Please excuse us while we excerpt from the Sept 8, 2008 issue of Time

John McCain, according to one of his most perceptive & persistent critics, has struggled throughout his career to balance his principles and his ambitions, to reconcile the code of honor instilled in him as a boy with the insistent demands of political expedience. His worst moments in public office, this critic has charged, have come when he has failed to put country first – opposing a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. to bolster his conservative credibility in Arizona, concealing his abhorrence of the Confederate flag to troll for votes in South Carolina. And before you judge, you should know that the critic in question is John McCain, who has explored and deplored his own flaws in remarkable detail in his books and speeches and has apologized for them with candor that is rare in a politician. In 2000, after sidestepping the flag issue during his first presidential campaign, he returned to South Carolina to flay himself for pandering. “I don’t seek absolution,” he said. “I can only try to resist future temptations to abandon principle for expediency.”

 

Well, that was in 2000. Obviously the temptations of the presidency were great. Some of the honor which he values so highly slipped thru his fingers in implying that the election of Barack Obama would not just be a boon to terrorists, but that Obama is in fact a friend of terrorists.

The honorable John McCain would never make such statements. He knows and likes Barack Obama, and knows Obama would fight terrorism. He knows Obama loves America as much as he does.

Terrible things come out of our mouths when we aspire to higher office. Things that dishonor us.

Both parties use hatchet men (and women) to tear down their opponent, but we heard much less ‘character assassination’ type of attack from the Obama camp.

Curiously not until the last days of the campaign did any Republican ads run the infamous “God Damn America” clip. Even then, they were run by some Republican operative, and not approved by McCain.

No doubt McCain demanded that “God Damn America” not be used in his name. This is the honorable side of McCain.  

Too bad. We could have used a lot more of that during the campaign.  

We were not surprised to hear his extremely gracious concession speech. That was the real McCain. The McCain we knew and loved. He understood the magnitude of the moment, was self-effacing, funny and smart. In a word, honorable.

We suspect Senator McCain will be the statesman that Bob Dole and Barry Goldwater became when they lost their last presidential bids. Finally free of any higher aspirations, they were no longer burdened by the need to chase votes, and could speak their mind. No longer would they pretend to support distasteful issues.

Senator McCain, feel free to cast aside the yolk of ideology and follow your heart.

And welcome back.

We missed you.

 

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I would like to give a message to all voters in the country.

Many are upset over the outcome of the election, which is certainly
understandable. It was an upset to about 47% of all voters. I
sympathize with you on that regard.

However, I hold no sympathy for anybody who does not stand by the
president-elect now merely because he was not the one they voted for.
It is not only shameful to yourself, but to citizens everywhere if you
will not put betterment of the nation above your personal anger
towards this one man.

No matter who won, this election marked the beginning of America’s
first chance to flourish in years, and it would be an insult to the
country of a whole if you did not consider it important enough to set
aside your grudge.

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Eight years ago, Al Gore gave a rousing concession speech to the American people.  His intention was to unite us after a month of toil over the questionable election of 2000. With that (most) democrats were willing to accept George Bush as the 43rd President of the United States.

It seems to me that today, John McCain is the only conservative willing to accept Barack Obama as the 44th. Please understand that we here at Winkest Link hold senator McCain in the highest regard. He is truly an outstanding man. It is the rest of the conservatives* that we are concerned with. Many have already written Obama off as one of the worst presidents ever, saying that he will make America a socialist state. For the record, they should know that he doesn’t begin for another two months, and that George Bush is still our president.

You don’t have to like Obama, but he will be our next president, so he deserves your respect. And yes he does love America. I do not like Bush, but I know he loves this country just as much as I do, and we all would hate to see it go to ruins.

* Omit Chuck Hagel (R-NE) from the statement. He is awesome.

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Last Tuesday before the elections I predicted the outcomes.  I am happy to report that my predictions were pretty spot on.  Logically, this makes me the Nostradamus of predicting elections.  I truly believe I have the same prediction power as the man who started rocking this world 450 years ago (and will again in another 450). But back to my predictions:

Here was my prediction:

And here was the outcome:

The difference?  Indiana.  Those 11 electoral votes account for the difference between my prediction of Obama having 354 and him having his actual 365 electoral votes.  I even called NE-02 and North Carolina.  I didn’t fall for the suggestions that Arizona, North Dakota, or Montana could flip and had a very respectible result.

On the other hand I was off a little in the Congressional races.  There are still 3 Senate races yet to be decided.  I predicted:

Dems: 56

Reps: 42

Inds: 2 (siding with the Democrats)

the race currently sits at:

Dems: 55

Reps: 40

Inds: 2 (siding with Democrats)

I predict that while the Democrat is trailing in all three races (Alaska, Georgia, Minnesota), that one will go to the Democrats.  According to FiveThirtyEight.com Minnesota could very well go towards Franken and the Democrats.  I find it difficult to believe that Ted Stevens will lose his lead in Alaska, and Georgia was favoring the Republican by 3 points.  The runoff election there though is more about who can get out the vote better.  Turn out will be much lower than the presidential race, its about who can more successfully get their voters to go back to the polls.  I give the advantage there to Chambliss and the Republicans.  Which would then result in me correctly predicting the Senate split.

 

On to the House race. I predicted:

Dems: 261

Reps: 174

and the actual outcome is:

Dems: 255

Reps: 174

With 6 yet undecided.  I doubt all 6 will go Democrat and it will be closer to a 3-3 split or a 4-2 split leaning Republican.  So I was off by probably 3 or 4 votes there.

As a whole the predictions turned out well.  I now feel safe in my abilities to predict that the world as we know it will NOT end in 2012 as predicted.

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When writers for a television show begin to run out of plot lines, they sometimes become desperate for ideas that will hold the attention of viewers. This happens to almost every show eventually. When the writers use some of these weird or contrived ideas, the show is said to have ‘jumped the shark’.

The phrase ‘jumping the shark’ is taken from the TV show ‘Happy Days’.  In one episode, Fonzie literally jumps over a shark on water skis. (For those of you born after 1979, Happy Days was a 1970’s TV show that was set between 1957 & 1962.  Fonzie was a leather-clad biker who, in a few episodes, jumped over various objects on his motorcycle. We swear, this was a VERY POPULAR show.)

The most common TV version of ‘jumping the shark’ is when one of the main characters becomes pregnant or gets married. Anything, anything to breathe new life into the series.

John McCain is a serious man with serious ideas. On occasion he has been willing to take on his party or president. When did the bell toll for him? When did his campaign ‘jump the shark’? 

When he chose as his running mate, an attractive moose-shooting Governor of Alaska.

At the time of the decision his poll numbers were comparable to Obama’s. One can only assume he really feared he had no more ‘juice’ to win additional voters. He obviously felt his numbers were slipping, and people were starting to believe in the charismatic Obama. The McCain campaign needed new life. Right?

Desperate action was needed! 

With a long life of national public service, John McCain must personally know hundreds of capable Republicans. So who did he select? A person he met one time, and talked with on the phone one other time. The vetting process took approximately 2 ½ hours.

We know for sure he was drawn to the part of her act that says she “took on” big oil in Alaska when, in fact, she is pro big-oil. This allowed him to call her a ‘maverick’ too!  And did you notice how attractive she is? And a female at that!!  Win-win-win!

Maybe using lobbyists as advisors is not the best idea. (See our previous article, “The Incredible Shrinking McCain”)

We are guessing when he chose her, he thought she could name all three countries in North America. He probably assumed she had been governor too short a period of time to be charged with any sort of unethical behavior.

Eventually, her lack of gravitas was sure to surface. And the ethics violations. Happily, these occurred before the election. Republican insider revelations of her ‘diva’ behavior did not surface until after the election.

A more conventional pick, even a boring old white male, would have given Senator McCain a better chance. At least a fighting chance.

Don’t blame “Sexy Sarah” for the loss. She performed her “hot-looking bomb-thrower” role to perfection.

It was McCain who chose her, and McCain who paid the price.

The pizzazz she gave to the campaign was sure fun while it lasted though, wasn’t it?

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With the work of one little Civil War, what began as slavery was reduced all the way down to systematic racism.

Which is pretty much where we have been since the Civil War.  

Light a small candle in memory of those who suffered through these two stages of life in America. To those who fought the good fight but did not live long enough to see the fruits of their efforts.

The tide has turned. A truly historic election has changed everything. A man of color has been elected President of these United States.

Racism is now dead!  Really!  Except for all the remaining racist people.

But now is not the time for that topic. Now is the time to rejoice. To join hands for the advancement of the American Dream.

Let ALL children know the door is now open.

I have never experienced any occasion, not even Christmas as a kid, that made me feel as good as this election.

Hallelujah, let the bells ring.

 

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This election has been one of the biggest elections in U.S. history. President-elect Obama managed to take Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, as well as Virginia and even losing by a relatively small margin in Texas. One of the biggest shocks to me, though, was Nebraska’s second district. With 9,000 absentee and early votes left to count, Obama is only 500 or so votes behind. If he wins the second district, it will be the first time that a Nebraska district has gone to a Democrat in over forty years. I am not alone in wishing Obama this one extra electoral vote.

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Congratulations to President-Elect John McCain. He has run an honorable campaign throughout this historical election. Barack Obama was truly a horrible choice for Democratic nominee. Dennis Kucinich would have easily beaten McCain (because he has a hot wife, too). Obama is taking the loss rather poorly. Apparently he is demanding a recount in California, New York, and Illinois. He is claiming that there was voter fraud in those three key states, as well as several others. He neglected to mention that Donald Duck, Goofy, and Mickey Mouse all voted for him three times in Chicago, and twice each throughout Ohio and Michigan. I am happy to see that his relationship with known terrorist Bill Ayers came into light, also this photo.

And this one.

And this one.

I am glad to see that America has picked the better candidate. He plans to get our economy rolling by eliminating taxes for the rich, because we all know they desperately need to keep five houses and three yachts in a crisis like this. He is also very smart when it comes to balancing the budget, planning to reduce military benefits like health care and the pesky cost of “PTSD” complainers. Another big budget cut is education, smart move. Why think about our future if the economy is bad now? And I know that McCain will lead us strongly through whatever crises we may face, because I have not yet mentioned that he faced a crisis while deployed in Vietnam. If you haven’t yet heard, he was a Prisoner of War that spent time in a Viet Cong Prisoner of War camp as a Prisoner of War, and he was way more deserving of his Purple Heart than that crazy liberal John Kerry. Did I mention McCain was a POW?

Sarah Palin is hard at work already as well. Two and a half months before she is officially VP she already has issued binoculars to the Alaskan Independence Party to make sure no Russians are hopping across the Bering Strait. Eventually, with the help of her husband, she plans to make Alaska its own nation, and I’m sure we all support her goal.

In celebration of this major victory, Dick Cheney fired a shotgun shell into the air and accidentally shot a quail in the face.

After finding out about the victory, current President George Bush gave John McCain a great big hug.

But I digress, we Americans will enjoy the next four years, just have we have enjoyed the prosperity of the last eight.

Once again, CONGRATULATIONS JOHN McCAIN FOR BEING ELECTED THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

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11:23 CST: Kasson:  Wow what a great speech by Obama.

10:56 CST: Kasson:  Even better if it was Tancredo

10:32 CST: Cessna: McCain’s speech was definitely a great one. It is truly a shame that he had to be the Republican candidate in this election. I would have felt better had it been Huckabee or Romney.

10:12 CST: Cessna: I am proud to say I was a part of this, I canvassed for Barack in Iowa and Nebraska, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Even when those to UP trains tried to slow us down.

10:04 CST: Ike: It is now official. Senator Barack Obama is officially the next President of the United States.

10:02 CST: Kasson: CNN now projects victory for Obama.

9:50 CST: Cessna: Check out WGN, I love looking at the Barack party in Chicago.

9:36 CST: Cessna: Obama currently leads 207-135 on MSNBC, 207-135 on CNN, and its apparently a dead heat according to FOX News at 0-0. This may be the only time I ever say this, but I prefer FOX News in this instance.

9:31 CST: Kasson: The senate race is interesting in Minnesota between Franken and Coleman.  So far Franken is up, but neither has 50% of the vote.

9:09 CST: Cessna: McCain is up in Nebraska by 1%, how much money do you want to bet that only 3 cities are currently reporting?

9:00 CST: Kasson: Time for some real news, Indecision 2008.

8:39 CST: Cessna: Obama is only up by 1% in popular vote and is (projected) up 110 electoral votes. Something might be wrong with the electoral college.

8:34 CST: Ike: At this rate, McCain might not even win 211.

8:30 CST: Kasson: I had a dream McCain won 411 electoral votes. I’m glad that wont happen.

8:19 CST: Kasson: Ohio goes to Obama. As you have heard 30 times now, no Republican has won without Ohio.

8:06 CST: Ike: The Senate has officially gone Democrat, with the latest count at 51-33. This will be the third year in a row that the U.S. has a Democratic Senate!

8:04 CST: Kasson: Hey I’m back and ready to catch up.

8:00 CST: Ike: McCain has picked up two more states, Wyoming and North Dakota, giving him a shocking jump of 6 electoral votes.

7:36 CST: Wink: Current election tally is 103-58 electoral votes in Obama’s favor. MSNBC has called Georgia for McCain. On that subject, McCain has been quoted saying, “That’s just peachy.”

7:01 CST: Wink: The newest tally is 77-34 in Obama’s favor. This is without California, mind you, but does include the majority of New England.

6:54 CST: Ike: As poor as things are going for him right now, Obama should be able to count on some electoral votes from his home states of Hawaii and Illinois, but probably will not pick up any votes in his home states of Kansas and Kenya.

6:47 CST: Wink: Electoral vote is 16-3 in McCain’s favor. If only Vermont votes for Obama, this could be the biggest upset in U.S. history!

6:30 CST: Ike: Early in Florida, Obama has a lead on McCain. However, the older people are still trying to get to the booth, so take this with a grain of salt.

6:02 CST: Ike: Senator McCain has jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in electoral votes. An upset in the making?

5:36 CST: Kasson: I will have to leave you with Ike and Wink for the next couple hours, as I have to go.

5:28 CST: Kasson: Welcome to the Winkest Link Liveblog of the action

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These are my predictions for the outcome of tonights election:

Obama – 354

McCain – 184

We’ll se how I did tomorrow.

My prediction for the Senate is this:

Democrats – 56

Republicans – 42

Independents – 2 (siding with Democrats)

And for the house:

Democrats – 261

Republicans – 174

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