NY Times Political Blog: “That One,” Now in Four Sizes

NY Times Political Blog

“That One,” Now in Four Sizes


From John McCain’s mouth to the shirt on your back, a memorable one-linerfrom Tuesday night’s presidential debate has already made its way into the world of e-commerce.

“By the way my friends, I know you grow a little weary of this back and forth. There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate – loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies,” Mr. McCain said, winding up to it. “You know who voted for it – you might never know?”

He then pointed at his rival, Senator Barack Obama, and answered his own question: “That one.” He continued, “You know who voted against it? Me.

It didn’t long before a mystery entrepreneur quickly scooped up the Internet address: www.thatone08.com and a companion Facebook page and turned it into a merchandising opportunity. The Web site is a one-stop shop for “That One” T-shirts emblazoned with the Obama campaign logo next to the words “That One 08.” There are also two other versions of the shirt, one featuring a photograph of Mr. Obama the other with one of Mr. McCain (finger outstretched) above the words — can you guess? — “That One.”


It’s fair to say that the reference to “that one,” caught more than a few viewers as well as the Obama campaign by surprise. A spokesman for Mr. Obama, Bill Burton, fired off a one line-email in the middle of the debate: “Did John McCain just refer to Obama as ‘that one’?”

Was it a bungled line? A perjorative? Or just an in-artful way for Mr. McCain to describe his opponent?




One Response

  1. Although nearly one third of New York State residents having attained a bachelors degree or higher, ranking us 9th among states for college attainment its worth asking if the candidates election messages speak more to “Joe the Plumber” rather than to “Joe the College Student”, leaving the intellectual and conservative voter disaffected. Intelligence is important in this race, as the Republicans that have endorsed Obama have noted and his surge of support suggests.

    Because of the quirks of New York State’s registration process, independent voters are difficult to identify. It is estimated that 40 percent of voters today are independent and these voters tend to be fiscally conservative, strong on defense, adamant about maintaining low taxes and balanced budgets, while open to moderate positions on social issues, civil unions for example. The plausible lesson of New York City, where despite an overwhelming democratic voter registration advantage Republican mayors are elected, is that many registered Democrats are, in fact, independents and thus open to the thoughtful conservative message.

    What happens in New York State politics, particularly the potential single party concentration of power should the Democrats win the Senate could have an effect on State finances, which in turn can influence the national and global situation. New York State is not just another State: unfortunately it is at present “ground-zero” for the world-wide economic meltdown, while having an economic meltdown of its own. New York State’s leadership, our “three men in a room”, need to ensure that actions taken at the State level do not precipitate any further damage to the economy generally, and in particular the financial and insurance industries headquartered here.

    In examining the three outcomes in the Senate race there is only one that is good for the nation – the GOP maintaining the majority. But let’s examine the three options to validate this conclusion.

    Option one: A 31:31 outcome precipitates a constitutional crisis, and the loss of one house as a partner in crafting a response to the State’s budget crisis which could send a destabilizing message.

    Option two: A flip will result in chaos due to the likely in-fight for power, leadership inexperience, and mass jettisoning of experienced personnel, plus the inevitable calls for the Governor to mediate when he can least afford to lose focus on more important issues. In this scenario the State is most likely to send a destabilizing message to critical industries and decision makers. After 9/11 many companies moved out of New York City and out of State. We cannot afford to send the Democratic message that we are poised and ready to tax and regulate to solve the State’s fiscal problems. We will lose critical industries and in turn, critical revenues thus triggering a vicious spiral.

    Option three: The Senate GOP wins thus bringing both experience at the legislative and staff level, and fresh leadership open to consideration of new ideas and solutions with a history of working with the Assembly and Governor to the table. This is the best outcome for Berlin New York…and Berlin Germany!



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