CA Senate Primary: Carly Fiorina’s Demon Sheep Ad Produces Surge in Donations for GOP Rival

San Francisco Chronicle:

Campbell told KPCC’s Patt Morrison Friday afternoon that he thought the ad is “exceptionally nasty.”

“But what makes it a news story is that it’s so awful, so over the top, that it actually helps me,” Campbell told the SoCal public radio host. “The result is the greatest day of contributions on line at in the entire campaign.”

As we’ve told you before, Teacher Tom the mild-mannered professor doesn’t like smacking down opponents. Way back when — nearly a month ago now — when Tom was running for Guv, he would refuse to say his opponents names when saying something even minorly critical of them.

“An attack ad is kind of unfortunate,” Campbell said. “You just don’t expect to be attacked in such a truly bizarre way, and you don’t expect it to help you.”

“It turned into quite a successful campaign ad for me,” he said.

Poll: 48% ‘Very Positive’ about Obama’s SOTU Speech


The 48 percent who indicated they had a very positive response is down 20 points from the 68 percent of speech watchers who felt the same way a year ago about the president’s February 24 prime time address to a joint session of Congress.

“Wednesday night’s State of the Union audience is more Democratic than the nation as a whole, but speech-watchers were less Democratic this year than they were last year,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “That may be one reason why the number who gave his speech a ‘very positive’ rating is lower this year. But part of the reason also may be that speech-watchers didn’t necessarily hear a new agenda and aren’t confident that the president can improve health care or lower the deficit.”

Two-thirds of speech-watchers who were questioned said the president will succeed in improving the economy, with nearly six in 10 saying he’ll succeed in creating jobs. But people who viewed the address were split on whether Obama will be successful in improving health care and reducing the deficit.

According to the poll, speech-watchers are split on whether the address shows that the president will change his administration’s goals, with 49 percent saying the speech is proof Obama will move in a new direction, while 50 percent disagreed.

BET Co-Founder Apologizes for Mocking Va. Dem’s Speaking Manner at GOP Fundraiser

BET co-founder Shelia Johnson — a Democrat who supports the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia — has apologized for derisively imitating the halting speech pattern of the Democratic candidate, Creigh Deeds.

Johnson was caught on video mocking Deeds at a campaign event on Sept. 25 for Deed’s GOP opponent, Bob McDonnell. Johnson told the crowd that the next governor of Virginia should be someone “who can really communicate, and Bob McDonnell can communicate … The other people I talk to, especially his op-op-op-o-opponent, di-di-did this all through my interview with him … He could not articulate what needed to be done.”

McDonnell — whose campaign was shaken a month ago by the release of a thesis he wrote while a student at Pat Robertson’s CBN University (now known as Regent University) that was filled with virulent anti-gay and misogynist rhetoric — was present at the event.

Shelia Johnson is apparently either apathetic about or in agreement with McDonnell’s bigoted views — as are most Virginians. McDonnell is currently polling 11 points ahead of Deeds.

Reacting to a reporter’s request, the McDonnell campaign sent over a snark-filled non-apology:

“Creigh Deeds has never had a problem voicing his false attacks about Bob McDonnell. What he has had difficulty expressing is any positive vision for Virginia’s future. Democratic businesswoman Sheila Johnson was noting that fact. Why the Deeds campaign wants to attack a prominent supporter of both Governor Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama, while reminding voters that she strongly supports Bob McDonnell for governor, is beyond us.”

But then Johnson issued a pro forma backtrack:

“Two weeks ago I made reference to Creigh Deeds’s inability to clearly communicate effective solutions to the serious problems facing Virginia … I shouldn’t have done it in the manner in which I did, and for that I apologize for any offense he, or others, may have taken.”

In the lead-up to the South Carolina primary in last year’s presidential campaign, Johnson’s former husband and BET co-founder, Bob Johnson, a Clinton supporter, created a stir when he made a veiled reference to then-candidate Barack Obama’s admission he’d smoked pot in his youth. He also compared Obama to Sidney Poitier in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

Jody Powell, Aide to Pres. Carter, Dies at 65

Pres. Carter, left, and Powell on Air Force One
Pres. Carter, left, and Powell on Air Force One
New York Times:

Jody Powell, the longest-serving and probably closest aide to former President Jimmy Carter, died on Monday at his home near Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, said Jack Nelson, the journalist and his friend. He was 65.

Mr. Powell collapsed outside his home, and efforts to revive him at a hospital were unsuccessful, Mr. Nelson said. He added that Mr. Powell’s wife, Nan, said that her husband had suffered a heart attack…

In recent years, he had been chairman of Powell Tate, a Washington-based public relations firm.


Powell was a familiar face during the four stormy years of the Carter presidency — during the Israeli-Egyptian summit, the Iranian hostage crisis and Carter’s 1980 campaign, first against Edward Kennedy and then Ronald Reagan.

A Georgia native known for his deep Southern drawl, he also worked on Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976 and served as the Carter administration’s spokesman between 1977 and 1981.

Powell, along with the late Hamilton Jordan, joined up with Carter several years before he was elected governor of Georgia in 1970. Powell served as Gov. Carter’s press secretary, then, as well.

At one point, President Carter said that “Jody Powell knows me better than anyone else except my wife.”

Grading the RPOF’s Obama Report Card

As its lead-up to President Obama’s prime-time press conference Wednesday, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) issued a report card on Obama’s performance to date. It’s reproduced below just as it was sent out in another of the RPOF’s press releases, or as we like to think of them, failed attempts at snark.

Read the report card, then see how we graded the graders below.


Here’s how we graded the RPOF’s performance:

SUBJECT: Statistics. COMMENTS: RPOF assessed Mr. Obama’s math skills by using unattributed statistics to make its point, and for extra credit, threw in the technique of using truncated statistics by starting the clock on job loss (and economic troubles in general) on Jan. 20, 2009. In its health assessment the RPOF attributes its statistics to bolster its illogical argument. In assessing his finance performance, the RPOF eschews statistics completely — a masterful use of the dismal science. There are lies, damned lies and statistics, and nobody lies as well as the Republican Party. GRADE: A+.

SUBJECT: Rhetoric. COMMENTS: While assessing Mr. Obama’s history performance, the RPOF deftly moved the focus from his domestic cabinet-level “czar” appointments to connect them to the spread of communism across Europe in the 20th century. In dwelling on the easily ridiculed word, “czar” and ignoring the fact that Obama is not the first president to appoint them, they employ a cheap shot. Such skillful use of what appears on the surface to be logic deserves the highest marks. GRADE: A+

SUBJECT: Civics. COMMENTS: By portraying Mr. Obama as never missing a basket when playing basketball while being totally uninformed about North Korea, the RPOF uses two tried and true racist assumptions about African Americans — they are intellectually inferior, yet physically superior, to whites. For the added underlying message that Obama’s race and inexperience pose a threat to national security by invoking the specter of North Korea, they get extra credit. GRADE: A++.

SUBJECT: English. COMMENTS: The RPOF, FOX News and most talk radio hosts fail to understand usage, and don’t know when to employ “Democrat” versus “Democratic.” We suspect they’re misusing “Democrat” on purpose, a practice that began recently under President Bush, but as Jon noted, goes back at least to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. For pushing the envelope of the English language by delving deeply into reverse semiotics and the power of thematic repetition, as well as for their robust explorations into the tenuous relationship between truth and meaning, the RPOF deserved an A, but turned in a term paper late. GRADE: B.