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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Barack Obama is the best thing that ever happened to black pundits.

Picture of the Day

(Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., boards her charter plane at Indianapolis Airport after a campaign rally in Anderson, Ind.,Thursday, March 20, 2008.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak))

Shouldn't McCain be doing better......

Just noting here that John McCain, right after becoming the presumptive nominee, raised only $4 million last week.

Now, that's far better than he'd been doing, but considering that he'd barely tapped the Republican donor base, that seems small to me.

Wouldn't you think he'd be turning in a bigger number?

(What's the breakdown of fundraiser vs. online money? Was there no swell of "excitement" money from the grassroots?)

The Dems have redefined grassroots/online money this cycle per the NYTimes this AM.
Democrats raised $47.7 million last month from small donors, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, a Washington research group that studies campaign finance data. This compares to $5.1 million in small donations for Republican candidates.

The battle for Richardson

I don't know if anyone caught Olberman last night, but on it, Bill Richardson said he had been very close to endorsing Clinton after his superbowl watching with Bill Clinton.

And, The NYTimes has a decent piece that tries to fill out the Richardson endorsement picture. (Carville goes nuts.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Picture of the Day - 3

I really like Richardson with the beard, but I keep thinking of that Star Trek episode with the evil Kirk and Spock from the alternate universe.

(AFP/GETTY Jonathan Ferrey)

Crossing the line, both ways

I think the revelation that Clinton was pressing Wright to the superdelegates set the Obama camp off. For the last two days, they have been unloading on Hillary Clinton. Plouffe today:
"deeply flawed nominee," "not seen as trustworthy," "engaged in political calculation to mislead voters… It will nearly be impossible to win a general election if more than half the electorate thinks you're untrustworthy" ....

"The only do-over election we might want to consider is in Ohio, since Sen. Clinton misled the voters in Ohio about her support of NAFTA."

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton stirs the controversy publicly:
"I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country," said the former president.

Because Obama doesn't love his country?

Later: A Clinton campaign memo.

This needs to end soon.

Picture of the Day - 2

Within the politics of China and their current crackdown in Tibet, this visit today is a significant statement.

(Tibetan spiritual leader-in-exile the Dalai Lama welcomes US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she arrives at his Palace Temple in Dharamsala.(AFP/Manan Vatsyayana))

Today's talking point, "Clinton can't win"

That "Clinton can't win" seems to be the today's talking point coming out of this Politico article by Vandehei and Allen.

The Clinton camp has been brilliant in their ability to keep this question out of "serious" discussion, but something about this piece coming on the tail of the Michigan and Florida decisions feels like it might break through and become the talking point.

I'm not endorsing this, mainly because I don't want to argue on a beautiful day, but for your own information, give it a read. It may be the basis for alot of talk over the weekend.

(BUT, here's a question. In the remaining calendar, where would Clinton get out? Do you expect her to quit after winning Pa? Indiana's tight, and do you see her quitting over NC or Oregon?

If you're looking at the math argument to see Clinton leave the race, understand that there's not really a decisive calendar spot among the remaining primaries for that to happen without a couple of big surprises or a significant change of the narrative.)

Related: Ben Smith of Politico also has a piece saying Clinton can't win the popular vote, but he seems to make the presumption that Fla and Michigan don't count. (Since "popular vote" is an asserted argument, I'm not sure the rules are that firm.)

Picture of the Day

After yesterday's sportsradio appearance and now this, I think we have a strategy here. It appears Obama is going to try to connect with white working men through the NCAA tourney.

(Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama talks as he eats a chicken wing at Murads' Sports Bar in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, March 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

If you need a more direct visual image...

(AP/Alex Brandon)

Bill Richardson to endorse Obama.

I don't think this moves votes, but Bill Richardson is going to endorse Obama. (AP, Reuters, NYTimes.)

His stance around Mar. 4, obliquely endorsing Obama by saying that the pledged delegate leader should be the winner, kind of took the surprise out of this.

And, from the LATimes campaign blog,
Campaign sources indicate Obama hopes to roll out a series of such endorsements and announcements during the long run-up to the Pennsylvania primary April 22 to create a sense of momentum.

Of course, we've been hearing about a wave of endorsements for quite awhile. (John Edwards was very neutral on Leno last night.)

(Is this part of "changing the topic" from Wright?)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

(Updated) Political bits - Nasty, Brutish, and Short.

(ABC) Hillary Clinton does not deny that her campaign is pushing Jeremiah Wright to the superdelegates.

(CNN) Ferraro just won't shut up. (What is the circulation of The Daily Breeze?)

(Politico) Jeremiah Wright was a White House Guest under Bill Clinton. (This fact and picture brought to you by the Obama campaign.)

(Politico) The back and forth over the Wright/Clinton picture gets nasty. (I think the revelation that the Clinton camp was pushing Wright to the superdelegates took this up a level.)

Later (Fri AM): Americablog thinks it has a picture of Hillary Clinton sitting next to Wright at the White House appearance. (Still not sure it matters.)

(FoxPoll) According to a poll by FoxNews, Wright in and of itself doesn't matter so much. (Figure that 25% who care weren't voting Dem anyway.)

(TheNation) Then, of course, there's this piece in The Nation about secondary Clinton ties to The Fellowship. (If you've never read about this group, they are a spooky, weirdo Christian cult with ties all over the right wing power structure.)

(E&P) Not only did John McCain accept anti-gay, anti-Catholic John Hagee's endorsement, he actually sought it out.

And, (NYTimes, FirstRead, NYTimes) the consensus appears to be that Clinton appearing in Michigan and a dozen of her donors offering to pay for the primary actually hurt the revote effort. (The optics of all the one-sided pressure made it much more difficult.)

PS. (AP) McCain broke the public spending limit, spending $58 million so far. If he used a promise of public financing to obtain his loan last fall, he is in willful violation of election law.

(After all this, I need a shower.)

Fri AM: The AP has the end of February Dem money totals, although it's pre-Texas Ohio. (I think the way the calendar lays out, money is getting less important.)


From TPM, some very curious detail on the timing of the passport breaches.
According to a new piece out in the Post from Glenn Kessler, the (Obama passport) breaches occurred Jan. 9th, Feb. 21st and March 14th.

That would be the day after the New Hampshire primary, the day of the Democratic debate in Texas and the day the Wright story really hit.

Picture of the Day - 2

(President George W. Bush and Henry Kissinger smile as Senior Chairman of the Blackstone Group Peter Peterson looks on at the Economic Club of New York March 14, 2008. (REUTERS/Larry Downing))

A "superdelegate primary"?

The Tenn. Governor publicly proposes the idea of a superdelegate primary. It's long been my contention that a superdelegate poll of some type will be taken informally, but I have a hunch this idea of a concrete, physical, two day meeting replete with conflicts, armtwisting, and records of who voted for whom will fall flat.

It's my guess that a superdelegate poll will be held at some point, but when we get to the convention, all of the superdelegates will vote as a block for the decided nominee. That image of unity going forward will be essential after all of this, and nobody will want a record of the dissenting votes floating around.

(However, I wouldn't be surprised if the Clinton camp tries to keep this idea alive as it would give them a late June date to stay in until.)

Political bits

John Edwards is on Leno tonight, so everyone will be trying to read the tea leaves.

(WSJ) Obama's Wright problems freeze superdelegates. (However, Ambinder says, "it's hard to find a level of panic among them.")

(TPM) 111,000 new Democrats registered in Pa. (3% of the 4 million registered Dems.)

And, if Obama's looking for an in with the white male working class, appearing on sportsradio may be a very good way to do it.

Plus, with the release of the White House schedules, they're back to attacking Clinton on Nafta.

Picture of the Day

(John McCain visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem. McCain has signalled vigorous support for Israel during a fact-finding mission widely seen as a bid to polish his credentials as a statesman.(AFP/Menahem Kahana))

Maybe Iran, maybe not, but I thought this was interesting.

Newsweek has a piece, "6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran." Frankly, I'm not sure I buy it, but I thought this was interesting enough to link on its own.
Israel's airstrike deep in Syria last October was reported to have targeted a nuclear-related facility, but details have remained sketchy and some experts have been skeptical that Syria had a covert nuclear program. An alternative scenario floating in Israel and Lebanon is that the real purpose of the strike was to force Syria to switch on the targeting electronics for newly received Russian anti-aircraft defenses. The location of the strike is seen as on a likely flight path to Iran (also crossing the friendly Kurdish-controlled Northern Iraq), and knowing the electronic signatures of the defensive systems is necessary to reduce the risks for warplanes heading to targets in Iran.

(I got to this via a very long guest post on Iran at Juan Cole.)

The battle over Iraq inside the military

The LATimes has a very interesting lead on the growing division within the military over troop levels in Iraq citing the resignation of Fallon as the flash point.

The short version is that the military in Washington see Petraeus' extensions as damaging the military with little real payoff so long as the Iraqi government continues to not produce. Well worth a read.

Related: Yesterday's LATimes report on the failed reconciliation conference.

Is today McCain's day?

Per Americablog, today is the day McCain files his FEC campaign spending report. If you'll remember, he's currently still in the public financing system which would limit his campaign spending to $54 million until the convention.

Most observers seem to think he's right at that $54 million which means that the next dollar spent might be a violation of election law.

(It should be noted that McCain can't get a ruling on getting out (controversial) because seats on the FEC have been held up over confirmations.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Threading the needle

The NYTimes has a story on the "narrower" path Clinton now has to the nomination with Michigan and Florida not likely to hold new, sanctioned primaries.

I have a hunch it'll be the talked about story tomorrow morning.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Sen. Barack Obama center, looks at a show of hands for those diagnosed with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while participating in an MTV roundtable with Iraq war veterans, Monday, March 17, 2008, at Whistles Pub in Scranton, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))


It's funny, in 2002, before the war, nearly a million people marched in New York and a couple hundred thousand in several other US cities, 3/4 million in London, 1/2 million in Rome, Berlin, etc, etc, and the whole protest got very little coverage by the US press..

Today, a couple thousand people show up in Washington, and it's considered news.

Vince Foster? Really?

The WSJblog does a big post on Hillary Clinton's schedule around the time of the death of Vince Foster.

ABC and AP go after Lewinsky. (ABC has the godawful headline "Hillary Was in White House on 'Stained Blue Dress' Day.)

This is awful.

A Michigan revote is dead?

This is not nearly as definitive as the death of the Florida revote, but the words coming out of Michigan seem to indicate that the revote may be dead.

Let us remember.....

Five years ago today, the media were cheerleading the war, riding inside the very tanks and trucks of the invasion force.

Picture of the Day

(President George W. Bush meets with Lance Cpl. Matt Bradford, who is blind and a double amputee, during a visit to the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, November 8, 2007. (REUTERS/Jim Young))

Political bits

(CNN) Pa. Rep John Murtha endorses Clinton. (A good anti-war endorsement. A good Pa. endorsement. A good "white male" endorsement. +1 superdelegate.)

(Politico) Democratic leaning groups (Unions, Moveon, etc) pledged $425 million for voter registration and mobilization.

(CNN) Clinton is going to Michigan to try and press the image of a revote and blame Obama.

(WSJBlog) However, the only polling I've seen on Michigan shows Clinton and Obama "in a dead heat."

Later: (TPM) A second Mich poll from Rasmussen, 41/41.

(FirstRead) The Clinton camp has hired another poller. (Mark Penn has previously been guiding all that business to his own firm. (A shift in power?))

(AP) Clinton's First Lady schedules are being released today minus 32 days they are trying to locate. (Will the Clinton camp try to use this to diffuse all the "disclosure" attacks? --- Halperin says "no smoking guns.")

And, "the speech", Day 2. The growing analysis theme seems to be that Obama's speech worked on liberals, but the effect on everyone else is still in question.

One more thought. The media's gauge of Obama is now how he does with white male voters in Pennsylvania, a Clinton bastion where she has the support of almost all the state and local officials. (How he does against Clinton in the primary does not reflect how he will do in the general? The polling right now shows him beating McCain in Pa. --- The Clinton camp must be pleased. - Another expectations win.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Today was all about Obama. Tomorrow is all about Iraq.

The AP has pre-release excerpts from Bush's speech tomorrow.

Picture of the Day - 3

Olberman and Fineman made an interesting point tonight that the visual subtext of this speech is to present Obama within a presidential context with the flags and the White House blue background.

It's a very interesting idea to take people's fears and insecurities over Wright's wild rants and subsume them into the trappings of the presidency which project a responsibility and sobriety.

It's an opportunity for people to mentally "try out" the idea of Obama as president against all the questions. (Photo: Reuters/Tim Shaffer)

On "the speech".....

After it's been chopped into little replayable TV bits, I don't know if Obama's speech today will have the political effects that people had put on it, but I thought the thing was brilliant to watch.

Here's two collections of early reviews.

Question: I would also argue that a key target audience of this speech is the media, talking heads, and newsroom elites.

The media are the ones who will choose whether race is elevated as a primary issue, whether it's "tasteful" or not to run the Wright comments over and over, whether the racism of Mississippi should be amplified out of context......

Will this speech influence/shame the media into leaving race alone. Do you think they want to see themselves as a part of the racial problems of the past as Obama divided it?

(PS. Like I said yesterday, anytime Obama can get on TV making a full speech, rather than soundbytes or answering questions, is good for him.)

(Ambinder) "Obama wrote the speech himself, working on it for two days and nights.... and showed it to only a few of his top advisers."

And now Obama's moving on. (Politico) "Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 19, 2008, five years after the Iraq war began, Sen. Barack Obama will deliver a major speech on the war in Iraq and our national security in Fayetteville, N.C....."

Picture of the Day - 2

(Tears flow down the face of supporter Marty Nesbitt as Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks about race during a news conference in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

There's not a good explanation for this

Considering he's supposed to be the "national security expert..."
He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq.

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."

That's just not a slip an informed person makes "several times" under repeated questions.

So, do we assume he's just dangerously muddled in his understanding or too old to keep it all straight?

Later: He made the same misstatement yesterday!

TG's theory on Florida

I thought this was a very interesting idea posited by TG,
Or... is it possible that Clinton DOESN'T really want a re-vote... could her calculus be that she'll do better with Florida as a moral argument than as a small clutch of delegates?

If you accept the supposition that Clinton cannot overtake Obama in pledged delegates or states won, the only remaining "moral argument" left to her would be a claim of winning the popular vote.

As conventional wisdom seems to be that revotes would likely be closer than the standing, unsanctioned results, a Fla. revote could very likely make overtaking the popular vote totals impossible.

Plus, done properly, this would allow an argument that not all votes were counted, painting Obama as "winning through the rules."

Maybe that's why the Clinton heavy Florida DNC can't/won't push something through.....

Just a supposition, but I found it interesting.

Picture of the Day

(Sen. John McCain hands a Hillary Clinton doll that was given to him by a supporter to an aide during a town meeting event at the Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania, March 14, 2008. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer))


The personnel of the US military have served valiantly, taking on every military challenge they has been given. They have fought nobly and completed their missions.

The problem is that we're in a war that military alone cannot win.
A conference to reconcile Iraq's warring political groups began to unravel even before it got under way on Tuesday, with the main Sunni Muslim Arab bloc pulling out and protesting it had not been properly invited.....

The head of the Sadrist political bloc, Nassar al-Rubaie, arrived at the conference but refused to say whether he would take an active role.....

The Iraqi National List, a secular bloc headed by former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, had already said they would not attend....

It was unclear whether Sunni Arab tribal leaders responsible for the neighborhood security units would attend."

(AP) "As of Monday, March 17, 2008, at least 3,990 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003....."


Not just endorsing McCain, but trashing the Dems.
Friday, Lieberman said he will attend the Republican National Convention this summer, "if Senator McCain thinks it will be helpful to be there in some capacity.".....

"I am not going to attend the Democratic Convention for obvious reasons," Lieberman said.....

Asked whether he agreed with Mitt Romney's characterization of the Democrats' position on the war as a surrender, Lieberman said he does.

"Their positions on Iraq represent a retreat, which would be a surrender on Iraq," he said.

If the Dems get a bigger Senate majority....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Has the clock run out on Florida?

(AP) Florida Democrats have abandoned plans to redo the presidential primary with a mostly mail-in vote.

More importantly, the DNC chairwoman of the Florida appears to have given up on any kind of revote.
Last week, the Florida Democratic Party laid out the only existing way that we can comply with DNC Rules – a statewide revote run by the Party – and asked for input.

Thousands of people responded. We spent the weekend reviewing your messages, and while your reasons vary widely, the consensus is clear: Florida doesn’t want to vote again.

So we won’t.


Picture of the Day - 2

(Ghalib Ali Hamid, a top Iraqi official at the Baiji refinery, is suspected of skimming profits and having ties to insurgents (NYTimes/Eros Hoagland))

(Associated with: Iraq’s Insurgency Is Running on Stolen Oil Profits.)

Political bits

(CNN/Politico/Everywhere) Obama has announced a major speech on race tomorrow.

Two thoughts: 1) Anytime Obama can command airtime for one of his speeches is good for him. 2) If they do this right, it could allow them to put a nail in the Wright issue, saying in the future, "our candidate has commented on that, let's move on." (It's worked for Bush how many times?)

(AFP) Another article reminding us that John McCain is really, really old. (Older than Reagan was.)

(WSJBlog) McCain's campaign stands by Bernanke and the current economic policies, although McCain won't be briefed for a week because of his travels. (Europe is a comment free zone.)

(USAToday/Gallup) A rare poll showing Clinton doing better against McCain than Obama. (They both beat McCain.)

(AP) Obama supporting Chafee rips Clinton in his new book, "Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill...."

(Politico) Obama goes hard after Clinton on Iraq, "Because of that vote we are less safe..."

(CNN) Obama camp presses Clinton on 'non disclosure'

(Personal Note: TG, I think this is the negativity we were discussing yesterday. It appears the Obama campaign has a "kitchen sink," too. Curious to see how the Clinton campaign takes it.)

And, (WSJBlog) McCain has a "March Madness" bracket feature on his website that immediately puts you on his fundraising/organizational email list.

Flexible outrage

A couple months ago, we got the story out of Bangladesh of street protests, a government crackdown, tens dead officially, hundreds dead in reports from expat opposition figures and the world was outraged.

Today, we get reports out of China of Tibetan street protests, a government crackdown, tens dead officially, hundreds dead in reports from expat opposition figures, and, pretty much, no one says a word.

The GOP vote in the Dem primaries is more complicated

This Boston Globe story is making the rounds today saying Republicans are voting for Clinton in significant numbers simply to help McCain.

A caveat from my personal experience in Texas. As I was running around pimping my candidate, I spoke to 8 Republicans who planned to vote in the Texas Democratic primary.

Two of them voted for Clinton the "Rush Limbaugh way," solely to continue the Dem primaries and arguably help McCain.

Two of them voted for Clinton because they thought the Dems would win the presidency and thought Clinton would be a better (more acceptable?) president.

One of them voted for Clinton (against Obama) because she thought he was unpatriotic for not putting his hand on his heart during the pledge.

And, three Republicans voted for Obama because they liked him as a candidate.

However, of these eight Republicans in Texas, all five of the Clinton voters, and two of the three Obama voters, planned to vote for McCain in the general.

My point is that, although there are GOP votes are in the Dem primary, it may be a bit more complicated than the coverage suggests. It's not just the "Limbaugh effect." Some Republicans prefer Clinton as a fallback candidate, and some percentage wanted to vote against Obama in the primary.

I thought that needed to be said.

Picture of the Day

(March 3, 2008 (REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani))

Today: "Air Force Two landed at the UK's Mildenhall RAF base. There the traveling party swapped into a C-17 transport plane for the remainder of the trip to Baghdad. The C-17 contained the VP's now-familiar shiny steel travel trailer, as well as cramped military seating in front and along the sides for the rest of us. Wheels down in Baghdad at 12:44 a.m. EDT. From there, we hopped into a helo-cade, donned our helmets and body armor and made our way into the Green Zone."

Four more years

In perhaps the best example of the similarities between a Bush presidency and what a McCain presidency would look like, Mr. "I don't know about the economy," John McCain, is in Iraq focusing on a success that is at best dubious, while at home, the markets are in a panic and people are losing their jobs and homes.

Success is just around the corner..... Tax cuts for everyone!

(I think this is that damage to the Republican "brand" they keep talking about.)

(PS. That market McCain and Graham famously visited almost a year ago is now unsafe and controlled by the Mahdi Army.)

The NYTimes lays Bremer's failure at Bush's feet

Read this and tell me it isn't all "the Decider's" fault.
The interviews show that while Mr. Bush endorsed Mr. Bremer’s plan in the May 22 meeting, the decision was made without thorough consultations within government, and without the counsel of the secretary of state or the senior American commander in Iraq, said the commander, Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan.....

Colin L. Powell, the secretary of state and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was never asked for advice, and was in Paris when the May 22 meeting was held.

Mr. Powell, who views the decree as a major blunder, later asked Condoleezza Rice, who was serving as Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, for an explanation.

“I talked to Rice and said, ‘Condi, what happened?’ ” he recalled. “And her reaction was: ‘I was surprised too, but it is a decision that has been made and the president is standing behind Jerry’s decision. Jerry is the guy on the ground.’ And there was no further debate about it.”

Nobody could have foreseen......

Five years on

What does it say that we can't even estimate within 100,000?
A recent World Health Organisation and Iraqi health ministry report estimated that 151,000 people were killed between the start of the invasion on March 20, 2003 and June 2006.

Other estimates have put the number of civilian deaths as a result of the conflict between nearly 48,000 and as high as 601,000.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Picture of the Day - 2

That's Houston megachurch leader, rising evenagelical star, and bestselling author Joel Osteen from Houston, Texas.

Just accidentally meeting in a Pittsburgh hotel? Interesting.

(Later: She went to services at Lakewood the day before the Texas primary.)

(Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton greets Minister Joel Osteen, of Lakewood Church in Houston and his daughter Alexandra in the lobby at the William Penn Hotel before leaving for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster))

Too much hypocrisy.... can't breathe.....

From Mark Penn, the primary proponent of "the kitchen sink,"
"This is a tried and true technique of the Obama campaign that has repeatedly shifted negative when they find the momentum shifting against them," said Penn.


From a WaPo article on the harsh 2008 GOP environment,
"It's no mystery," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). "You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."

On the other hand,
More cause for hope resides in the presidential campaign, which could provide a new storyline for Republicans down the ticket, said Newhouse, the pollster. Some national polls showed McCain pulling even in matchups with Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) by week's end....

"What you're seeing," he said, "is the impact the Democratic primary is having on voters at the national level. The longer this goes on, the better for our chances in November."

(Politico) "Obama, Clinton brace for three-month deadlock"

Picture of the Day

Is it just that I'm continually shocked, or is Lieberman campaigning with McCain more than any other politician "team" than I can remember?

They're together in Iraq today with the third and lesser musketeer Lindsay Graham.

(Sen. John McCain huddles with Sen. Joseph Lieberman on McCain's 'Straight Talk Express,' campaign bus, Wednesday, March 12, 2008, en route to a town hall meeting in Exeter, N.H. (AP/Gerald Herbert))