Republican Senator's Ad Grabs for Democrat Obama's Coattails

By Al Giordano

Anybody that still doesn't see that 2008 is a map-changing, paradigm-shifting election year in the United States should be made to watch this ad:

It's paid for by the reelection campaign of Republican US Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon.

It's not unusual for legislators of a political party to seek to distance themselves from their own party's nominee. But it's extremely rare when they reach to associate themselves with the rival party's nominee. And it offers a pretty good sense of what Smith's own polling is showing in Oregon.

The Obama campaign, however, is having none of it, and just put out this statement:

“Barack Obama has a long record of bipartisan accomplishment and we appreciate that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the Senate. But in this race, Oregonians should know that Barack Obama supports Jeff Merkley for Senate. Merkley will help Obama bring about the fundamental change we need in Washington,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.


That ad demonstrates what I've meant each time I've written that this is a once-in-a-generation election.


Also: Staying hot on the trail of The Field's move to this new and better location are DKos blogger TheWurx and the always stellar Barry Crimmins.

Blogging will have to wait tonight while I'm playing host to the best saxophone player in the hemisphere and we've got carousing plans. Meanwhile, give those guys some comments love, Field Hand style.


Obama will be the next

Obama will be the next President but lets remember with all the problems he will  face it's not going to be easy. One bad move in iraq  and not only could his Presidency be over but the Dems party will be set back for at least a 10 years.


Good luck  Obama, you're going to need it.

Thank you, Barry

Wonderful piece keeping the pressure on RV to ultimately do the right thing.  And of course, Al will be in Denver, of that there is no doubt.  I certainly appreciate the effort you make to keep Al rolling.

Small donation

For now, hopefully another small one next month.  I want to hear Al tell us what's going on in Denver, ow, we only get spin.  Thanks AL!



Gordon Smith the un-moderate un-bi-partisan

I'm from Oregon--we've been seeing Smith's ads since late April. He's running pretty scared. The one I've seen the most has 2 "democratic" Oregon legislators coming out for him. They're well known out here for their Lieberman-esque voting records.

As for Smith's position on energy, he talks a good line, but his record has been dreadful. Kevin Kamberg from Blue Oregon has a great writeup about this:

Smith has voted at least seven times to give oil companies tax breaks and subsidies. Twice he's voted against a windfall profits tax on the sale of crude above $40/barrel. In this campaign season, he's taken $276,825 in contributions from oil and gas companies.

Dems in Oregon know all about Smith, and we're not gonna let him get away with this "I'm a moderate, bi-partisan guy" garbage. Smith has lots of money, so I'm glad to see Obama's folks come out saying he supports Merkley--we need his star power.

Carousing and Republicans

Carousing?  I used to know what that word meant...

I just heard on KO that only 28% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans according to a recent survey.  Wow.  So it appears Gordon Smith has no choice in the matter if he wants to get north of 30%!

I saw this Matt Lauer interview of Dick Morris today.  Morris was a campaign advisor for more Republicans than Democrats, (including Huckabee some time ago) so I would bet my paycheck that the McCain camp has him on a cash payroll for the purpose of writing this kind of garbage. 

Morris had of course predicted that Sen. Clinton would win the nomination so he must have called the editor to get a last minute title change to put Obama's name on his book.  The title is 39 words long (!!) that has "Obama" as the first word (to sell any books) and "Fleeced" as the last word.  I have a friend who watched this (who unfortunately is one of those low information voters) and she thought that he had some valid points.  Yeah, that's just what the corporate media has in mind.


I just sent my promised donation.  I think you should be over 4K now!

And who...

might the best damn sax player in the hemisphere be?  Hmmmm?

Be careful!

Anyone who guesses Kenny G will be reassigned to Rural Votes.

Miss Know-it-all

I apologize if this is slightly off topic but we are talking about the ex-Field.  I was over on Wonkette and saw this little gem.  This is Tracy Russo edumacating the whole internets community on her wealth of knowledge on technology.  Oh, and in the process slamming the elderly for not knowing about Facebook.  Good one Tracy.  My 89 year old Dad was a better WRITER and using the internet before you even knew what a blog was.

And be sure to check out the comments - on Wonkette they are often as good as the story.

Kenny G ain't no friend of Al's?

@ Barry,

Ooh that's rich!  LOL - yes, that would be the price you would have to pay for guessing Kenny G.

Change in words, maybe?

I see that Obama is finally playing politics... his banal and predictable (for any other Democrat, at least) response to this ad is worrying me a lot. I'm sure that Democratic citizens are okay with him, but what about Independents like myself? Should I see his mantra as a "Great Uniter" as the real Obama, or this campaigning version of himself? Which one will be in the White House in November?


I'm asking a serious question here. This from a person who's supported the Senator from his 2006 keynote speech. So please explain his recent subtle shifts in character, because I'm getting rather uneasy.

FISA fights. Dodd and

FISA fights.

Dodd and Feingold to filibuster

and surprisingly, Reid shows some balls

Let's see what our man does now.

(The idealist me would like him to join the filibuster. But the pragmatic me, kicks me on my nuts and says "look at all those low-info as well as those "looking-for-any-reason-not-to-vote-for-Obama-because-I-can't-openly-say-I-am-a-racist" voters.)

John "Independent"

It was 2004

Obama endorsed the Democrat Merkley in this race, which his response makes clear.  How much more direct can someone be?  Gordon Smith is being the typical politician by approving such a deceptive ad, as if Obama endorsed Smith when Obama in fact endorsed Smith's opponent.

Your comment, if serious and not an attempt to get a rise outta people, is quite confusing.

Best sax player!?!?

OMG!  Al has friends in such low places!  Who knew?!?

Sax player is not in Al's own band!

Zapasutra, one of Al's musical ventures, does not employ a saxophonist.  I think we need to know more.

Republican Convention

Al, this might be a bit presumptous of me, but with the rumors (which you've alluded to as well) of a possible Republican coup against McCain at the Convention, I wonder if it isn't possible to also send you to Minneapolis for after Denver.


@ john @10:17   Ok, you got me on this one.  Not sure what in his statement you are worried about.  Why he would support a Republican over a Democrat in any state prior to them being elected?  Bipartisanship happens after the election.  How would you have wanted him to make it clear he endorses the other guy (the Democrat!) in Oregon?  
Hopefully the guy in the White House in 2009 will not only be the primary nominee but the Audacity of Hope writer, the Chicago organizer, the 2004 speech guy and now our general election candidate- because they are all the same guy and there is no subtle shift in character since he came on the scene here in Chicago.  Sorry - maybe you need to point them out to discuss.

McCain's Bad Neighbor Policy

At the risk of blatant self promotion---after being driven mad by the MSM tick of giving McCain a free pass on everything I was inspired to post a brief analysis on the ning Field Hands site about McCain's upcoming trip to Latin America. So this is my invitation to drop by and comment.

Gordon Smith-the stealth wing-nut

I'm a life-long Oregonian (60 years). Oregon used to be a state dominated by moderate (even progressive) Republicans when such critters existed. It was known as a center for "Rockefeller Republicanism."  Our best governor, Tom McCall, (1970s)a Republican, was famous for his environmentalism and preservationist policies. He passed legislation making our ocean beaches publicly owned. He passed landmark land-use legislation designed to protect our natural resources and farmlands. He passed the bottle bill, mandating deposits on beer and soft drink bottles. He was somewhat infamous for his preservationist statement "Come and visit Oregon, but please don't stay!"

Since those days the extreme right wing fundies have taken over the Republican Party and the state has begun turning blue. All state-wide office holders are now Democrats, and the Democrats have retaken control of both houses of the legislature.

Gordon Smith was a state senator from conservative Eastern Oregon with a long rap sheet of environmental law violations from his frozen foods plant. He had a right wing ideology and agenda that made him a force in the Republican Party. He first ran against Ron Wyden for Bob Packwood's senate seat and lost. He ran again when our last moderate Republican senator, Mark Hatfield, retired. He has since then tried to reformulate his image as a new Mark Hatfield. But his record stands against it. He was a number one cheerleader of GWB and his Iraq disaster. As soon as he started thinking abour re-election Smith started backpedaling and pretending like he's been some kind of closet dove all along. He's just a phony from the get-go and his record of voting with the right wing and his ideological history are unambiguous.  The fact he is trying to run on Obama's coat-tails speaks volumes about the election we are approaching and about the superficial deceiver that Gordon Smith is.

Kenny G

[Cable just came back]

Anyone who guesses Kenny G will be reassigned to Rural Votes.


There was a wonderful sax player in Juarez years ago who was a musician's musican. Beto-Can't-remember His-Last-Name.

Watch Leonard Cohen's teevee gig (David Sanborn's show) with Sonny Rollins playing Cohen's Who By Fire: [I love the Black male backup singer with the hat :-)]

@Eliot 11:18

Do you have any links for that McCain coup ?

Ex-Evangelical Says Dobson Just Handed Obama Victory

Frank Schaeffer is author of "CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back"

In HuffPo, Schaeffer writes:

<blockquote>As a result of his power grabs and bullying of other evangelicals, not to mention his telling people how to vote and pointing them to the failed W, Dobson & Co. have zero credibility with a growing number of otherwise conservative evangelicals who happen--this year--to be looking favorably at Senator Obama's holistic Christian-based world view. Unlike Dobson they like Obama's theology just fine.

All that was missing to put the frosting on the Obama cake was for Dobson to attack him.</blockquote>

Read the whole thing:

sax players

That line just invited a "Bill Clinton" joke (esp. the carousing). Surprised no one took it. My guess (this is just google) is Mike Tucker.

TIME's political columnist

TIME's political columnist Joe Klein writing on Swampland:

<blockquote>The notion that we could just waltz in and inject democracy into an extremely complicated, devout and ancient culture smacked--still smacks--of neocolonialist legerdemain. The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives--people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary--plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel. And then there is the question--made manifest by the no-bid contracts offered U.S. oil companies by the Iraqis--of two oil executives, Bush and Cheney, securing a new source of business for their Texas buddies.

The surge has reduced violence. We should all be thrilled about that--and honored by the brilliance of those who have served in Iraq. But what we're talking about here is whipped cream on a pile of fertilizer--a regional policy unprecedented in its stupidity and squalor.</blockquote>

Meet the make-believe strategists of TV

Meet the make-believe strategists of TV by Politico's Daniel Libit.

This is a must-read for nascent Chicken Littles.


“Many of these sort of more junior folks who have sort of made it into the ranks of analyst/commentator/strategist,” says one high-ranking cable news executive, “are only too happy to talk about things they don’t know about. Part of the problem is that because, again, they’re very glib, they’re good on TV. And if you ask someone the question and they give you a good-sounding answer, you might not know by asking them that it’s not their area of expertise.”

Others concur that the fractured nature of cable news time, particularly midday, allows almost anyone who’s articulate and politically inclined to act like a campaign insider.

and this one:

“That is often a young person who is told by the show producer, ‘We are going to talk about X; we need some people who can talk about that. Find some people,’ says Rosenstiel. “And the bookers tend to watch other shows, so if they see somebody who is interesting or provocative, they think those people would be interesting.”

Betsy Goldman, who worked as a booker and producer for CNN and MSNBC from 1988 to 2006, says that, when it came to identifying guests, she “never paid attention to it. I would just put ‘strategist’ or ‘consultant.’”

And these are the guys who are 'creating the news'.

That Rollins/Cohen clip

Alexa:  Damn, that is an amazing number.  Thanks for sharing it.

Juarez and Beto...You're probably thinking of this Beto.

Bill R:  That's a good story to illustrate how far the "center point" between Blue and Red has shifted.  This has happened all by careful design of the BigMoney forces in America.  Gov McCall, Nixon, Goldwater, etc. would potentially be considered Democrats by many today.

That's why the rise of the New Media has been so important.  We're able to push back now against BigMedia nonsense, although we're still just making our baby steps.  We need to get many, many more people to ignore BigMedia and getting their daily "news" from places like The Field.

I want Russ Feingold to be considered a "centrist" Democrat.  We can do that (yes, it might take a generation), so saddle up Liberal soldiers, and pony up to the "Send Al to Denver" kitty.  We've got a lot of work to do!

smith and his ad

Besides Smith being a hypocrite( his conservative rating is good/ bad by our standards), his opponent Merkley is a top notch guy and would be a huge gain in the senate as far as whats possible.

To anonymous (Alexa, is that you ?) 7:04

Thanks for that Politico piece on news "makers". No wonder msm has turned so stoopid and taken the populace with them resulting in low-info voters.

Politico should shine the light on their own Ben Smith, the hack.


Is that pesos?!?!  That's an awesome number for less than 2 days.

from Billy @11:16 pm.  - thanks for sharing the link .  Al, I listened to "Jealous God' and am beyond impressed.  I can't sing Happy Birthday in tune but my appreciation for good music is what keeps me centered.


"...reassigned to Rural Votes."  Nooooooooooooooo!!!!  Aghghgh!

Also, the Bill Clinton line was SO fitting as well.


I don't have any links, and I can't find Al's comment about it at the moment (I don't dismiss the likelihood that I misread something or that I simply remebered wrong) but I've heard a few rumors on radio talk-shows and what-not which I'd remembered seeing Al comment on. If I'm wrong about Al's comment, then that makes the rest of the rumors pretty much dead in the water (for now anyways).

yes Alexa thanks for that

yes Alexa thanks for that link. I have a technical question for anyone who casres to answer--how do you get the usual html tags to work here? I tried yesterday to re-title a hyper link and failed. Any suggestions?

I know David Briones mentioned the change of background color option the other day--I second or third that.


Great music on the zapasutra site.  Great voice, Al...I had forgotten the shining facet of your musical side.

OT news

1. Our old home has cleared out all reference to the Field. No longer on any banner.

2. A Fieldhands commentator pointed to a ning cousin with Barack music - a great listen:

3. Fieldhands @ ning has surpassed Rural Votes traffic on

[add and then to compare]

4. Last night, with my former HRC supporter good friend, I went to my very first Dem County monthly meeting. The speaker was our Obama organizer. Her enthusiasm was catching. TN may even be in play.

Have a great day!

PS what happened to spell check for Comments???? Help!

Kenny G?

He is schlock, but once upon a time, he was in a great band, the Jeff Lorber Fusion, back before it morphed into lame smooth jazz. Wizard Island is still one of my favorite albums.

Well, Well, Well

Good Morning, Field Hands!

Gee, who'd a thunk that a passing comment about the best saxophonist in América would lead to some tracking down the scant evidence of my musical life that exists online and Barry putting the fear of god in folks with the suggestion that one could be banished to the Ex-Field? Very fun conversation to read.

Once a month, on a Tuesday night, some musician friends hold a "big band" performance with five saxophones, five trumpets, five trombones, two guitars, piano, drums and bass. Unfortunately, during the primary season I was occupied on most Tuesday nights and missed all but one of those gala events. But last night I was able to resume regularly scheduled programming.

My favorite saxofonista - part of last night's posse - is the Chilean, Cristan Mendoza. You can hear some samples of his work here:

We recorded an album together last year (no, it's not finished yet, but it's really good!) and are embarking on a new musical project together which does not yet have a name.

But the best part of reading the comments was wondering if "Alexa" is somebody knows me outside of this screen, or whether she's just somewhat clairvoyant, as the collaboration with Cristian began last year when he walked into a rehearsal of the band I've worked with for the past three years, sat and listened, and afterwards asked if he could be part of the group. He said, "have you seen the video of Leonard Cohen with Sonny Rollins? That's the kind of thing that we could do with your songs." And he proceeded to dial it up on YouTube, and thus began a great musical collaboration and a season of very memorable live shows until he moved across the continents for many months.

Anyway, it looks like I'll be crawling out of my cave on various nights in the near future. You'll have to indulge that from time to time.

Oh, and Anne Crumpton - The final (thank god) removal of my name yesterday from the Ex-Field's home page followed a letter from our attorney to theirs insisting that they cease to create the false impression that I'm in any way involved with their project.

And regarding the $5,000+ plus raised in 24 hours: Just, wow. It took the last fund drive 12 days to get to that goal. (Although it makes me wonder, frankly, if back in May more $ was raised than we were informed about: either our readership has grown that much faster since the move, or are there more funds than we thought unaccounted for over there? Oh, well: as any good journalist knows, there are many paths to finding out the whole truth.)

Leonard Cohen & Sonny Rollins

Thank you for posting a link to their duet.  I remember watching, awestruck, that number on Night Music back in the Eighties and wishing it would come out on a record.  So happy to see it on YouTube and, twenty years later, to see that both Cohen and Rollins are still chugging along.  I had the opportunity to see Rollins six years ago and he was as strong and as in command of his instrument then as you see in the clip.

The money

Al, my theory on the money is that folks are simply riled up over here and know even more about what is important to them.  And from what I read, and did myself, many folks seem to be taking their money from the ex-Field plus giving the same amount again.  Just contrast the quality of the real journalism created here by your posts and others comments to the schlock routine described above on cable news.  So good for us.

Alexa posted Joe Klein's piece with the following comment that struck me:

"And then there is the question--made manifest by the no-bid contracts offered U.S. oil companies by the Iraqis--of two oil executives, Bush and Cheney, securing a new source of business for their Texas buddies."

Is this new to see this so out there in a MSM source?  I mean, it's not news to us but hasn't that been one of those things you don't say "in polite company?"  Or did I miss this?  In any case, it's good to see it so out there.

On another note, I just hit my limit of 30 people registered for my Unite for Change gathering on Saturday.  I will have a captive audience to discuss our call to action!  I am going to promote parties, wine tastings whatever.  I am a bit nervous about making sure Barack gets the numbers he needs having foregone public financing and looking at the RNC numbers.  I think some people may have the wrong impression that he has all the money he needs.

my prediction came true

Sometime back I made a prediction that if Clinton became the nominee the republicans would say that numerous terrorist attacks (during the Clinton Admin) and the trouble we now face can be directly blamed on the Clinton administration. Which is why the republicans were hoping Clinton would win.


Here is an article attacking Obama using the tactic I stated above.


LMAO at them trying to pin that on Obama.  The most powerful republican strategy that would have worked on Clinton is utterly useless on Obama.



Clairvoyance & Crumpets

Al @11:42 AM,

Must be clairvoyance. I was listening to "I'm So Bored (With You People)" and the minor-key strings (love the cello; love minor-key) behind you and I immediately thought of the Cohen-Rollins duet, and how adding a sax to what I was listening to would be great. It was sort of a hint for you to consider doing it, lol.

You've got a really nice voice, Al. So does Cha-Cha. The kind of voice that can walk up and down a sax, if you know what I mean.


amk @ 8:53 AM

Yaas. That was me who entered "Meet the make-believe strategists of TV." I hit Return too fast again without double-checking that I'd changed Anonymous. Then I went to bed.



Kenny G lives in Monticello outside of Santa Barbara on a huge estate afforded him by his 'easy listening" music. The front gate to his place looks exactly like the gate Little Richie has in Richy Rich comics, except that Kenny's gate has a huge gold G instead of an R. So who knows what he plays behind his gates, but what got him there was switching to calming the older five o'clock driving home crowd.


That Voice

Alexa - The other voice on that recording is that of Kansas City native now Chicagoan and sometimes expat, Kelley Gaunt. A very huge up and coming talent. You can listen to more of her work here:


My mistake

Must have been the late hour when I digested the name. (Who can forget a name like Cha-Cha?) I double-checked what I looked at early this AM and I was wrong. Sorry about that.

This so means Obama will cut

This so means Obama will cut an ad for Merkely.

I love it. Obama-cut ads for all!

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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