Monday, May 5

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Julia Silverman, AP, Portland Or - Tony Marino, a Republican newcomer who is trying to capture a legislative seat in Tigard. . . introduced himself to voters via a letter to constituents that outlines the mea culpas of his life, including bankruptcy and a run-in with the IRS, five divorces and a PhD from an online university that's not accredited in Oregon. Oh yeah, and his first mailer features Marino and his young daughter on a Harley, neither of them wearing a helmet. (Though a notation underneath notes that the photo was taken in a studio, and that "all smart motorcyclists wear helmets." Oregon law requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets.) Marino's campaign slogan is "Politics Unusual."

But how could not vote for the guy after you've seen his video?

Conservative columnist Mark Steyn gets uncomfortably close to the problem with Obama: "The notion that the Amazing Obama might be just another politician doing what politicians do seems to have affronted the senator more than any of the stuff about America being no different from al-Qaida and the government inventing AIDS to kill black people. In his belated 'disowning' of Wright, Obama said, 'What I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing. Anybody who knows me and anybody who knows what I'm about knows that ­ that I am about trying to bridge gaps and that I see the ­ the commonality in all people.'. . . As he chugged on, the senator couldn't find his groove and couldn't prevent himself from returning to pick at the same old bone: 'If what somebody says contradicts what you believe so fundamentally, and then he questions whether or not you believe it in front of the National Press Club, then that's enough. That's ­ that's a show of disrespect to me.' And we can't have that, can we? In a shrewd analysis of Obama's peculiarly petty objections to the Rev. Wright, Scott Johnson of the Powerline Web site remarked on the senator's 'adolescent grandiosity.' There's always been a whiff of that. When he tells his doting fans, 'We are the change we've been waiting for,' he means, of course, he is the change we've been waiting for."