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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Now you've been nationally outed, you racist jackass.

Notice how he tries to hide it when the camera's on him.

There should be a movement to name this SoB.

(From a Palin rally today (surprised?) in Johnstown, Pa. (CBS link.))

If only we knew what they "know..."

Perhaps one of the great ironies of this whole "angry crowd" story is that it results because the GOP was too successful in their "evil muslim" whisper campaign.

It was designed to tarnish Obama's image and motivate a fringe, but instead, it's been taken literally by millions and taken on a life and propagation of its own. They didn't realize the fertile ground of "believers" upon which this message would fall.

So, now, you have people in these crowds who "know the truth" and feel betrayed that their candidate isn't screaming about it. And if McCain isn't going to do anything, the feel it's their duty to force this "truth" out, because if only we knew what they know......

On the other hand, you have the vast majority of the country staring aghast at this spectacle.

Separate from any issues, or character, or whatever, do you think that anyone outside the crazy edge of the GOP wants to identify themselves with that? White suburban independents? Women? Hispanics?

Frankly, in some part, this is the long outgrowth of the GOP "base plus" strategies of the last two elections. They've been indoctrinating these people for almost a decade. Assuming the psychic traumas of the last eight years just intensified their devotion to the fundament, it's not really too much of a surprise that we've come to this.

Picture of the Day

Dutifully wearing her McCain-Palin shirt. Dutifully ignorant.

I think this is one of the biggest moments of the campaign.

(John McCain takes back the microphone from Gayle Quinnell who said she read about Sen. Barack Obama and 'that he was an Arab,' at a town hall meeting at Lakeville South High School Friday, Oct. 10, 2008 in Lakeville, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone))


Mr. Bush has been telling people privately that it’s a good thing he’s in charge.

“He said that if it was going to happen at all, he was glad it was happening under his presidency, because he had a good group of people in D.C. working for him,”.....

“He thought by this happening now, that perhaps everyone could see signs of improvement before the next president comes into office.”

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quote/Thought/Your moment of Zen

Ms. Palin appears to attract greater numbers of frustrated voters

Missed in the exchange today......

In the midst of the McCain corrections today,
A woman stood up at the meeting.... and told Mr. McCain that she could not trust Mr. Obama because he was an “Arab.”

Mr. McCain replied: “No, ma’am, he’s a decent family man, a citizen, who I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that’s what this campaign is all about.”

Because being an "Arab" precludes being "a decent family man, a citizen?"

Picture of the Day - 2

(Cindy McCain listens as Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain speaks during a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin October 9, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

The "Crazy mob" stories must be hurting......

The McCain camp responds to the "crazy crowd" stories which tells you that they're aware it's hurting.

Later: McCain tried to damp it at a rally this PM.

From Politico, it didn't go over very well,
"I have to tell you. Sen. Obama is a decent person and a person you don't have to be scared of as president of the United States," McCain said as the crowd booed and shouted "Come on, John!"

And McCain quickly cuts off a woman who begins,"I've heard that Sen. Obama is an Arab."

Observation: McCain is "fixing" this in the Friday news dump, meaning it's getting the least coverage. (Incidental or design?)

Again, "What if the Republicans shout "Ayers," and no one cares?"

The latest FoxNews poll asked the Ayers question and got back, 61/32 that Ayers didn't affect votes. (Plus, read the question. It's sooo loaded, and they still didn't get the result they wanted.)

McCain's attacks reaching the bursting point

Now we're starting to see the backside of the Obama campaign's "Say it to my face"/response to Ayers strategy.

The Obama camp has shifted the Ayers attacks into a commentary on how the GOP ticket is inciting its crowds to violence.

They've promulgated this crowd story to the media where it's now generating a substantial backlash against McCain. (McCain is now assigned responsibility for the very worst actors in his crowds.)

And, they have Obama looking Presidential and rational next to this caricature of McCain. They have Obama being the one talking about issues and caring about people while painting McCain as only caring about himself and his campaign. (Read this Obama excerpt for a taste.)

They've managed to take this Ayers attack and crush McCain with all the associated effects. The Ayers attack now has so many negatives attached to it that McCain is losing on this issue, the issue he thought would be his nuclear bomb.

Think about that for a minute.

They're attacking McCain for putting his campaign and/or ambition instead of "Country First." They're scoring points against McCain's "honor." They've turned this guy's "identity" inside out, and the media is now trashing the "honorable" POW on character issues all on their own.

From a coldly political perspective, you gotta respect that as beautiful.

(Also, I think it was a wise move to jettison the Keating attack. That bought some "balance" and time in that first round of articles, but it wasn't going to win.)

Another state complains about the McCain campaign

Adding Indiana to the list of state GOP figures (Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, and Nevada) publicly complaining about the McCain campaign's efforts in the state.

This really is not a good sign when the on the ground folks, the folks most in touch with voters, are hollering about losing.

(In the "red states," the local folks' careers will be stained with losing their "red state." Plus, it's bad for downballot races.)


As bad as all this feels to me, I can't imagine being part of that "largest population bulge in American history," imminently facing retirement.

Picture of the Day

Can we ditch any pretense of debate and openly call him the worst president in history, now?

(President George W. Bush looks up during his meeting with Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington October 9, 2008. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque))

The McCain appearances (mob scenes) are becoming the story

Both the WaPo and Politico have profile articles about the ugliness breaking out at the McCain/Palin events. It's also becoming a topic on TV. (Add: Dickerson in Slate. WSJ (sort of,) and I'm sure there are more.)

The point is that the crazy hate scenes are making the press, and there's no way that's helping McCain. It's a drag against any value the character attacks might have, because it makes them seem crazy and out there.

(What's the psychological component in all this overflowing hate?)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Are you serious?

AP Headline: Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe
Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing.

(I'm actually laughing out loud.)

Picture of the Day - 3

Read the whole caption. It's penetrating into captions.

(Sen. John McCain and running-mate Sarah Palin address a rally at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennslyvania, October 8, 2008. Shouts of "terrorist" and even accusations of "treason" aimed at Barack Obama have echoed around Republican rallies, whipped up into alarming, hate-filled frenzies against the Democratic White House hopeful. (AFP/Jim Watson))

Our energy expert

She doesn't know what the law is on oil exports. She doesn't know whether Alaska exports oil at all.

Can we just agree that Sarah Palin is a complete joke?


The Obama campaign never does "win the day"/one day strategies.

Assuming that statement, what's the strategy on this "Say it to my face" strategy, daring McCain to talk about Ayers himself?

Just to out "butch" McCain? Luring McCain into going "too far?"

Do they have polling on the Ayers attacks saying...? Does the Ayers attack poll badly among women? Surburbanites?

They figure McCain's going to do it anyway, so they're framing?

What's the backside of this strategy? What's the "snap" in daring McCain down this path?

More state complaints for McCain

Add Nevada to the list of states where the locals are publicly complaining about the McCain campaign's efforts, money, strategy, and chance of winning in their state. (North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and, of course, Michigan.)

Publicly aired frustration is not the sound of a winning campaign.

I would guess the Obama fundraising is going well.

The Obama campaign has purchased a half hour of network primetime on CBS on Wed, Oct 29.

And the rumor is, they're also talking to NBC and Fox (network, not FoxNews) for the same time slot.

Picture of the Day - 2

Sometimes I wonder if she occasionally thinks she might have made a mistake signing onto this losing ticket.

(Waukesha, Wis. Thursday Oct. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Darren Hauck))

Say it to my face, bitch......

In an ABC interview last night, Obama, discussing the latest Ayers attacks, brought up that he was surprised that the McCain campaign would push all of this, and then, at the debates, not "say it to my face."

Well, it looks like they think they've found a winner.

Today, Biden says, "John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him." Surrogate Vilsack echoes, "Why didn't McCain say it to his face?"

This sets up a really interesting dynamic. They're daring McCain to launch the attack himself, daring him to go out on that limb and defend it. Either that, or he's a coward who "can't look a man in the eye."

(The really shifts the Ayers terrain to McCain's motivations and accuracy. The media will love having an excuse to talk about that. Plus it lets Obama win the "macho" war.)

Meanwhile, while McCain is talking about Ayers, Obama is hitting on McCain's mortgage plan, healthcare, and jobs.

Nobody wants to sign on to the attack

Has anyone else noticed that there aren't any top level GOP surrogates carrying the Ayers attacks? No Thompson, Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich....? Nobody wants to put their name on it.

(Giuliani did make one brief run, but it was quiet.)


We're about at the point where all of those "electoral predictors" may start tipping Obama over 270. The much media read Pollster has already gone to 320-165. Real Clear Politics and CNN have several states just one good Obama poll from tipping over to 270.

When Obama starts to get those projections, that means he's winning 270 EV by 5% or more.

I really think that could matter in the race narrative.

(Facing this, John McCain is going back to Iowa?)

Later: A PPP poll came back Obama +8 in Va. RCP now tips over to Obama 277, McCain 163, and Pollster gave 320 this morning (without Va.)

We'll have to wait and see if they kick any of the network maps over. That's when the story likely takes off.

McCain changes his mortgage plan.

The "Resurgence" plan McCain offered at the debate is getting some skeptical looks from experts, so, I guess it's no surprise that the McCain folks are substantially changing it already.
A McCain campaign official explained the change: “That language was mistakenly included in the initial draft and it’s been corrected. It doesn’t reflect the intentions of the initiative, which necessitated the correction and the removal of the sentence. A simple mistake.”

So, your position is that your huge policy rollout, the main focus of your attempt to reclaim the economic issue and win the election, had language that was "mistakenly included?"

Tidbits: Boston Globe says the mortgage plan is targeting women.

And, by these sudden changes by the McCain camp, no ad support for a rollout, and Obama's opposition, (a new Obama ad against,) I'd bet the polling says it flopped.

Picture of the Day

(Sen. Barack Obama signs the cast of Ian Krull, 7, from Indianapolis, at a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Ind., Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Karzai is collapsing.

The next NIE on Afghanistan "set to be finished after the November elections" says what you know if you've been paying attention.
A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban’s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document.

"Stock injection" instead of bailout

Everybody's freaking out about this NYTimes story that the Treasury is about to effectively buy shares/nationalize the banks, but, to me, this actually seems like a better deal.

From the little I've read about all this, there seemed to be alot of economists preferring this idea to the "buying toxic mortgages" bailout plan. (And this was written into the law as an option.)

I think it's the "nationalization" language that's freaking everyone out. Hopefully the markets respond well tomorrow.

Tipping over 270 in Florida

A little bit from Marc Ambinder: Steve Hildebrand and Paul Tewes, two big, national Obama guys are heading to Florida. Hildebrand out of Miami, and Tewes out of the critical Tampa area.
Both will work with Obama state director Steve Schale, who has put together the biggest field team ever field by a party, Republican or Democratic. There are more than 50 open field offices and more than 10,000 active volunteers. In addition, the Obama campaign is outspending McCain on television in the expensive state by a factor of five to one, records show.

As Obama has so many other paths without Florida, I think you have to see this as an offensive move.

Also, an interesting look into the mechanics of the Ohio groundgame. (The strategy of a "community organizer.")

And, Kos looks at the state by state ad spending, McCain is spending 16% of his budget on national ads, Obama 1.7%.

At the McCain/Palin joint appearance today....

That enthusiasm was even more present during Palin's remarks, and as other observers have reported in the past, today there was a sizeable number of people making their way towards the exit after McCain's running mate left the podium.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Obama supporters listen at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

From Indiana/Ball State

From the Delaware County Indiana voter registration office
Matthew Kindig, an Obama campaign volunteer, soon entered the room with a handful of forms.

"They come in so often we have learned their names," Landers added.

Norm Coleman's in trouble.

A very rough video/press conference for Sen. Norm Coleman's press spokesman.

(What politician gets suits as a gift? And it's messier than that.)

Tell me this doesn't play HUGE in the local Minnesota press.

We could have a Senator Al Franken.


"If All It's Going to Do Is Depress You, Don't Watch It"

Rush Limbaugh's advice to his listeners for next week's debate.


Michigan Republicans launch a petition to bring Sarah Palin to their state.

Michigan Democrats launch a counter petition to bring Tina Fey.

Picture of the Day

An audience of carefully screened undecideds.

Who do you think won the debate?

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

Today is supposed to be the big McCain character assassination rollout

I think the most interesting element of McCain "not going the Ayers route" last night is that today was supposed to be the big rollout by the McCain campaign on the negative character attacks. (At least that's what they were saying Saturday.)

I haven't seen or heard anything yet. Palin's been attacking since Saturday, and I haven't noticed any impact on the race at all.

What does it mean if the "character rollout" isn't there today?

I'll be curious and watching.

(Later: McCain went for that mortgage repurchase thing last night. Have they looked at the non-impact of the character attacks and decided to abandon it? Or is Palin going to keep feeding it to "the base" while McCain tries to run issues?)

Update: From Politico, "His top aides suggested afterward that, going forward, the candidate wouldn’t focus on the former domestic terrorist nor invoke the name of Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright."

So, what does that say?

(McCain and Palin are campaigning together today in Ohio. What does she say? How far does she go? This could be the big story out of the debate.)

Also: What would abandoning this do to the GOP base?


Did Sarah Palin and Tina Fey, in all their "maverick-y maverick-ness" destroy that key branding word for McCain?
He didn't use it once.

Also, McCain didn't use "change."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Debate opinions?

As wonky as I am, I can't make it through more than an hour of these debates.

I'm not going to venture an opinion on who won, because I'm always wrong, but my main thought is that this wasn't a "game changer," so, as the polls are likely to be the same tomorrow, I'll say Obama wins.

Brokaw was a clear joke.

Oh, and "that one"....?

I'll link the snap polls and other details here as they come in.

CNN poll: "Who did the best job in the debate?" Obama 54/30.

On favorable/unfavorable, Obama came out 64 favorable/34 unfavorable, +8 from before the debate. McCain was exactly the same before and after at 51/48. (That's a big favorables gap.)

Who would better handle Iraq? Obama 41, McCain 47.
The economy, Obama 59, 37
The financial crisis, Obama 57, 36

CBS snap poll: Uncommitted voters. Obama won 39. McCain won 27. Draw 25.

"After the debate, 68 percent of uncommitted voters said that they think Obama will make the right decisions on the economy, compared to 54 percent who said that before the debate. Fewer thought McCain would do so – 49 percent after the debate, and 41 percent before"

So, whether you think he won or not, Obama got his message out and got high ratings on the economy, favorables, and tied on Iraq. That's an Obama win.

For reference

The WSJblog has the outline for the crazy expensive "Homeownership Resurgence Plan" McCain introduced tonight.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Artist: Chaz Maviyane-Davies)

Swing state spending

The Obama campaign is substantially outspending McCain and the RNC on TV in the battlegrounds. ($1.5 million in NC?)

We know that Obama has a larger ground operation, so, where is McCain's money going or gone? Are they hoarding it? Is it spent? Or is the Obama fundraising advantage that severe?

(Would love to see the Obama campaign's Sept. numbers.)

Later: The UAW dumps $3 million on TV in Mich, Oh, In, Pa.

Also: Some big voter registration numbers in Pa, Fla, and Oh.

War room chief or top campaign strategist

Steve Schmidt, the aide brought in over the summer who is the effective McCain campaign manager, has two main election credentials in his biography. He ran Schwarzenegger's reelection campaign in 2006, but, previous to that, he had only one bit of national campaign experience, he ran the Bush "war room" rapid response group in 2004.

As I hear people talking about the McCain campaign's absolute insistence on winning daily news cycles, and the sometimes shortsightedness of the wildly swinging campaign tactics, I can't help but think how much that sounds like the output of a "rapid response" team and not a campaign strategist.

Is Schmidt running the campaign like a "war room?" Is the "war room" mentality why the McCain campaign spent all their attacking credibility in August? Is that why the campaign has frequently lacked (or failed to stick to) any broad overarching campaign themes? Is that why we're seeing so many narrative "stunts"?

Is the McCain campaign paying now for the short term "win the day" daily strategies of the summer?

(Add this LATimes story on Schmidt (with the detail that it was Schmidt alone who is pretty much responsible for the Palin pick.)

And the much discussed J Heilemann piece, "How McCain Lost His Brand." (It's worth a read.))

Just a theory I've been bumping around.

An observation on the polling

In the last 24 hours, we've seen national polls showing everything from Obama +8 to Obama +4, but here's what I want to point out.

In all the major national polls, most of the variation appears to be coming from Obama's "top" number (53 in CNN, 48 in CBS in the examples linked above.) McCain is solidly and consistently polling at 43, 44, 0r 45, but never breaking 45. And apart from the brief Palin bubble, McCain has not polled above 45 all year.

To me, that says two things. McCain has a HARD ceiling at 45, and Obama's support above 49 or so may be a bit soft or uncertain. (Both trackings have Obama 50+.)

(Heretical thoughts: Maybe instead of watching Obama's number or the lead, we should be watching McCain's number.

Second: If the goal of going negative is to try and drag Obama down below McCain's ceiling, what does going negative do to McCain's number?)

Pre-debate (probably part I)

Everyone is speculating on what McCain "must do" in tonight's debate, attack or not attack, new vision, paint Obama as "out of the mainstream"..... but, personally, as the McCain camp is trying to turn this campaign into a referendum on Obama, I think Obama's performance is more important.

He needs to look presidential. He needs to look unfazed by whatever McCain throws. And he needs to connect on the economy.

No matter what McCain does, if Obama comes through as presidential and more connected on the economy, he wins.

(The surest way to put down the attacks is to be normal.)

McCain is talking about substantially cutting Medicare

Beneath all the nasty noise,
John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, a top aide said, in a move that independent analysts estimate could result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years to the government programs.....

The McCain campaign hasn't given a specific figure for the cuts, but didn't dispute the analysts' estimate.

Picture of the Day

It's getting ugly at the McCain/Palin rallies. See next.

(A supporter of Senator John McCain holds a bumper sticker at a campaign rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico October 6, 2008. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder))

Monday, October 06, 2008

Crossing the line

I'm not exactly sure where the line is, but when your crowds are shouting "terrorist" (McCain) and "kill him" (Palin) about your opponent, your strategy for xenophobic hate has probably passed the acceptability point.

For decency's sake. I hope the media picks this up.

Later: Milbank describing a Palin appearance in Clearwater, Fla.
Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

Two turnout/demographic bits

First, USAToday polls young voters, overwhelmingly Obama (61-32), Plan to vote 73%, Have given "quite a lot" of thought to the election 64%. (We'll see how much of that turns out, but with 58 million eligible to vote, those numbers would be deciding.)

Second, In Ohio's four largest counties, only 3,000 took advantage of the week where they could register and vote in the same day.

Watching the polls

New CNN/OPR, Obama 53, McCain 45.
Sixty-eight percent are confident in the Democratic presidential nominee's ability to handle the financial crisis, 18 points ahead of McCain, and 42 points ahead of President Bush.

The very respected WSJ/NBC has Obama 49, McCain 43.
In the poll, 35 percent are bothered by Obama's support from Al Sharpton and his association with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

(To put that number in perspective, however, 53 percent say they are bothered by the fact that former lobbyists are working for McCain's campaign.)

And, the trackings have roughly stabilized for 11 days.

Also some new Rasmussen battlegrounds. Obama +6 in Colorado, +7 in Florida, +3 in Missouri, and +2 in Virginia. McCain +1 in Ohio.

Later: CNN battlegrounds. McCain +5 in Indiana, Obama +8 in NH, +3 in Ohio, +5 in Wis, and NC tied.

Later: CBS national Obama 47, 43.

McCain's seminal moment

At a rally today, John McCain posed the rhetorical campaign question, "Who is the real Obama?"

The first and loudest response is someone shouting "terrorist."

In the very next McCain interview, someone needs to ask John McCain if he's happy with that extension of his campaign's tactics.

Attack to deflect

So the McCain camp started complaining about Obama's fundraising only after they'd received an official letter from the FEC listing 9 pages of likely violations?

The "big map" strikes again in North Carolina

(Politico) McCain forced to defend North Carolina

Another state party complaining that the McCain campaign isn't doing enough.

This is not a good "fundamentals" sign for the McCain campaign. Stretched on money, stretched on the map, and hearing local worries from all over the country. (See also: Virginia and Florida.)

(I have a hunch that they leave North Carolina alone because it's not worth the attention. If they lose North Carolina, they've already lost the overall race.)

Later: (Politico) McCain/Palin both head to Virginia.

Picture of the Day - 2

Interesting they never tried to use her to appeal to women voters.

(Cindy McCain participates in a rally with her husband, in Albuquerque, N.M., Monday, Oct. 6, 2008.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert))


I'm not going to cover every twist and turn of the negative today. First because they're at the "throw stuff against the wall phase" so most of today's shocking items will quickly be forgotten, but really, primarily, because I'm really feeling the stock market drop. Not so much in the money lost sense, but in the much more gut level "loss of confidence" sense.

I'm feeling an alternation of shock, depression, disappointment, and RAGE.

I'm feeling hurt, so I'm reactionarily lashing out. I want someone to blame.

I feel quite certain that I'm not alone in this. All across this country today, people are recalculating their retirements. They're worrying about their jobs, their homes, their kids, and their healthcare, trying to do the math in their head on how to make it to the end of the month as they sit in traffic listening to the radio reports on the economy.

This moment is more powerful than negative ads. This fear hits deeper and more emotionally, more personally, than any allegations of who had dinner with whom and when. This is a moment of shock, a resetting of how we look at our country and its situation.

When people slam their mental "right track/wrong track" knob hard against the stopper today, they're not going to be blaming Barack Obama. They're going to be blaming the President. They're going to be blaming the Republicans, and there's only one of those on the national ticket to take that wrath.

So, forget all the negative ad coverage. Today, it doesn't matter.

(Sorry for the rant. I usually try to avoid them.)

If it doesn't work....?

Over the weekend I asked, "What if the Republicans shout terrorist, and no one cares?"

Looking back, that's actually a pretty big narrative question. What if the McCain campaign spends three to five days on these "last ditch" attacks and the polls don't appreciably move?

Isn't the narrative then that the race is over?

(Can you really imagine McCain picking up ground in the economically sensitive battleground states right now?)


Reduced consumer spending coupled with an inability to get credit will mean the collapse of many small and medium sized businesses.

35-40% of Americans work for small businesses.

Picture of the Day

Now, not all of us get to register to vote on Luke Perry's back, but today is the registration deadline in many states.

(Brooke Short fills out the voter registration form on the back of actor Luke Perry before a Bruce Springsteen concert Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, on the campus of Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio. Perry was encouraging Barack Obama supporters to register. (AP Photo/Terry Gilliam))

Not in the mood.

We can talk about Ayers and Keating and whoever else today, (The Obama campaign launches a Keating website. The McCain camp starts talking about Rashid Khalidi who has featured in so many of those viral emails,) but right now, today and this week, money is all that matters.

Full of doubts and fears, reading about falling markets around the world, people are afraid about their economy, about their futures, and we're getting some signs that those individual fears are bridging into the irrational.

The NYTimes has a mostly anecdotal this morning discussing rapid declines in consumer spending that really lays out where we are in the consumer psyche.

We can talk about Ayers and Keating or whatever, but it's my opinion that we're crossing over from economic worry to economic fear, and that's going to be a more powerful actor this week than anything else.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Picture of the Day

The press ain't playing along so far.....

The early coverage of Sarah Palin shouting "terrorist" has so far been pretty muted. Most of the TV discussion has centered on the wisdom of the tactic, seeming to carry an implicit assertion that the charges are a stretch.

The AP has had an "analysis" piece on top of its top ten for most of the day, "Analysis: Palin's words may backfire on McCain" saying that Palin’s comments were “unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subject that John McCain himself may come to regret,” and that the charge about Obama and Ayers “was exaggerated at best if not outright false.”

Palin is now having to defend the comments.

It's a strange new world.

The states, the money, and strategy.

An interesting Politico story where the local Virginia GOP is very worried about McCain winning the state. (They're so frustrated with the McCain campaign that they're talking to the press?)

The "big map" is really pressing the McCain campaign's money and allocation. I guarantee he's hearing complaints from more than just Virginia. (Wouldn't you love to see his financials?)

The Obama campaign's ability to work the "big map" coupled with the decision to go outside the public financing system may end up being the deciding strategic factor in this election.

Later: Michigan is still loudly complaining.

Even George Will is right every once in awhile.....

This morning on This Week, George Will made an interesting point. Starting this week, people all across the nation will begin getting quarterly statements for their 401k's, and the reading is not going to be pleasant.... as McCain tries to "pivot off the economy."

"State of the race"

Two "state of the race" pieces from the NYTimes and WaPo.

(The NYTimes version is very good, laying out the map, the spending, strategy, and some of Obama's state specific issue targeting.)

SNL does the VP debate. It's Sunday morning. Take the time.

(If you click it, you get a bigger version at the NBC site where you can also make it full screen on the lower left of the box.)

Tina Fey is impacting the election.