While the Obama campaign has been speaking about post-election plans for days, Gov. Sarah Palin has now jumped on the “inevitable” bandwagon in that she “guarantees” a win in Pennsylvania with help from supporters.
First, the report on Obama and his post-election plans via the UK Guardian:
Barack Obama began to speak openly and in detail about the post-election transition period from George Bush’s presidency for the first time yesterday, opening himself up to charges of complacency.
As most polls showed the Democratic candidate’s lead over his Republican rival John McCain still growing, Obama held a meeting in Richmond, Virginia, to discuss with senior national security advisers the foreign policy challenges he would face as president. Bucking the trend, one poll, conducted by Associated Press, showed McCain cutting back Obama’s 7% lead three weeks ago to 1%, on 44% to 43%.
Obama’s comments mark a significant change in the campaign, switching from rhetoric to a more presidential tone.
Although Obama added the caveat that “I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” his comments reflected a sense of confidence that his campaign team is finding it hard to hide. At a press conference after the national security meeting, he said that although he had been almost single-mindedly focused on the economy, he had plans ready for Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign policy problems.
He spoke about having teams in place to deal with foreign and economic policy during the awkward transitional period between November 4 and the inauguration on January 20.
Interviewed yesterday, Obama said a smooth transition was essential to make sure America’s enemies did not take advantage of a shift in administrations.
In another sign of looking beyond the November 4 election, he welcomed a White House-organised international summit on the economic crisis planned for November 15. With Bush as a lame-duck president and Obama as possibly the president-in-waiting, the Democratic candidate would be a key figure. “I am happy today that the White House announced a summit that provides an opportunity to advance the kind of cooperation I called for last month,” he said. “America must lead and other nations must be part of the solution too.” He refused to be drawn into what role he would play at the summit if he was elected president. He said his economic team was already in constant touch with the treasury secretary, Henry Paulson.
To avoid sounding too presumptuous, he said: “Even though the election will have taken place and there will be a new president-elect, we are still going to have one president at a time until January 20, until the new president is sworn in.”
It is risky for Obama to speak so openly about the post-election period with 13 days still to go of the campaign. While his appearance surrounded by national security experts from the Clinton administration and Washington-based thinktanks can make him appear more presidential, it also opens him up to accusations by McCain that he has become too cocky.
Cocky perhaps, which always gets me with these politicians. The people haven’t voted yet and Obama’s in a good position, just have patience for the next few days and you won’t sound presumptuous about winning.
Next, Gov. Palin speaking in Pennsylvania from Yahoo News:
BEAVER, Pa. – Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin set aside Joe the Plumber for Joe the Quarterback — as in Joe Namath — and told supporters at a rally near where Namath grew up that she and John McCain are still in the game and they’re going to win.
“In the biggest game of his life, all the experts had Joe Namath and the Jets written off to defeat. They were up against the elite team that had all the money and they were held in awe by the media.
“And Broadway Joe replied, ‘We’re going to win the game, I guarantee it.’ And they won,” she said of Namath’s guarantee before New York defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
“Pennsylvania, with your help, we’re going to win this state, I guarantee,” Palin told more than 1,000 supporters who packed a chilly Beaver Area High School football stadium, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, on Thursday night.
Palin stuck to the campaign speech she gave earlier in the day in Ohio, where she criticized Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s interpretation of running mate Joe Biden’s remark that the new president would be tested by an international crisis early in his presidency.
A little less presumptuous perhaps in that she’s not speaking of transition teams and post-election plans, however, I guess politicians must try to rile supporters by “guaranteeing” a win. Still though, words like “guarantee” seem to instill complacency.
My message to both campaigns: Nothing is guaranteed.