We know now that Obama announced Sen. Joe Biden as his choice for the Democratic nomination for Vice President. Joe's not perfect, but he is clearly a good match for Obama and will be a real asset to the Democratic ticket.
What I find most fascinating is how the Obama people have used the Veep announcement to play the media like it was a musical instrument at Julliard. The Veepstakes has had the reporters sitting at Obama's feet panting with their tongues hanging out like dogs waiting for a treat. Even better, the pundits/TV personalities have been going wild with both anticipation and frustration as they can't get any news on the choice.
Beyond the suspense, the release of Biden's name by email drives everyone to the media that Obama dominates - the Internet. The reporters, pundits and TV personalities have nothing they can do to add value to the Obama announcement.
Another point - the timing of the Veepstakes announcement gives the Sunday morning TV talking heads time to discuss it as a lead-in to discussing the Democratic Convention. As I say, Obama has played the Veep announcement very well.
Then McCain's "House-count gaffe" adds even more to the same media frenzy. Obama has hit back hard, and his attack the big advantage of being true. That contrasts it sharply to the media fiction based on Brittany and Paris Hilton that has been coming out of the McCain camp. Add to this, this week's announced Bush - al Maliki agreement on a timetable to get American troops out of Iraq has cut the legs out from under McCain's recent VFW statement that "We both agree we will bring the troops home, but I will win first" line of attack.
With all this happening, who is going to be the first talking head on Sunday who asks about McCain's age and apparent confusion?
Looking forward to nest week, all this media frenzy provides a really fine base on which to run the Democratic convention. If it's as well coordinated as this weeks Obama PR stuff, next week is also going to be a very interesting - and for Democrats, pleasing - Fall leading into the election.
The dark spot that concerns me is that it is clear that the Bush administration set Georgian President Saakishvili up to attack into South Ossetia knowing that the Russian military was waiting for him.
The Russian troops had to have been sitting in place waiting for the command to attack to the south. They reacted too rapidly for it to be otherwise. US technical Intelligence had to have satellites pictures of their armor and troops in the jump-off locations. With all the warning and tension there, not to have had satellite coverage of the Caucasus Mountains would be pure incompetence on the part of US Intelligence. Had the Americans who claim they were warning Saakishvili not to attack South Ossetia shown those pictures to the Georgian high command, the Georgians would not have walked into the trap as they did.
The Bush administration was adding to the anti-Russian rhetoric and encouraging Saakishvili in his hothead rhetoric with promises of "support", so at best they might have been providing mixed messages. Had they actually shown pictures of the Russian troops in position waiting to snap the trap on the Georgian military, it is very unlikely the Georgians would have attacked South Ossetia. The US either suffered a massive Intelligence and diplomatic failure or they directly encouraged Saakishvili to attack South Ossetia. Two separate sources have informed me that the US encouraged the Georgian attack.
One very strong implication is that the Bush administration is playing the "fear of Russians" game to try to spread fear of a new Cold War in the American electorate, since fear of Iranians and fear of al Qaeda is not having the effect on the American electorate the Republicans hoped for. As far as I can tell, the threat of a new Cold War is McCain's best chance of winning in November. This makes the Cold War with Russia the Republican Presidential-Monarchist's in control of the Presidency.
Will it work to elect McCain and allow the Republican NeoCons to keep control of the Presidency - which they are pressing hard to turn into a monarchy based on the theory of the Unitary Presidency?
Any patriotic American will hope it doesn't work. For right now, Obama appears to be playing the media game beautifully. This builds on his ground game and the declining Republican economy that should determine the Presidential election. But the Bush Administration still has slightly over 10 weeks to set up a new Cold War with the Russians and get McCain elected to keep the Cheneyites and NeoConss in control of the Presidency. As the election gets closer and everything else fails for the Republicans they are likely to get desperate and attempt anything to defeat Obama.