}

The Obama Squad?

The above video is from Kansas City, where a middle school teacher has recently landed in extremely hot water for what some people are terming “political indoctrination.” Eighth- and ninth-graders from the Urban Community Leadership Academy charter school’s Junior Fraternity march for about three minutes, praising Obama’s health care plan and repeating the “Yes We Can” slogan and telling about what Obama inspires them to become.

While there is no doubt that there is definitely a disturbing aspect to this video — do these kids really understand what a federal healthcare subsidy even is? — was suspending this teacher the right thing? If these kids look at Obama and see a role model so powerful that they are inspired to work towards such careers as architecture and business (ok, yeah, and the auto mechanic), is this a bad thing? And if these kids do actualize their goals, are their achievements rendered invalid by virtue of having been inspired by a presidential candidate? Is this entire argument no more than partisan politics with a teacher’s career hanging in the balance?

Regardless the outcome, one thing is for sure: these kids know way more about Obama’s healthcare plan than most voters. And they can’t even drive legally.

Y-Love

A modern charedi Jew-by-choice since 2000, and igniting headphones with Torah hiphop since 2001.

Originally from Maryland and now holding it down in the shtetlach of New York, won the Jewish Music Awards for "Best Hiphop" in 2006.Vocally anti-prejudice and pro-unity.

Love me, hate me, or debate me, know you can't ignore me, though.

Latest posts by Y-Love (see all)

40 Comments

  1. froylein

    10/7/2008 at 1:54 am

    A teacher’s political opinions don’t belong in the classroom in democratic states. Students may not get rated on their political preferences just as little as on their sexual orientation, ethnicity or religious affiliation. It’s as easy as that.

  2. Ben-David

    10/7/2008 at 3:13 am

    Y-Love – the fact that you are even wondering about the propriety here indicates how far the Obama camp (and the Dems in general) have drifted from commitment to Western Democracy.

    This is the second video to surface showing Obamaniac indoctrination of children. The other involved even smaller children praising the “Great Leader” in Ventura California.

    This stuff belongs in North Korea, not America or any other free Democracy.

    The fact that you can’t parse this correctly indicates that your judgment – or at least your grasp of Western ideas of freedom and democracy – has been severely impaired by political correctness and leftie elitism.

  3. Y-Love

    10/7/2008 at 10:18 am

    See, froylein, that was kind of my point — I don’t think these kids have a “political preference”, except what their teachers (and the media, for any budding news junkies) have told them. I’d wager very few of these kids have weighed the candidates at ontheissues.org.

    Fine. Let’s say it was completely improper. A total breach of protocol, a violation of absolutely everything humane, flatly just wrong and and and… — if this kid is designing buildings in 2025 and, in his interview in Architectural Digest says, “I remember when I was kid and my teacher made us watch election speeches, and Barack Obama said…”, will that achievement mean any less? If this reflects a genuine emotional response — or at least if the kids really did like Obama and opted to do this march voluntarily — would the teacher, or the action be retroactively vindicated?

  4. froylein

    10/7/2008 at 10:24 am

    It would still be indoctrination. We’re just preparing a project at where I teach re: political manipulability of youths / adolescents. Did you know that these days Germany is the only country that in the preface to its curricula explicitly states that students, above all, need to be encouraged to critical thinking? Inspiration only is true inspiration if I’ve got choices to select from, and it’s not a teacher’s job to make any pre-selection.

  5. Chaviva

    10/7/2008 at 11:14 am

    Eek. This is fascinating and a little scary … amazed that this was supposedly filmed in May though and is just now coming ot light …

  6. Tom Morrissey

    10/7/2008 at 1:44 pm

    Make way for the Obama-jugend!

    Then there’s this:

  7. Tom Morrissey

    10/7/2008 at 1:53 pm

    Y-Love, if the kid is “designing buildings in 2025” and he credits his teachers for having instilled in him an admiration for Albert Speer, how would you feel about that?

  8. Y-Love

    10/7/2008 at 3:01 pm

    OK, I just learned who that was.

    While I understand you’re using a hyperbole (because there’s just no way that Obama and such filth even equate on any level), this is precisely what I was trying to get at: is the “proof in the pudding” when it comes to kids’ achievements? Is a kid inspired by a presidential candidate — or a Linkin Park song, or Saw IV — any less of an “achiever” than his differently-driven counterpart?

    To follow the vein you were going into — yes, undoubtedly the teacher would be quite at fault. However, again, especially if the children turn out, oh, un-genocidal, the teacher would most likely say something like “I was just trying to get them to apply themselves to their studies” upon reading the hypothetical interview above, and would, chances are, feel proud of her/himself.

    While I can’t even believe I’m logically stretching this far, the point is brought out — at what point are a teacher’s noble motives overridden by their choice of action?

    (Actually, as I type this, I’m getting more and more offended by your choice of parallel people to bring up. How do the two even come together in your mind?)

  9. Alex

    10/7/2008 at 4:33 pm

    “(because there’s just no way that Obama and such filth even equate on any level)”

    They must have pulled out the industrial sized cleaning solvent (otherwise known as the Media) to wash out the following “filth”:

    Ali Abunimah
    ACORN
    Aiham Alsammarae
    Nadhmi Auchi
    William Ayers
    Rashid Khalidi
    Kwame Kilpatrick
    Antoin “Tony” Rezko
    Rev Wright
    Farrakhan
    Pfliger

  10. montana_urban_legend

    10/7/2008 at 9:25 pm

    Hitler analogies? Let’s get on board with the hate train!

    Wow. One would think that someone would feel secure enough in making a case against political indoctrination generally. A need to demonstrate Godwin’s Law by the 6th comment in, however, is pretty pathetic. I wish I could sympathize, but it’s hard for me to identify with a need to require a reference to Hitler to help me make a successful case against someone or something.

    Is anyone sure that stuff like this didn’t go on during Roosevelt’s administration? The right-wingers and their defenders need to come to terms with the fact that such over-reactions may occur as a result of forgoing the responsibilities of actually governing the nation for as long as we have.

  11. montana_urban_legend

    10/7/2008 at 9:37 pm

    Perhaps you’re not aware of the role that comparisons to Hitler played in getting Yitzhak Rabin assassinated, Tom. Do you sympathize with Yigal Amir also? You seem to condone the sort of tactics that led to that.

    At rallies for Binyamin Netanyahu, posters were seen with Rabin dressed in SS uniform. Because of these episodes, Leah Rabin refused to shake Netanyahu’s outstretched hand when he offered it to her at her husband’s funeral. Of course, that was the right thing to do on her part, but I am not certain that you are capable of understanding why that was the morally appropriate and morally superior action, Tom. Maybe you’re just cut from a different cloth.

  12. Ben-David

    10/8/2008 at 2:09 am

    MUL:
    At rallies for Binyamin Netanyahu, posters were seen with Rabin dressed in SS uniform.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    And a government investigative panel found that these posters were distributed by agents of Israel’s Secret Service (Shabak) in a concerted effort to discredit political parties that opposed Oslo – the government of that time’s pet project.

    Which brings us back to the point of this thread – the red lines government-sponsored officials cannot cross in a democracy. And the need to avoid indoctrination of citizens by government agents.

    Y-Love – you are using an unconfirmable hypothetical outcome to make a “no harm done” case.

    But the harm has already been done – not least because the students have been made more accustomed to such indoctrination by government representatives. And accustomed to the notion that it may be dangerous to dissent.

    What will they be like in the future?

    They are more likely to be compliant with the projected authority of government and media spokespeople. More likely to view one side of the political divide as having a more authoritative voice. And more likely to have an ingrained bias in their political views.

    Damage already done.

    Not to mention the damage done to adult society by adults assuming they can do this.

    You really, REALLY do have to get this straight. Otherwise, stop lecturing The Rest of Us about the new era of “fairness” and light that the Obamessiah is going to usher in.

  13. froylein

    10/8/2008 at 2:27 am

    How come Y-Love gets what Tom said and MUL doesn’t?

  14. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 7:31 am

    Well, given the fact that as of two weeks ago you couldn’t figure out when a word was being used as a noun as opposed to being used as a adjective, why don’t you go ahead and enlighten me and explain what it is that I supposedly don’t get about Tom’s Hitler analogies, Snarky Froylein? You can try waiting to rely on Tom to bail himself out of this one, or you can actually use that keyboard in front of you to say what you mean – given all the wonderful critical thinking skills that you claim that Germany has drilled into you. But I already spoke to the issue of indoctrination, which was the only point remotely related to the post that you even addressed.

    Ben-David:
    I don’t think anyone ever claimed that the posters were distributed by Netanyahu. The criticisms were directed against Netanyahu for not doing more to rein in the tone of the attacks – seeing as how he was aware of the type of communication taking place, and he could have certainly told people at his rallies that posters of Rabin dressed in SS garb were not welcome. Leah Rabin and the others pointed this out and I think they had a point.

    The type of speech taking place through Palin and others associated with McCain has not reached that level, but they are certainly descending into similar tactics of trying to paint Obama in a certain way that they know will fail. They just want to take a significant portion of the country down with them and know that this will start an Obama presidency off on a foot of having to contend with some hatred that McCain can’t see as productive. But he’s less concerned with a successful administration at this point than he is with appearing to do all he can to prevent himself from losing – even though turning his contempt and frustration into hateful, innuendo-laden attacks on Obama’s commitment to his America will obviously achieve nothing of the sort.

  15. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 7:41 am

    “commitment to America“…. “his America” was a typo, obviously, in editing something like “his patriotism” or whatever. But in the meantime, perhaps Y-Love can tell me what it is that I “don’t get”, or if Froylein even speaks for him.

  16. froylein

    10/8/2008 at 7:44 am

    MUL, firstly, I did get that the word was a noun, never even denied it, but showed it could also be used as an adjective. Apparently you didn’t get that.

    This post is about indoctrination; indoctrination is not only just remotely related to the topic. Apparently you didn’t get that either.

  17. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 8:08 am

    Where did I not get that it’s about indoctrination? Wow. I’m really having trouble relating to this level of undue snark. For crying out loud, my first comment, comment #10, says exactly that. You went on a tangent last time linking to long dictionary entries, and complaining that I supposedly can’t read, and right here, in my very first friggedy-diggedy paragraph, I say exactly what you accuse me of not getting. Here is the quote:

    Wow. One would think that someone would feel secure enough in making a case against political indoctrination generally. A need to demonstrate Godwin’s Law by the 6th comment in, however, is pretty pathetic. I wish I could sympathize, but it’s hard for me to identify with a need to require a reference to Hitler to help me make a successful case against someone or something.

    You read that, didn’t you? I’m not making this up. I’m actually quoting myself — what I said. Are you arguing in good faith, Froylein?
    —————————————-

    I have subsequently seen the video and understand the sentiments in reaction to it. It’s entirely inappropriate.

    But I can’t understand why anyone here would make bad-faith arguments against others here. It doesn’t make any sense and I don’t see how it can reflect favorably on someone to do that.

  18. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 8:14 am

    Tom, Y-Love? Are you out there? Is there something I’m not understanding about making a general case against political indoctrination in an educational setting? Froylein is asserting that there is and she is speaking on behalf of each of you individually as a way to back-up that assertion.

  19. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 8:22 am

    Maybe what you are upset about is any argument that rejects the indoctrination of others into believing that Obama is a false messiah in Der Fuehrer’s clothes.

    Just giving back some snark. 😉

  20. froylein

    10/8/2008 at 8:33 am

    MUL, I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone. You claimed above that my mentioning of indoctrination was only just remotely connected to the post addressed. What Y-Love wrote is the post, and I do think that he and I managed to exchange a few ideas in the comments.

    As for you, I consider you a halfwit that enjoys applying sneaky rhetorics in which he tries to hyper-stylize the possibly weakest point of what one has said or purposedly misinterprets it and deduces absolutely absurd intentions from that, basing allegations and whatnot on those and who tries to phrase things in complicated, yet often incorrect syntax, to sound sophisticated. You appear to be well-aware people wouldn’t lower themselves to your level of discourse yet you’re ready to act sensitive if somebody does. And don’t expect ck to apologize on my behalf. Your dialectics isn’t funny, punny or thought-provoking.

    I rather continue with working now and kindly ask Y-Love to meet up next time I’m in town.

  21. Tom Morrissey

    10/8/2008 at 9:20 am

    Ben-David: you MUST take a look at the transcript from last night’s prez debate. An audience member asked the candidates what they’d do in the event of an attack on Israel. A very revealing pair of answers. Someone (Middle?) should do a post on it.

    MUL, we’re on the same page about the videos, no?

  22. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 9:28 am

    Your comment rather speaks for itself, Froylein.

    Obviously you can’t stand the thought of losing an argument. Unfortunately you lose arguments much too frequently.

    You claim you’re not speaking on behalf of anyone. Yet you clearly say that others understand something that I don’t – despite the fact that neither one of them made any such claim. You then turn around and assume that I would expect ck to apologize for your own inability to accept the course of where you’ve taken a discussion. Hmm…. I don’t remember ever expecting, let alone asking, anyone here to speak for anyone else. Sound familiar? Everyone is responsible for what they, themselves, say. Except for you, apparently.

    When questioned over what it was that I supposedly didn’t understand, you couldn’t come up with anything. When shown a quote that proved you wrong on that, you claim that I said that an item of discussion was ” just remotely connected” to the post. Actually when I used the term “remotely related” I was using what’s referred to as a figure of speech, which is something that you may or may not have in German. It was a rhetorical point that you evidently, and might I add pathetically, missed entirely.

    I make no claim of “sounding” sophisticated, and I need produce no credentials to satisfy anyone here other than a sound argument, which I’ve produced in spades. As obsessed as you are with credentials, I’m sure mine would cause any Jewish mother more pride than you could know, but that is of no consequence. I don’t stand on them when discussing items here, and nor should anyone else attempt to stand on their credentials alone. Non-European societies have less of a problem listening to what is actually said than focusing on the inflated authority of the person saying it.

    And as for syntax, you should practice what you preach. Since I’m a bigger person than you, I won’t point out the grammatical atrocities of phrases such as “Your dialectics isn’t”, or nonsensical made-up words “purposedly”, other than to demonstrate your own inability to live up to what you extol. But this is the internet. Usually people allow for typos, mis-spelled words, and yes, even syntax that approximates the incongruities of spoken speech. Unless they can’t actually stand on their own arguments or attack those made by others without even offering any of their own. This is not a writing competition, let alone one which you could win.

    And as for sensitivity and your insults, I can respond or refrain from responding with an appropriate level of either. I don’t just resort to those things because I couldn’t make a cogent argument. So go ahead and call me a “half-wit”. Complain about retarded things that have no bearing on whether or not what I say is right or not, or has any merit or not, such as stylistics. It only reflects on someone so desperate that she can’t even admit to being incapable of making a good-faith argument – not specifically, not generally, or in any sense at all.

    If you don’t like how your points are interpreted, then maybe you should try writing them more clearly. And as for deducing things that weren’t meant by someone, again – practice what you preach. Of course, it’s easier to just stick to opinions and pretend that they have the force and appeal of a rational discussion. But if appealing to the latter is innappropriate to you, just let me know and I’ll leave it to you to create whatever sort of echo-chamber or peanut gallery you want. I just assumed that you were a better person than that. Sorry if I guessed wrong.

  23. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 9:29 am

    Tom, in terms of finding the videos innappropriate, then yes, we are certainly on the same page.

  24. froylein

    10/8/2008 at 9:36 am

    Loan words from Greek ending in “-ics” collocate with the singular verb in English. You’ll find “purposedly” in Webster’s even. So much for your credentials.

  25. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 9:53 am

    And that’s the strongest point you could make. Or will make. And I have evidence that strongly contends otherwise. Not that your credentials extend to actually considering the thoughts and arguments posed by that.

    The fact that those are the only points you can address speaks volumes.

    I’m actually starting to feel sorry for you, the timing of the discussion in relation to the season notwithstanding.

  26. Alex

    10/8/2008 at 10:05 am

    MUL is a demagogue plain and simple. Lots of words, but not saying much of anything. Mostly writing for the sake of sitting back and nodding approvingly at his own posts. And I think Froylein won the argument, despite MUL having to write 7 long paragraphs to appear that he was the victor.

  27. froylein

    10/8/2008 at 10:07 am

    Evidence? That Greek loan words ending in “-ics” collocate with the singular form of the verb in English is proper English grammar as opposed to colloquialisms.

    Those are the only points I address as I’m in the middle of working (drafting expertises on English essays as for some odd reason people pay me for that). I’m not interested in wasting my time on your strawman arguments. I’ve explained above why that is the case. Finito.

  28. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 10:13 am

    In any event, I’m awaiting a demonstration of one’s credentials in figuring out whether or not I actually didn’t understand that indoctrination was the purposed purpose of the video, or whether such an argument was made in good faith or just an attempt to “hyper-stylize the possibly weakest point of what one has said or” a purposed misinterpretation of it to deduce “absolutely absurd intentions from that,” to base “allegations and whatnot on those” and/or an attempt “to phrase things in complicated syntax, to sound sophisticated.”

  29. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 10:25 am

    Sure, that’s your excuse this time. Lack of time.

    Wouldn’t I love to have the precious presence of mind to lob insults and accusations at others while sitting back and denying their defenses of them have any merit simply because I’m too busy studing ancient Greek linguistics or whatever. But at least you have a follower who can’t follow the argument either way, yet nods approvingly.

    It’s ok. Take your time. No rush here. And I don’t care either way as it’s obvious that you’re just out to save face and nothing else. It’s just funny that you accuse me of being out for the same thing, when I’m clearly open to actually engaging the arguments.

  30. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 10:39 am

    Totally unrelated, although the thread’s sounding unfortunately dead anyway, but I’d love to know if Froylein gets paid for drafting expertises on English essays as much as I get paid for what I do, or if it involves as much critical thought. And I mean that in all honesty, not as an insult (although I’m not sure if that matters to her or if she can make the distinction). And it’s all not important that I get an answer. It just happens to be the thought that I feel strangely left with.

    Well, cheers to everyone else. I don’t think that the thoughts I initially raised were all that objectionable or unworthy of being addressed, so it’s too bad that they were hijacked like this. But feel free to let me know if there was something wrong with them or if anyone else had some other kind of problem with them for any reason.

  31. Alex

    10/8/2008 at 11:29 am

    Pissing match? I’m sure the Obama campaign doesn’t pay you enough MUL. You are worth way more to them than you know. Lengthy and fluffy retorts and all.

    I don’t agree with Froylein all that much, except with her opinion on socialism and your writing skills that is. 🙂

  32. Alex

    10/8/2008 at 11:30 am

    spam filter

  33. Grand Muffti

    10/8/2008 at 12:15 pm

    Muffti just can’t believe that he is in total agreement with Ben David!

  34. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 1:50 pm

    Yes. Writing skills, etc. If only good writing could be a substitute for actually addressing arguments. Same goes for pithiness.

    I wish Froylein the best. We should all try to be as nice as we can to each other, especially given the time of the year. It’s just hard for me to take seriously her accusation that I only write to make myself sound intelligent – or to make myself sound more intelligent than anyone else, when she always seems to get really offended and huffy with accusations to the effect that I’ve told her I never thought that she was intelligent – which I never did. It sounds like some massive projection, and quite hypocritical at that – given her resorting to calling me a “half-wit”! 😉

    It’s one thing to make jokes. But honestly, I don’t see what’s so hard about making and following an argument and addressing that, for what it’s worth. It’s much more worthwhile than debating the topic of who is supposedly more intelligent. That’s what kids do! 😉

    The latter is also an ad hominem and therefore a fallacy of logical argumentation.

    What’s interesting, Alex, is that the more you study about rhetoric, the more you realize that rhetorical devices can also exist as the same fallacies that must be avoided when making an argument. But I know the difference between them. Perhaps I may be boring. Perhaps I may be “fluffy” and long-winded. But I’m certainly willing to allow anyone to pose a challenge to any of the points I make in relation to a post, within the context of rational argumentation. Perhaps that requires more self-esteem to do than some people have, but I make no apologies for that!

  35. Alex

    10/8/2008 at 5:34 pm

    You’ve learned well from your candidate of choice. Asked a direct question, he chose to answer with spin. McCain does it too, but hardly as much, and tries to put up some detail, albeit some regurgitated points at that. But talking in platitudes and rhetoric is definitely his strong suit and must be for such a lightweight and newbie to the political scene. At least Palin, the person he’s obviously running against, has specific events and decisions to stand on but for someone who never authored a bill and “joined” others’ legislation just to build a track record, using lots of words and not saying much has become an art form. I read and reread your last post and it could be summarized in a few choice words:

    “Don’t call me names! :(”

    As for the debate last night, my favorite part was Barack saying, “2 years ago, I wrote Paulson a letter stating that we had an impending financial crisis coming” or something like that. I could just imagine someone getting a letter from Senator Obama, looking at it, and saying, “This letter is from WHO?”

    Come on, we’re talking about a guy who had two autobiographies written about him before he ever did anything significant. Talk about egotism. The man’s spent his whole career running for President.

  36. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 6:16 pm

    Alex, this is the last I’m going to say before I go, but:

    1. I never said “Don’t call me names”. I pointed out that it is hypocritical to accuse someone of only being here to call others names, while not having anything relevant to address regarding their argument AND THEN calling them the same names you accuse them of, well, not actually calling others, but insinuating that those names describe what you think about others. I’m not into engaging clairvoyance.

    2. Your penultimate paragraph shows that you think identity is important. I think argument is important. If Barack Obama had an important warning to make to Paulson, and he had the courage to write that out to him, that should matter. That’s all that should matter. I’m sorry you think that United States senators are, regardless of their title, unimportant people. But most people disagree and would applaud the fact that Obama not only had the foresight to raise this issue but evidently the courage to address Paulson directly about it.

    Paulson, despite his Soviet/authoritarian grab for power (no accountability or judicial review requested over his sole oversight with the actions of the massive $700 bail-out), is not a czar. And neither is Obama. The interests of the American people play the most important role the event you describe, but perhaps you think that Obama’s unimportant stature (in your estimation) somehow makes the American people’s interest, which is what he addressed, worthless. I don’t care if a garbage man wrote the letter. The secretary should have taken heed.

    3. Most people running for president have a big ego. Among them, John McCain, Sarah Palin (oops, make that VP) and many others. It’s good that Obama has put more time into thinking about what it would take for him (or for anyone, for that matter) to run the country successfully than you think he should have. Running the country successfully is a good thing. It’s not an easy thing. I welcome awarding the presidency to the person who has put the most thought into how to do it.

  37. montana_urban_legend

    10/8/2008 at 6:17 pm

    Sorry, penultimate sentence, first paragraph:

    “but insinuating that those names describe what they think about others.”

  38. Alex

    10/8/2008 at 11:00 pm

    “But most people disagree and would applaud the fact that Obama not only had the foresight to raise this issue but evidently the courage to address Paulson directly about it.”

    LOL. If they believed that in the first place… Personally, I don’t think he has any foresight. I know a salesman when I see one, I have many in my family, and I do some selling myself. Barrack isn’t just a salesman, he’s a snake oil salesman. I know BS when I see it and this guy is an artist. The dude has had not one but two autobiographies penned for him. He’s a marketing expert, what with his own presidential seal and all. Again, I don’t buy half of the crap McCain is selling either. It explains why I have no party affiliation. I’d rather have an entrenched establishmentarian with a flair for crossing his own than a radical who embellishes his resume.

  39. Alex

    10/8/2008 at 11:07 pm

    “It’s good that Obama has put more time into thinking about what it would take for him (or for anyone, for that matter) to run the country successfully than you think he should have. Running the country successfully is a good thing. It’s not an easy thing.”

    Well, he should start with running his own campaign a little “cleaner”:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/10/07/politics/fromtheroad/entry4507703.shtml

    “Obama’s campaign schedule is fuller, more hectic and seemingly improvisational. The Obama aides who deal with the national reporters on the campaign plane are often overwhelmed, overworked and un-informed about where, when, why or how the candidate is moving about. Baggage calls are preposterously early with the explanation that it’s all for security reasons.

    ….

    The McCain folks are more helpful and generally friendly. The schedules are printed on actual books you can hold in your hand, read, and then plan accordingly. The press aides are more knowledgeable and useful to us in the news media. The events are designed with a better eye, and for the simple needs of the press corps. When he is available, John McCain is friendly and loquacious. Obama holds news conferences, but seldom banters with the reporters who’ve been following him for thousands of miles around the country. Go figure.

    The McCain campaign plane is better than Obama’s, which is cramped, uncomfortable and smells terrible most of the time. Somehow the McCain folks manage to keep their charter clean, even where the press is seated. “

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