proven leader and great communicator. But what do I know? If it happens, though, you saw it here first.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Is This the Demo Ticket?

It’s looking more and more, late tonight, like Sen. Joe Biden will be Barack Obama’s running mate. From my perspective, Republicans can breathe a big sigh of relief.

Realizing it still could happen as a surprise, what I can’t figure out is how Democrats couldn’t see the obvious: that Obama-Clinton would be unbeatable. What the above two represent is far left and pretty left – not a great combo, in my judgement, for getting “m.o.r.” votes.

I guess it just goes to show that jealousy and greed will never be trumped by what’s best for the party. We’ll see who McCain picks as his V.P. candidate, but I’m afraid the statement holds true in both parties.

Tomorrow will tell – in one party at least.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

When, with a thankful heart, I read this story on my son Gregg's blog, I was reminded of the late, great, jazz, pop and sacred vocalist from yester-generation, Ethel Waters (pictured).

After a career as a jazz/pop singer, on Broadway, and also in Hollywood films, she often sang at Billy Graham crusades later in her life. Her most famous song, and of which I was reminded when I read Gregg's blog post, was the spiritual, His Eye Is On The Sparrow.

In her unique style -- sort of half-singing and half-speaking, but with deep emotion -- she would go through the verses. You would cling to every word as her eyes twinkled and she smiled to accentuate the words.

The song ends with these lyrics, and she would sing it this way: "For His eye is on the sparrowwwww... and I KNOW... He watches... YOU." And then she would smile from ear-to-ear and wink, pointing directly at the audience.

I thought of dear Ethel Waters, once again, when I read Gregg's story. Thanks be to God.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Whale Watching Near Victoria B.C.

Today four of us went whale watching on the Straits of Juan De Fuca near Victoria, B.C. Pictured above is a large male Killer Whale (a.k.a. Orca) that I caught with my telephoto lens. We were actually about 150 yards from the gorgeous mammal. Click on the photo for a larger image.

My old college buddy Dwight Klassen and his wife, Lynnette, are here from Discovery Bay, California visiting Kay Lynne and me for a few days to celebrate the beginning of Dwight’s and my eighth decade on this earth. Our birthdays fall within five weeks of each other. And that’s all I’ll say about that, except to add that we’ve known each other for 52 years.

We went out with Puget Sound Express, the whale watching company that originates out of Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. The day was unusually calm and in a very rare occurrence, all three resident Puget Sound Orca pods – J pod, K pod and L pod – were out together enjoying a Sunday afternoon frolicking on the water.

Pic is Dwight and Lynnette on the boat with the Canadian shoreline in the background.

It was a wonderful, invigorating experience enjoying the incredible scenery, the lazy ocean swells and dozens of one of the most beautiful creatures God has created. A day we will not soon forget.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Hiking & Fishing in Glacier National Park

Way up near the northwest corner of Montana, adjacent to the Canadian border, lies Glacier National Park. Our son, his wife, and our granddaughters just spent four fabulous days there, adventuring out of their RV (see previous post), away from television, computers, phones, and even electricity.

Gregg called this morning from on the road, when they were back in cell phone range, somewhere on the way to Yellowstone National Park. He sounded euphoric.

“It was spectacular!” he said. He quickly related just one of the incredible experiences. Talli and Hayley joined their Dad on a six-mile hike back into one of the glacier-melted lakes (similar. I assume, to the one pictured above) to do some fishing. They caught over a half dozen native cutthroat trout but quickly returned them to the water, observing appropriate catch-and-release practices.

Talli caught the largest, over 15” long and probably a “pounder”. Hayley caught at least two, casting a shiny small kastmaster. I can only imagine that Elaine and Aubrey did some hiking of their own but stayed nearer to the RV.

To say the least, they are having a vacation time they will probably never forget. More later as it comes in.