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We Are Not Traitors: Obama Scores Biggest Applause With Right-Wing Rhetoric

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Barack Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic Party nomination was largely well-received and accomplished several things he was perceived to need to do:

· Acknowledge Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s efforts to rally her supporters to his side.
· Provide some specifics as to the blueprint of his presidential agenda.
· Show he can take on John McCain, without completely abandoning his fight against ‘politics as usual’ and his crusade for bringing change to Washington, D.C.
· Appeal to the African-American community by recognizing the historical significance of the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream" speech through a message of unity; that is to say, by not appearing to campaign as a ‘black candidate’ (in fact, MLK was not even mentioned by name once in those passages).

All of these components of Obama’s speech generated a favorable reaction from the large crowd assembled in Denver, to be sure. But what seemed to truly get Democrats on their feet was none other than the sort of fire and brimstone rhetoric that comes straight from the GOP playbook.

Regarding the fight in Afghanistan, although Obama implemented a liberal-friendly euphemism for ‘kill’ (‘take out’) the crowd roared at this hawkish passage:

“I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.?

Obama also cited, to a favorable reaction, Democratic presidents in America’s history who were, essentially, “tough guys? when it came to foreign policy:

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.?

And, finally, in perhaps Obama’s most passion-filled delivery of the evening, he recognized the sacrifices our military makes to keep us safe:

“The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America, they have served the United States of America. So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.?

Now, all of these statements are far from controversial. Only the smallest fraction of Americans would not want our next president to kill Bin Laden, defend our country, and support our troops.

But these statements were crucial to the Obama campaign even though they were, generally, not the kind of statements Obama used during his primary campaign.

And that is because this was the quintessential ‘general election speech;’ delivered to show independents, conservative Democrats, and liberal Republicans that Obama too can be a ‘tough guy’ – just like a Republican. That is to say, Democrats are not traitors and will defend our country.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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