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Callahan’s “Daisy ad” and bailout fallout

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008

* Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Callahan has a new TV ad that pays homage (to the point where it even seems to have the same voice doing the “countdown”) to LBJ’s “Daisy” ad from the 1964 presidential race…

Callahan’s other TV ad, which we’ve discussed before, can now be seen at this link.

* Meanwhile, many congressional candidates differed over yesterday’s botched financial systems bailout vote, but Colleen Callahan and Republican Aaron Schock were on the same page

Both the Democrat and Republican candidates for the 18th District Congressional seat say they would have voted for the bailout bill. […]

“Those questions I did have, have been answered. And as distasteful as this bailout is, I could and would vote for this package,” said Democratic candidate Colleen Callahan.

“Something has to be done. To do nothing in this case, absolutely nothing, would wreak havoc on our economy in this country,” said Republican candidate Aaron Schock.

* That wasn’t the case in the 11th District

The horse is out of the barn,” said [Republican Martin Ozinga]. “Instead of them talking about how the door was open, we should be catching the horse.” […]

“The banking crisis is more serious than most people realize,” said Ozinga. “What’s going on is so shocking and complicated it’s hard for people to understand.” […]

[Democrat Debbie Halvorson] said she would have voted “no” on Monday’s bailout plan. The lack of any meaningful protection for homeowners facing foreclosure was one of her key criticisms of the legislation.

“If we want people to pay their mortgages, why are we allowing them to go into foreclosure?” said Halvorson, who said helping homeowners pay their mortgages would prop up the banking industry.

* As I told you yesterday, Democrat Bill Foster voted “Yes.” His GOP opponent, Jim Oberweis, said he would’ve voted against the proposal. From a press release

“I support the action taken by the House of Representatives this afternoon in rejecting a flawed bailout plan that would have put American taxpayers at risk for $700 billion. Had I been a Member of Congress, I would have voted ‘no.’

“Now that the flawed measure has been rejected, Congress can take the time necessary to strengthen the legislation to improve the odds of its success at solving the problem at hand, while reducing taxpayer risk and improving taxpayer protections. It is important that Congress address this very serious economic crisis that we are facing, but it is equally important that Congress address this situation in a way that will subject taxpayers to the smallest loss possible while doing what is necessary to keep our financial system working in a positive way. We must not sow the seeds of future, equally serious problems by trying to solve this situation too quickly. We must do this right with reasonable speed rather than doing this wrong with great speed.”

* Republican Judy Biggert voted “No,” but her Democratic opponent Scott Harper said he would’ve been a “Yes.” From Harper’s press release…

“With our economy in trouble and with the American people deeply concerned about their homes, their investments and their retirements, Judy Biggert took the coward’s way out and voted against an economic package that would have helped rescue our markets.

“I would have voted yes.

“No one is happy about the current situation we’re in and if Judy Biggert hadn’t been asleep at the wheel on the financial services committee, perhaps we could have had more oversight and regulation and less corporate greed that got us into this mess in the first places.”

I’m more interested today in how you feel about the political tactics of the various incumbents and challengers - without the canned, pre-approved DC political talking points, of course. Let’s all take a deep breath and try to analyze the politics in a clear-headed manner without bringing that DC insanity into the blog. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - muon - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 11:59 am:

    Biggert was a no on the bailout bill. Harper says he would have gone the other way. You may want to edit that Rich.

  2. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 12:02 pm:

    Tactics? Or the policy? I don’t understand Foster decision to vote Yes given the option of other freshmen to vote No, and the choice of other Illinois Dems to vote No.

    That just seems like a huge mistake especially considering the premis the country was conned into the War in Iraq. This sure looks like a rush to a vote…

    I think confronted with a choice link this, on a complicated problem, you just look at it in terms of power and weigh the risks of waiting a day or two v giving someone unprecedent power with a huge amount of money.

    Southside Democrats made the right choice. Foster wasn’t listening to the right side of Madison street and he should have known because we use that divide way out here in Kane County too to sort out addresses….

  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 12:02 pm:

    Thanks. Undetected brain freeze. Fixed.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 12:04 pm:

    Wow, a real blast from the past. Maybe too past — 44 years. It also might be too complex for a Congressional spot. Nuclear weapons? Taiwan? Are they friends or allies? Schock doing his Il Duce imitation is good.

    The earlier spot is schizophrenic. You have Callahan giving a chipper narration to upbeat music, but much of it is negative on Schock. Even the negative imagery (the oil pump, the solider family), is too pretty. You want somebody else to narrate the negative, down music and stark imagery, then come back to Callahan with color and positive music.

    Regarding the bailout, Callahan being a farm reporter knows the danger of tight credit. For other challengers, being against is a slam dunk given popular anger.

    I think many incumbents who feel even a little bit of pressure are furious that this is getting dropped on them without warning a month before the election. If nothing else, many want to have a no vote on the record. There’ll be another structured roll call that will pass.

  5. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 12:07 pm:

    I did see a Dan Seals commercial where he said enough sending the same people to DC. Does that mean he does not want a Dem Majority?

  6. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 12:25 pm:

    What fascinates me is the splits on the vote were not along party lines. True, Hoyer and Pelosi got more votes out of their caucus than Boehner did, but the substantial opposition in both parties led to a voting bloc we don’t usually see.

    The variety of statements made by House challengers in both parties (as Rich quoted above) is pretty rare as well. I am fascinated to see how the leaders in Congress are going to proceed with a bailout plan now, because what was a supposedly bipartisan done deal signed off on by Pelosi, Hoyer, Boehner, Reid, McConnell, Obama, McCain, and Bush didn’t come close to passing.

  7. - Shore - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 12:39 pm:

    You’d think someone like Steve Greenburg, with the business class republican base they have up there would be able to be smart politically and use beans donations and the 10 percent approval rating congress has to come up with something.

  8. Pingback Daisy ad all over again « Votejacked - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 1:43 pm:

    […] (h/t: Capitol Fax Blog) […]

  9. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 1:46 pm:

    I am equally dismayed by the response of the House Democratic leaders and House Republican dissenters on this issue. It is even further irritating to see the Presidential nominees and Illinois Congressional candidates exploit the legislative “bailout” measure. To all the self-righteous elected officials, greedy lending institutions, and irresponsible homeowners who got us into this dilemma, do something, anything to fix this mess. In the end, it ain’t Obama or McCain, it ain’t Iraq or Afghanistan, it ain’t even the probes, investigations, or indictments that will matter. IT IS THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

  10. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    The problem the bailout poses is that it is too complex for a soundbite. Wall Street and Main Street are linked; helping either one will help the other. No short audio clip will do this justice (no matter which side to come down on). Thus, we get comments going every which way.

    This close to the election, it’s not how you voted (or would have voted), it’s how the spin goes. Right now the spin is against, so those looking at the daily polls vote against. In two weeks, if the market tanks, the spin will be for a bailout, so some of those looking a bit farther ahead voted for.

    Halvorson’s message is probably the most appealing to voters IF it can be explained clearly. The downside is that it could look like bailing out someone’s yuppie palace. If you take this position, it’s got to be spun with a picture of a bungalow that has a for sale sign in front and the candidate saying “I think we need to help these people who were preyed upon…” That seems to be where public opinion lies.

  11. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 2:04 pm:

    You have to have a bit of dark humor to enjoy what we are going through. Watching each candidate search to find a political sweet spot to spin in an attempt to get votes is actually hilarious, in a sick way.

    There is no leadership in Washington. There are two candidates trying to benefit from this dismal news. The one that tried to call it got shot down, then spit upon by the other who felt that doing nothing was a better approach.

    A truth being revealed is that this is a real problem that can’t be solved with politics. Even if this occurred after the election, we would have seen problems dealing with it. The timing of this disaster exposes the shallowness, opportunism, and selfishness of both incumbants and challengers. It is making a mockery of both political parties.

    Right now I hate them all.

  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 2:08 pm:

    Pot, I suspect the truth is probably too painful for a TV spot. A lot of people had a good time on this bender.

    The Emperors of the Universe on Wall Street weren’t the only ones to benefit, although as individuals they made out like bandits.

    Lot of people bought more home than they could afford under terms and with credit that would have given Main Street bankers of my childhood a stroke.

    Business was cool with that, because it drove purchases of durable goods. Politicians of both parties were happy with it.

    Everyone loved that stock market going up. I’ve talked to people in recent days who were shocked that the stock holdings in their 401ks weren’t guaranteed.

    It’s not terribly complex, but it sure ain’t pretty, either.

  13. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    VanillaMan, will you marry me?

    You clearly articulated my own feelings.

    Call me if you need me (yuck - now I sound like Obama).

  14. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    ==The one that tried to call it got shot down, then spit upon by the other who felt that doing nothing was a better approach.==

    Huh? One ran to Warshington and worked the phones in a public way, hoping to ride the wave, the other worked the phones from the campaign trail and tried to stay out of the way of the folks on the committees who were writing the legislation.

    As I recall (and it was only yeaterday), McCain took credit for then victory, then blamed Obama for the failure. If McCain really wants to “call it,” he should have his cabinet-in-waiting produce a plan which he can present to the public. If not, he should let the White House and the Congressional leadership hash it out.

    At this point, neither party will want the other presidential candidate to claim victory in this, so Obama is right to stay away and McCain was right to bug out on Monday. (I would suspect that what few votes McCain brought in were offset by Dems backing out.)

  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 2:44 pm:

    VM, c’mon, you know that comment was over the line.

  16. - Kevin Fanning - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 2:49 pm:

    When do we get to see homage to the Willie Horton ad?

  17. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    Kevin, I suspect you might see it before this is all over. McCain is taking a pounding in the RealClearPolitics battleground state tracking polls ever since this bailout came along. Right or wrong, the GOP wears the jacket for Wall Street.

    My guess that is that it would come from an “independent” group and would feature the Revs. Wright, Pfleger and Mr. Ayers.

  18. - Kevin Fanning - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:06 pm:

    Sadly, you could be right.

  19. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:06 pm:

    ==VM, c’mon, you know that comment was over the line.==

    Right now, I’m proposing to Black Ivy.

    OK, huh what?

    “Over the line?”

    Yeah, I don’t “hate” hate them, but if I had a few Congresspeople in my living room right now, I’d go Patton on them. Waffling wussies!

  20. - Black Ivy - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:09 pm:

    VM, I do, I do, I do!

  21. - You Go Boy - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:14 pm:

    At first it was bug-eyed, quavering voiced pols giving doomsday predictions “if we don’t do something NOW!” Quickly followed by “..but this is no time to panic…” So the average voter was left with despising all those responsible (actively or passively), yet fearful that if “nothing was done” its the Depression II. So now it appears (considering the Dow today)there are actually market forces that are helping gain some equilibrium - we will not go down in flames as predicted by Bush, Paulson,…there will be a compromise soon, and likely to the benefit of taxpayers. This administration/Congress may be the worst ever, certainly in terms of loose cannon/zero accountability. Lets fix it, then fix those who put us in this horrible state.

  22. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==VM, I do, I do, I do!==

    See Bill?
    You take a stand for freedom and you’ll be loved, you take a stand for serfdom and you’ll be pitied.

  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 3:40 pm:

    People, get a room.

  24. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 4:37 pm:

    I found my congress critter’s vote interesting. Lipinski has no real opposition this fall, and he hasn’t appeared to be an ideologue on either side. Yet he voted No. It surprised me. After being mad at the man for the past 2 terms, I may actually vote for him this time.

  25. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 4:42 pm:

    Here’s my take on Foster. He is a business guy in a district that was Republican leaning in the past. He’s also got a PhD and tends to value the perspective of experts.

    On a personal level Foster was inclined to vote for the bailout. And politically (macro) I think he’s inclined to align himself with Obama and the establishment types.

    And in his race against Oberweis, Foster was more than happy to let Oberweis rail against a bailout of investors. It would highlight that Oberweis is a Wall Street investor (or at least a fat cat). And Oberweis has been so cynical in the past, Foster prob doubted Oberweis’ opposition would be taken seriously.

  26. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 4:47 pm:

    Carl, you don’t think Foster did what Rahm told him to do?

  27. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 6:09 pm:

    I just heard on the WEEK TV (Peoria) station that they tried to contact Jerry “No Show” Weller to ask about why he was a no show, no vote. All they got was an answering machine.

    Sheesh. The 11th district deserves better. He should have resigned last spring.

  28. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 6:53 pm:

    Daisy commercial backfires big time. Way too dramatic and over the top to be effective. Makes her come off as a 70s/80s alarmist and makes you wonder whether what Shock said was taken out of context. Plus, the timing’s all wrong. Russia’s acting up again, people are afraid or in denal because of the bail-out, and the commercial leaves you afraid that when you see her campaigning in the street, she’ll walk up to you, give you a daisy, and say “Peace, Man”.

    The other commercial, standing on its own, screams insincerity. “I’m not talking about his age” (beginning), “but I am” (end)–is what jumps out.

    Combine the two and you no longer believe that she’s going to give you a daisy. She just comes across as being…well, mean, no matter how upbeat the music and scenery.

  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 7:06 pm:

    BTW, no deep thoughts about the bail-out votes and speculation on how people would have voted were they in office already. I think everyone’s position says alot about them to all of us, but I don’t know whether that’s going to mean anything when all is said and done. I’ll bet everyone’s offering their best opinion because I’m not sure that anyone really knows how effective either the original proposal, nor the one that will be voted in, would be.

    What I do find intriguing, however, is watching the takeovers and the interim funding that IS going out. Leaves me wondering to what degree same will be considered as the new proposal is developed and/or whether those moves will have impact on it.

    Obviously way too complex for my little brain to figure out, but it’ll obviously be interesting to watch and speculate as to the direction in which the country’s headed.

  30. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 8:02 pm:

    Bill, Rahm voted for the bill. It seems reasonable to assume Rahm asked Foster to vote for the bill. But I suspect it was a very short conversation.

    “Hey, Bill…”

    “If you’re calling about Paulson’s plan, I’m not crazy about it, but I’m voting for it.”


    “Anything else?”

    “No, that was it.”

    Bill, there are people in politics who are not into the details of public policy and more about winning elections than having any commitment to what’s right and what’s wrong.

    Having dealt with Foster a little bit, I guarantee you he’s into details. And he makes his own decisions. Sometimes his decision making process is infuriating. But he’s not a tool for some boss in the House Democrats.

  31. - Elder - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 8:08 pm:

    Always hard to say with politicians, but I do think Foster’s vote was principled in a wierd sort of way. It is easy to throw rancid populism around, and it would not hurt him in the district. But my guess is that he is a thoughtful, reasonable sort of “pick the least bad of two bads” kind of guy, and that he actually believed that the bailout was what is best for the country. Of course it does not hurt to line up with Bush, Obama, and Emanuel at the same time!

  32. - 11th CD Dude - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 9:41 pm:

    I called Weller’s Washington office this morning to inquire after his whereabouts. I was put on hold for about 30 seconds while the young man found out I was told he was attending to family matters. I expressed my feelings regarding Weller’s absence for a minute or two. When I finished my rant, the staffer asked where I stood on the bailout. I told him, and thanked him for his time. Poor sap.

  33. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 08 @ 11:21 pm:

    Regarding Weller, there’s a great Steve Goodman song that I think Jimmy Buffett covered on A1A. “Down to the Banana Republic.”

  34. Pingback Politics: The return of ‘Young and Dumb’ | Peoria Pundit - Wednesday, Oct 1, 08 @ 12:19 am:

    […] 18th District Democratic Congressional candidate Colleen Callahan is getting some grief for her latest campaign ad that’s been compared the LBJ’s infamous “Daisy” ad. Oldsters might remember it. It was designed to make voters too afraid of nuclear war to vote for Barry Goldwater. […]

  35. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Oct 1, 08 @ 8:20 am:

    ““If we want people to pay their mortgages, why are we allowing them to go into foreclosure?” said Halvorson, who said helping homeowners pay their mortgages would prop up the banking industry.”

    I have two responses to this Halvorson gem. First of all, I knew what I could or couldn’t afford, watched your run of the mill home go up to the price of a mansion, and stayed put (that is, I was responsible and lived within my means, while others who made less than I do showed off their half-million dollar homes like they were nobilitiy). Why should I now pay THEIR mortgage??? Debbie, you’re vote pandering! How does the government paying their mortgages prop up the banking industry? Will we have to pay these people’s mortgages for thirty years??? THEY CAN NOT AND NEVER COULD AFFORD THEM! They will eventually default again when the government subsity ends, anyway!

    Secondly, I am hardly filled with confidence that after carrying water for Emil Jones, Halvorson will suddenly throw it back into Pelosi’s face. Just not her style. She’s too eager to please and get ahead in the “leadership.”

    I don’t want to hear how anyone WOULD have voted. It’s irrelevent and too much an opportunity to say what people want to hear without any fallout.

  36. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Oct 1, 08 @ 10:47 am:

    Assuming one is needed, there are two broad approaches to a bailout. 1) Buy them from the banks 2) Help the borrowers pay them off

    The banks are staffed by professionals whose training and daily experience while most borrowers are amateurs who might take out two or three mortgages in a lifetime. Who deserves more help?

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