Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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« CW11 Morning Show | Main | McCain's big decision »

October Surprise?

There's been much speculation about where the October Surprise might come from this election season.  I've been thinking another Reverened Wright tape, or perhaps something with Rezco or William Ayers.  Maybe a foreign policy action from the Bush administration.

Well, it might just be this public radio interview that Barack Obama gave in 2001 where he bemoans the fact that the Warren Court -- the most progressive Supreme Court in history by miles -- never "ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth ... to that extent, as radical as people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn't that radical -- it didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution."

Whoa ... this is a pretty remarkable statement.  Granted this was an intellectual discussion, and not a conversation about policy prescriptions, but I'm not sure I've heard a politician use the phrase "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" ... What on earth does that mean?  It didn't know that the Founding Father's well place constraints on the Constitution were ever meant to be "broken free from".

The interview has been on Drudge's homepage for a few hours, and has already amassed 1.5 million views on Youtube.  The McCain campaign has been hammering at this redistribution of wealth issue ever since Joe the Plumber came to fame, but it'll be interesting to see if they take the rhetoric up a notch based on this interview.  It could be the sound byte they've been looking for.

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Reader Comments (18)

Supply side when we give money to the rich

Redistribution, socialism, or class warfare when we give it to the middle class

Welfare when we give it to the poor.

Nobody has a birthright to tax cuts or fiscal policy, so the rich should get a spine like the middle class. 3 lousy percentage points, pre AGI and the Right makes it sound like they'll be prison bunkmates with a hairy and sweaty man. Larry Craig might actually like that....

What is everyone going to do with the extra money you get? Burn your refund check?

Or do you have to pay?

As George Carlin said (and I miss him much):

Rich- Make all the money and pay the lowest percentage of taxes.

Middle Class- Do all the work, pay the highest percentage of taxes.


October 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

Wow, Jack Cafferty said the same exact thing verbatim (including the "I miss him much" line) last night on CNN. He must read this blog.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterthe gooch

um, there is no October surprise here, this has been explained and voters don't care about this. By the way, to give you an idea of how far ahead Obama is in the electoral map, MONTANA IS IN PLAY.

What's next, Texas?

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

Saw this nice tidbit on the hollywood reporter web site today: Apparently, even the liberals hate MSNBC and Keith Olbermann for being too biased...

"In a room full of television industry executives, no one seemed inclined to defend MSNBC on Monday for what some were calling its lopsidedly liberal coverage of the presidential election.

The cable news channel is "completely out of control," said writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat.

She added that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann was criticized by many who attended Monday's luncheon sponsored by the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was dubbed "Hollywood, America and Election '08."

Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC -- and other media -- has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.

"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. "It diminishes us," she said of her fellow Democrats."


October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTR

Olbermann is a walking hate-crime

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRicky

So far, no traction.

State polls are showing that this could be a whuppin' on a Bush v. Dukakis scale.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

Polls are lagging indicators. If there's any movement in Fl, Ohio and Penn, it would probably show up Thursday.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Even with a McCain win in Ohio, Fla and Penn, Obama still has a relatively clear path to the nomination.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

McCain will take Ohio, Fla and Penn. I'll cede you Colorado, Mitchie, but he's going to steal New Hampshire when nobody's looking.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

lol alan...obama up +13 in NH...there is zero chance there. penn is in the bag for obama...i mean, the state has gone blue for decades, and with a much less lead in those elections than obama has this time.

perhaps mccain win ohio, but this election will be a rout...

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

There's no way this is a rout. Regardless of who wins, guaranteed, we go to bed at 2 am or 3 am, and we still don't know who the winner is.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

You might beacuse you party so much, but for the rest of us older americans, we will know the outcome earlier rather than later. actually, i don't care if it takes 24 hours to decide, as long as obama wins, which is getting closer by the second.

even a recent post in ragone.com essentially called the race for obama -- short of some massive surprise. go see nick and tell him why he is wrong

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

I'll be going to sleep at 9:01 when Virginia is called for Obama and it's over. I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect not ...

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Alan my friend, hitch your wagon to someone that might win, say, Jessica Alba winning an Oscar or something. She has a much better chance at this than McCain winning WH

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

My family in Texas is voting for Obama. When Obama started running, it was hard to see that he would come this far so you never know what other surprises await us...

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMW

had mccain picked jessica alba for veep, this would have been very different.

i agree with nick. down here in va. it is hard to see mccain pulling it out. i live in a very dem area, however, i remember what they were like in the gore and kerry days. this is different. turnout here is going to be massive. it's hard to find a house or car without an obama sign/sticker.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlan_g

I think the next question for the GOP will be a complex one. This campaign brought the subtle race-baiting of the past into the full light of day. Willie Horton, Harvey Gantt, and Harold Ford was light stuff aganst video and interviews of people at McCain/Palin rallies pledging to never vote for someone because of their color. We all knew it was true, but when people see it in the open, it's much more disturbing Same with the religion-bating, and the patriotism-baiting. It will make it very difficult for a decent candidate over the next 4 years to run without being stained with RNC bile stemming from this election.

You've got kids in college and in their twenties who care less about what color someone is versus their character. Not all of them, but enough of a majority. You've got black, brown, and Asian people growing in number. And those are the ones that are here legally. No matter what the rhetoric is, the GOP is an all-white party in an increasingly brown country. Appealing to their greed might work, if you guys can figure out how to completely drop the race-baiting.

You've let people behind the curtain, so there's precious little chance for more GOP words versus actions sleight-of-hand. Everyone sees that even though the GOP preaches defense, they don't want to spend money on the troops. The concept of "God's Party" was destroyed when people saw McCain rising from his knees after meeting with Pat Robertson and the rest of the Christian Right. It's not "God's Party, it's the party of the "Pharisees and Saducees". The GOP preaches Horatio Alger and pull yourself up by the bootstraps, but don't want to add percentage points to the budgets of Sallie Mae so more kids can get college loans and grants. The whole idea of "the party of fiscal responsibility" is tattered. I"m glad Bush failed in 2005, because my mother in law's Social Security check would be worthless now. My pot of SS money would be worth less than half of what it was before.

Will the GOP move away from beating people using God as a stick in the right hand and patriotism as a stick in the left? Can they understand that there are conservative solutions to problems, but the "Southern Strategy" right wing rhetoric is a not an effective plan to govern the republic?

If Obama wins and manages to get 40% of what he proposes, then the economic landscape will shift this nation for another generation. If he manages to create the largest pool of people for health care companies to bid on, it will change health care forever. What insurance company isn't going to try to bid for business from a pool of 75 or 100 million people? Companies aren't going to leave that kind of money on the table because they don't like government in the mix?

If he passes daycare, then who is going to dumb enough to take away the thing that allows mothers to work, saves them money, and gives their kids a safe place to be cared for?

If he is successful in moving 7% of our energy supply to alternative sources, what GOP'er is going to say that we need to get rid of solar so we can buy more oil, or bore out more mountains so we can hide nuclear waste for billions of years? The smart man would try to figure out how the fastest way to get the 7% to 15% or more.

Worst of all, if his tax plan is passed, what will the GOP do if the economy does rebound? What happens when all those people spend their money in their neighborhood stores, and that influx of cash starts to spread through the economy? Socialism goes so far, but how then can you tout supply side as a better alternative?

I can go on. College assistance, the tax credits for creating jobs and keeping them here in America. If he's moderately successful and these initiatives work with 75% efficiency, then he's cut the legs out from under the last 30 years for GOP rhetoric.

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

mccain was a flat type with a weak message
Obama was the winner from the start

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergerovital

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