McCain - no more earmarks. Biden - no more cowboys

It was a high-octane day on the campaign trail.  Plenty of barbs.  Plenty of jabs.  Plenty of new condemning commercials.  And to use more of a 2004 term that became nauseatingly overused – plenty of smashmouth politics.   "Smashmouth," according to UrbanDictionary, means authentic or raw as opposed to – as they explain – "wussified."

Joe Biden is hardly a wussified Senator.  Neither is is his today-sidekick, Maryland Senator Barbara Milkulski.  Anyone who's ever watched her in action knows she's a tough one.

Square your shoulders

At a rally made up of mostly women, Milkulski was there to warm up the crowd.  Instead, she lit it on fire.

"You and I know that we women in America are mad as hell and we don’t want to take it anymore," Milkulski said. "I’m here today to say to you, we’ve got to get ready here, OK? Women, square your shoulders. Women, Democratic women, we wear lipstick too!"

The Maryland Senator was referring to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's frequent remarks about lipstick and pitbulls.

“We don’t need another George Bush in earrings being the No. 2 spot,” Mikulski jabbed.

Smokin' Joe

It's a tough act to follow. But this is Joe Biden, a man with the confidence to follow a lineup of Abraham Lincoln, Pericles, and Winston Churchill.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee, as usual, had plenty to say, and he kept the focus on the economy with the specified audience in mind.

"When the economy goes south, who are the first people who get hurt the most? It’s women, it’s women," he said.

Prescription:  Less cowbell

How to fix it? Tighten the reins and more disciplined thinking said Biden.

“Ladies and gentlemen, these guys have worshiped, they have worshiped at the shrine of deregulation,” Biden said. “John McCain proudly said not long ago on Wall Street, and I quote, ‘I’m always, I’m always for less regulation.’”

"Part of the solution is ending the cowboy mentality, the cowboy mentality of the Bush and McCain era," Biden added. "These guys ripped away, they ripped away the consumer protections were designed to help you and your investment."

Mavericks in Minnesota

Not to be outdone by today's Democratic dynamic duo, the McCain-Palin combo was full of fire as well, in a state that polls show is a toss-up.  Once solidly in the Obama camp, the Gopher State welcomed the Republican ticket with an atmosphere reminiscent of three weeks ago when it hosted the Republican National Convention.  "Drill Baby Drill" chants seem to be an ever-present fixture of a McCain-Palin rally.

Today the Republican nominee for President sounded frankly tired of Barack Obama's tack on financial issues.

"We've heard a lot of words from Sen. Obama over the course of this campaign, but maybe just this once he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems," McCain said.

Patriot games

Mangling Joe Biden's words just a bit, McCain condemned the Senator's  "patriotism."

"Senator Obama and the current congressional leaders seem unable to deal with the current crisis.  But we know what their plans are for the economy.  This week ... Senator Obama's running mate said raising taxes is patriotic," McCain said to an eruption of boos.

"Raising taxes in a tough economy isn't patriotic," McCain continued, smiling with the inevitable dig to follow.  "It isn't a badge of honor.  It's just plain dumb."

I'll make you famous

Continuing the conversation of ending earmarks, McCain put an exclamation point on his promise to end the practice.

"I will take an ink pen and I will veto every pork barrel earmark spending bill that comes across my desk.  You will know their names and I will make them famous," he said to a roaring crowd.

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