.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Picture of the Day - 4

(Angry John McCain supporters show their displeasure for members of the media at a rally in Woodbridge, Va., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez))

(Politico) After hurling insults and debris at the CNN reporter, a chant went up: "We want Fox, we want Fox."


....because white conservative Republicans don't get a fair shake in the American system.....

Picture of the Day - 3

Obama appearance in St. Louis, Mo. today.

St. Louis police estimated the crowd at 100,000.

Political bits

(Politico) Michelle Bachman's crazy McCarthyite rant on Hardball has resulted in $150,000 in donations to her opponent.

(Update: Bachman's opponent now says it's up to $438K.)

(McClatchy) Early turnout in NC is very heavy and very Dem.

(CQ) Someone was manipulating the presidential futures at InTrade creating the perception that McCain was doing better.

(NJournal) Ron Brownstein has a rather lengthy look at voting patterns in a few micro demographics for the last 20 years.

And, (CNN) McCain is trying to get "Joe the Plumber" on stage with him.

Picture of the Day - 2

Since she's the topic of the day....

(Was this photo supposed to be "humanizing" before the NYTimes piece came out? Notice how the reporters react. )

(Cindy McCain, wife of US Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, passes candy to the crew during a campaign flight from New York to Miami October 17, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

Colin Powell gossip

Tom DeFrank has a pretty good inside look at Colin Powell's appearance on MTP this Sunday. (You knew Powell was going to "soft leak" his message to somebody. That's how Powell works.)

Short version: Powell will not likely outright endorse Obama, but he will make his intentions clear. McCain hasn't called Powell in months.

One of Powell's objections is that McCain has surrounded himself with neocons.

(My thought: More than an endorsement, Powell's greatest impact, if he chooses to go there, would be to take on the Ayers/anti-American/terrorist stuff. He's one of the few figures with enough heft to successfully call bullshit on all that.)

The NYTimes goes after Cindy McCain.

From an unflattering NYTimes Cindy McCain profile.
Mrs. McCain, 54, describes herself as her husband’s best friend, though for the last two decades they have mostly lived apart, she in Arizona, he in Washington....

Recently, Mrs. McCain has called the separations painful, volunteering that she endured several miscarriages alone. She spent subsequent pregnancies mostly confined to home, Ms. Ross said, sitting in a favorite stuffed chair, watching videos. But she rarely complained. “Her attitude was as a good soldier,” Mr. Gullet said.

As her family grew, her parents moved across the street to help out, even ordering birthday gifts to be given in her husband’s name. . “I’m sure John hasn’t been able to get anything done, so send something Cindy would enjoy,” Marguerite Hensley, Mrs. McCain’s mother, would tell G. Darrell Olson, a local jeweler. “John doesn’t have a lot of money, so find something in the $5,000 area,” she added, according to Mr. Olson. (One year, Mr. McCain chose his own gift for his wife: a ring with her children’s birthstones.)

It really paints her as lonely, sad, frail, and left by her husband to suffer alone. Not exactly the power couple profile.

(No more McCain access for the NYTimes.)

Later: In response, the McCain campaign releases a letter it sent the NYTimes earlier this month as this profile was being built.
You have not tried to find Barack Obama's drug dealer that he wrote about in his book, Dreams of My Father....

And, official McCain statement.

Bush administration agrees to FIXED timeline of withdrawal from Iraq.

After all that, the Bush administration signs onto withdrawing on a FIXED timeline from cities by June 30, 2009, and withdrawal from Iraq by Dec 31, 2011.

On immunity, US soldiers are only subject to Iraqi justice for "in cases of serious or premeditated felonies committed outside their official duties." On contractors, the Iraqis have "primary jurisdiction," but the contractors will be held in US custody.

(Sadr is against. It will be popular to oppose.)

Picture of the Day

(Thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr take part in a rally in Baghdad, Iraq, on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, to protest a draft U.S.-Iraqi security agreement. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban))

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the other hand, McCain does seem pretty effective at directing an angry mob...

An ACORN community organizer received a death threat and the liberal activist group's Boston and Seattle offices were vandalized Thursday....

Picture of the Day - 2

Oh, my god. He is The Penguin.

(Senator John McCain attends the 2008 Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York October 16, 2008. (Reuters/Andrew Theodorakis))

"Historic" (My opinion for the Obama campaign arc.)

Obama's been telling his audiences not to get overconfident, trying to use fear of collapse to drive them to the polls, but I think that's wrong. I think it runs counter to his appeal.

Obama should be drawing people, not trying to push them. That's not his strength.

If I were writing the campaign script, I would craft an arc designed to peak on that Thursday night before the election when he's purchased primetime air on all the networks.

The theme of the speech would be "historic," and it would consist of about 20 minutes of very real discussion of the problems we face, programs to address, etc, about 7 minutes of we, as Americans can overcome this, and then end with a "miracle of democracy," something like "Our forefathers gave us the means to change things, foresaw the need for the people in trying times..... Vote. Even if you aren't voting for me, go vote. This is the most important election..... This is historic."

Don't try to push your followers. Elevate, and lead them. Draw them through an inmstilled sense of purpose. That's what you do best. That's what they want from you.

(Just writing this thinking that the McCain camp is successfully dragging down the narrative.)

PS. How powerful is it that Obama has bought that primetime for a speech to set the tone and momentum for the last weekend?

Fun fact

In the whole state of Ohio, no resident is more than 43 miles from an Obama campaign office.

Political bits

(AP) The Supreme Court rejects the GOP petition that would effectively tie up the 600,000 new registrations in Ohio.

(Politico/CNN) Alot of rumors that Colin Powell is going to endorse Obama Sunday on Meet the Press. (If it's not true, his office will likely put out a quieting word this afternoon.)

(Who will be the first numbnut say it's because Powell is black.)

(ThePage) The McCain campaign's ACORN rhetoric is now up to ""a cloud of suspicion...seems to right now hang over this election."

(Palin now says we don't know "who Obama is" because of ACORN?)

(HuffPo) An extreme "terrorist" mailer in Nevada and NC. (It appears they've taken Ayers out of their mainstream and are pumping it through mailings and robocalls.)

(TPM) Obama continues to try to fight overconfidence, "Don't underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory...."

(Ambinder) The NSRC gives up on the Colo Senate race.

(NewsRecord) A reporter was kicked hard at a Palin Rally

(Politico) TV executives plan how to fill election night if it's a blowout. (We could have election deciding projections out of Fla, Va, NC, Oh, Ind, all before I finish dinner.)

And, (Kos) Don't miss "Joe the Plumber" saying he would actually benefit under Obama's tax plan.


I just need to take a little stop here in the election stuff to note that there appears to be a major development brewing in Iraq.

The mainstream Shia SIIC and PM Maliki's Dawa party are "rapidly turning into bitter rivals." This has all sorts of implications from the upcoming elections to the dynamics of the US's presence to the legitimacy of Maliki's government.

The overt reason for the split is that Maliki is trying very hard to get the US-Iraq SoFA negotiated and signed, and the SIIC is opposing, but, more deeply, what we're seeing is Iranian/SIIC influence against the Iraqi PM over who will win the elections and whether the US/Maliki or Iran/SIIC will hold long term sway.

Picture of the Day

(CNN) "Lieberman: McCain is 'on the road to victory'"

(John McCain smiles as he talks with Joe Lieberman during a rally in Downingtown, Pennsylvania October 16, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

Quote: The NYTimes on Obama's money.

The campaign is already so heavily invested in television advertising that it is having serious problems finding open spots to place more commercials.

Quote: Steve Schmidt - Why they launched "Joe the Plumber"

“Spread the wealth around: We will focus acutely on that,” said Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain’s chief strategist. “Spread the wealth around is a big mistake.”

(Schmidt has run that campaign like a rapid response unit, focused on "winning the day" rather than running a campaign of themes.)


From longtime reader Matt: "McCain is Swiftboating himself."

The WaPo lengthily gushes in its endorsement of Obama

For whatever newspaper endorsements are worth, the WaPo endorses Obama (Washington media heads and Northern Virginia.)

(I don't think the Obama campaign would put out something this pro-Obama/anti-McCain.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the plumber implodes. What were they thinking?

The press snapback on the "Joe the plumber" ploy has been swift. Almost all the news outlets are going after McCain on this, but Politico probably has the harshest piece I've seen yet. (Really, read the first several paragraphs. It's scathing.)

But I think the underlying point is dead on. They found this amorphous thing floating around Drudge and right wing radio, decided to stake the campaign on it without doing any of the legwork, and now their candidate is a national joke.

And these guys want to run our foreign policy....

(PS. SNL tore McCain up tonight.)

Picture of the Day -3

Any day that's not on the economy is a win for McCain.

And the press bit on this stunt in a big way.
Wurzelbacher said a McCain campaign official contacted him several days before the debate to ask him to appear with the candidate at a Toledo rally scheduled for Sunday.

(Joe Wurzelbacher on Thursday afternoon. (AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero))

(PS. I missed the fact that this yobo went on CBSNews and said, Obama tapdanced "almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.")

So, the McCain answer is, dirtier still.......

I hadn't thought of this before, but as you tour the new anti-Obama sleaze out there, (RJC ads "Pro-Palestinian," Virginia GOP photoshops Obama and Bin Laden, and nasty, nasty robocalls,) make a note that this new level of putridity is all launching today.

With the debates now out of the way, McCain doesn't expect to have to answer for his tactics anymore, or for those of his supporting groups, so now he can let the nuts and racists loose. (What, is FoxNews gonna ask him?)

Shoulda seen that coming.

Some 18 days and 12 hours left.

A money driven wave election.

Think about all the implications of this,
The Democratic National Committee is waging a last minute injection of as much as $20 million into state legislative races in key states, hoping to take advantage of Democratic momentum this cycle....

Obama doesn't need the money. The Senate and Congressional races are strong enough to get by without it, so the DNC is going to try seize this moment to grab a few statehouses.

(It's actually a pretty big longterm play. If they can hold onto state seat gains through the 2010 elections, they get to redraw the Congressional districts.)

$20 million is a real investment if they do it.

Running other people for President

All I can figure is that, much like the Palin nomination, John McCain thinks that elevating this "Joe the Plumber" guy to national topic is better than running for President as himself.

I would guess the idea is to become "regular people by proxy," but, much like Palin, this guy isn't ready for primetime either.
But that won't stop McCain. (From a FoxNews interview with McCain this morning.)
"I'm probably going to call him this morning...I think we're going to be spending some time together."

I'm not going to waste my time detailing all the crud with this guy, but he's got skeletons, his question was apparently bogus, he's clearly a Republican, and it appears the McCain camp planned all of this ahead.

So, prop him up on the national stage, John. Bring him out to Republican applause. It's another stunt you've already pushed too far. We're just going to have to wait a few days until it blows up in your face.

Picture of the Day - 2

"At the edge of the west lawn of the Capitol Building." (CNN/Bob Greene)


Drudge has had a big flashing headline up all day about Obama's "giant election night party," (although it really sounds more like an outdoor rally,) but that got me thinking....

I'd be far more interested in McCain's "victory celebration" plans. (A double room at the Ramada with a connecting door and an open "minibar"?) How much is he spending? Does he have the room for the whole night?

"Running through the tape"

At a fundraiser this morning, Obama warns
“For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire..."

He added, “That’s another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me, so we want to make sure that we are closing strong, running through the tape.”

First off, I love the visual imagery of the phrase "running through the tape."

But, secondly, from a "body language" standpoint, what does this tell you about how the Obama folks think they're doing?

(Also, it may be a feint or media play, but I've seen a couple of rumors that Obama may be going back into Georgia and N. Dakota and maybe even W. Virgina and Kentucky.)

Later: AP carries the map expansion rumor and says Obama is launching TV in West Virginia. (Note, this could well be for the surrounding states.)

Chuck Todd

Two bits in FirstRead this AM,
Time and again last night, Obama went out of his way to find a center-right watchword or phrase (tax cuts, life, responsibility, charter schools, tort reform) to defend himself or make a point. McCain, on the other hand, spent a lot of time talking to his current supporters -- but not the middle..... It's as if BOTH candidates were trying to win Indiana or West Virginia last night. And that's not good for McCain.....

Also, an interesting bit on McCain's internal focus groups under "The McCain camp’s memo."

Picture of the Day

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg and AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

What I predicted last night....

The pundits were all gaga over McCain's "I'm not President Bush" line, but, as I asked last night, doesn't that then lead everyone into generating a comparison, asking how he is and isn't like Bush? Doesn't that guarantee that his "likeness to Bush" becomes a running conversation out of this debate?

The Obama camp has an ad leading with that statement.

(To some degree this was Kerry's mistake with the Swiftboaters. He turned the attack into something to be debated.)

The "respectable loss" scenario

Perhaps the most interesting moment of last night to me was when David Gergen briefly floated what I've been calling the "respectable loss" scenario for McCain, the idea that he should give up any pretense of being the president and begin to work for his party's Congressional seats.

A tiny moment in it all, but when high profile people are on TV advising you to mitigate your loss.....

(Added: The power of this is not that McCain can change anything. It's the implicit working assumptions and their effect on anti-McCain enthusiasm in the GOP. 1) He's already lost. 2) He's screwed up so badly he's damaging "our" other candidates.

That's a powerful drag on McCain, and I expect the idea to grow.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Picture of the Day - 3

Debatus Infinitum

I made it through about 45 minutes. Now I'm watching baseball.
I'll bet I'm not alone.

Question: McCain's supposed big line of the night is that "he's not George Bush," but doesn't that then lead to everyone generating a comparison, looking for ways that he is and isn't like Bush? Hasn't he sort of guaranteed that his "likeness to Bush" becomes a running story out of this debate? That's not a winner.

Feedback: The early focus group BS seems to say Obama won. Three on the CNN panel of "undecideds" committed to Obama, none to McCain. Four on the FoxNews panel of "undecideds" committed to Obama, none to McCain.

Holy crap! CNN Snap Poll: Obama 58/31.
(Kos breaks down by party ID.)

CBS snap poll: Obama 58-22

More CNN: "Stronger leader" Obama 56/39

(Lesson: Obama is communicating with the American people in a way that the pundits don't recognize.)

And, stray question: What value does it serve to put surrogates on my TV to tell me their candidate won?

I continue to be amazed by the Obama money advantage.

Kos has an interesting look at the state by state TV spending with some tidbits. (McCain spent 25% of his ad money on Iowa and Pa?)

But I think the most notable thing is that the DNC has apparently stopped spending on the Presidential race. How good are Obama's fundraising numbers? He's outspending McCain and the RNC almost 3 to 1.

(In modern history, Democrats have never outraised Republicans.)

Picture of the Day - 2

(A boy reacts to meeting Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama at the Maumee Bay Resort in Oregon, Ohio, October 14, 2008. (Jim Young/Reuters))

The RNC abandons Wisconsin?

It appears that the RNC has abandoned TV ads in Wisconsin.

If you look at the spending graphic for last week, McCain was spending $500K and the RNC was spending $500K. (Has the McCain campaign stopped their advertising in Wis? Where's the RNC money going?)

Also, Maine, too? (Didn't they just shift to Maine a week ago?)

Update: Chuck Todd, they're moving the money to other states.

Anecdotals (Updated)

Later: CNN's electoral projection pushes Obama over 270.

As does Karl Rove's.

(FirstRead) Good news for Obama among Virginia's new registrations. 40% are under 25 and women are the majority.

(Politico) An eyeopening look inside a focus group who believed all the smears and said they're gonna vote Obama anyway.

(Ambinder) Obama field staff being shipped to Indiana.

(LATimes) California Obama volunteers are "swarming" Nevada.

(Ambinder) "Not a single black voter abandoned the long line" (Georgia early voting.)

(538) Obama dominating early voting in five swing states.

(ThePage) Palin is still going after Ayers, but only out of the media's eye on right wing radio.

(Pew) Obama leads 50/40.

(Ipsos/McClatchy) Obama 48/39.

(USAToday) Rep. Jeanne Schmidt got hit by a car.

And, How long has it been since the McCain campaign touted a "good poll?"

Picture of the Day

(A worker cheers for Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama as he shakes hands with workers at the Toledo Machining Plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong))

Debate thoughts and predictions

McCain will bring up Ayers, but it will be tepid, and Obama's response (which will be well planned) will likely be better.

McCain will try to attack from his economic plan, but Obama will respond by saying "jobs" and "middle class" 300 times.

From his economic plan, McCain is clearly trying to target "seniors," so watch for code words aimed at that demo.

McCain's goal is to try to make Obama appear "unpresidential." How does he pull that off?

McCain will try some "surprise," maybe economic, maybe some new attack, but it will be delivered awkwardly leaving everyone scratching their heads.

Viewership for this debate will be down significantly.

Crazy Money

McCain has $84 million for total operations from Sept 4, "Obama dropped more than $32 million (just) on television in 17 battleground states between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13." (McCain and the RNC spent $16 million combined in Oct. 7-13.)
In Florida, for example, Obama is now spending just shy of $5 million a week on television -- a $1.8 million (!) increase from just a week ago. The same pattern is apparent in Indiana (a $900,000 increase in ad spending over the past week), Missouri ($1.4 million increase) and Virginia ($2.3 million increase).

McCain is having to spend on defense. The "big map" is eating McCain's finances. (There's a graph at the end.)

Later: Chuck Todd notes that spending is even in smaller markets and rural while Obama is dominating the big urban markets. "And by the way, we haven't even discussed radio where Obama is just drowning out McCain by even greater margins than on TV."

Presidential threshold

The debate day, CW setting Adam Nagourney piece says the debates have been all about Obama successfully crossing the threshold of presidential acceptance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great ad from Moveon

Take 30 seconds.....

Big gaps in big mainstream polls.

Personally, I think we're at Obama plus 8-9, but wow.

NYTimes/CBS Obama 53/39.

LATimes/Bloomberg 50/41.

(The big name polls conducted over the last week, ABC/WaPo Obama +10, FoxNews Obama +7, Newsweek Obama +11.)

The Palin decision has killed them. The "suspension" and economic response killed them. Ayers killed them. They haven't made a good decision since August.

(Later: You gotta love that the McCain campaign is reduced to arguing that they're actually only losing by 6-8.)

21 days left.

The assumption of a McCain loss starts to seep through the GOP.

Two little bits. First, The jockeying for taking over the GOP chairmanship is already starting, with one "contestant" already arranging a "lessons learned" conference for after the election.

Second, and more revealing to me, Rush Limbaugh asks Sarah Palin about her "political future beyond this campaign." (Wouldn't that be serving as VP?)

The assumption of a McCain loss is starting to permeate, even within the GOP's most stalwart supporters, and that will have lots of follow on effects. (Got a big post about half written on that.)

Picture of the Day - 2

I find it a little tragic to watch McCain trying to hold the smile of enthusiasm.

(Senator John McCain points during a rally in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania October 14, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

McCain's big "economic rollout" is for investors?

Too long to excerpt, but the WSJblog has some campaign supplied bits on McCain's new economic policies to be rolled out today, and, maybe I'm wrong, but isn't it almost all the new stuff for stock market investors only? (targeting seniors?)

It was the "suspension" not the stock market slide that lost McCain the race.

Cillizza looks at some internals of the latest Quinnipiac battlegrounds poll that seem to indicate it was the "suspension" and not the stock market or Bush that has led to McCain's downfall.
Asked whether they thought McCain had "shown effective leadership in dealing with the financial crisis," voters roundly panned the Arizona senator.

In each state, less than one in four voters agreed with that statement while a majority of voters said McCain had not demonstrated leadership during the recent crisis.

This finding is important because it likely means he has a huge credibility hurdle in introducing new economic plans (like today?,) and thus has almost no way back in on the number one issue.

(It also means his hole is of his own making.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain hiring canvassers in Florida

In another bad sign for McCain, he can't gather enough volunteers in Florida, so he's gone to paying people to canvass for him.
(And not just one or two. 120 canvassers in just one county.)

By comparison,
In Florida alone, the Obama campaign has 56 field offices, more than 100 field organizers and the free labor of 150,000 volunteers, who have been doing all of the campaign's canvassing in the state.

(And I'm sure those hired McCain canvassers (paid by the hour,) will be extremely hard workers and very convincing.)

RNC starts to bail on McCain?

In today's earlier post on campaign funds, I noted that there was a rumor floating that the RNC might start pulling back from its support of McCain to focus more on tight House and Senate races. Well.....
The Republican National Committee, growing nervous over the prospect of Democrats’ winning a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, is considering tapping into a $5 million line of credit this week to aid an increasing number of vulnerable incumbents, top Republicans say.

$5 million isn't that huge against the $66 million the RNC raised last month, but this looks very bad as their candidate is sinking.

The fact that the RNC feels it had to say, "We’re not giving up on McCain," tells you alot about the optics.

If you read page two, you get a real flavor of the internal politics.

(The RNC is still spending on McCain, but it's also clear that they're pulling back and "hedging their bet.")

Also of note, The GOP is ditching spending on new recruits to support already exising Congress members (meaning no offense, all defense.)

Picture of the Day - Mancrush

I gotta say, he gets out of a car better than anyone I've ever seen.


Apparently, John McCain prefers to see the glass as 43% full.

Two technical bits

A long, rather technical, look at voter registration info in Ohio and NC leading to the conclusion that a good majority of the new registrants there are likely Obama voters.

And, a comparative look at the Obama and McCain groundgames.


This "reset/reboot" ploy by McCain is another narrative play, trying to get the media to rewrite its entire campaign presentation.

The fact that they're gambling on narrative (rather than an issue) tells you exactly how far behind they see themselves.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Sen. John McCain gives the thumbs-up at a rally at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Va., Monday, Oct. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster))

Rumors about money

There are rumors around that McCain's ads are disappearing in some places (Penn. according to TPM,) and lots of ad disparity reported around the country (under "money to burn.")

I really think money is the underwritten story of this campaign. How is the money holding up for McCain? What about the rumors of a huge Obama fundraising Sept? Reporting is required by the 20th.

Later: (Cillizza) The Obama campaign spent $21 million just on TV advertising for the first week of October alone.

(Oh, and speaking of fundraising, we also have the "smart money" phenomena, where all those people who will want access to an Obama White House start writing more and more checks as he looks more and more likely to win.)

Later: There's also this running rumor about the RNC giving up on McCain and focusing on Senate and House races. Nothing to support that yet, but it's out there.

Obama won

Yesterday and today, neither Sarah Palin nor John McCain mentioned the name Bill Ayers.

Later: The lower campaign folks are still pushing it.

Picture of the Day

(A CNN reporter on the Palin plane takes a picture of the Obama plane as they crossed paths in Philadelphia on Saturday.)


After sending signals all weekend, the NYTimes says that McCain will not be launching any new economic proposal. (After all the stunts, I don't think they would be treated credibly.)

Later: Now, we get word that the McCain campaign will be "hitting the ‘reset’ button on the campaign," and trying to go the underdog/"fighter" route.

(I've been amazed at how closely the McCain campaign has followed the Clinton path. They tried attacking on "experience," attacking "change," appropriating "change," attacking on issues, attacking on sexism, attacking on character (with and without the slight racist tint,) and now they're going with "scrappy girl from Scranton.")

And, an early excerpt of the speech. (So, after all of this, we're back to "letting McCain be McCain"? Would this McCain pick Palin?)

(PS. Does this get him away from the economy? Does the press cover this as McCain getting his "groove back"? And, is the campaign capable of sending out enough positive "body language" to make this work to the press?)

Later: Influential Mike Allen calls it "hitting the panic button," and all the press are calling it "a new stump speech." (Hardly radical.)

Also, early rumors say he's going to try to break from Bush.

On polling: State of the race

There's a new ABC/WaPo poll, Obama 53/43, that's likely going to make waves today, but, it's just one poll, etc, and it's my hunch that it was conducted right at Obama's peak late last week, so I think it's probably a point or two high.

However, in the broader polling, the race seems to have very much settled into a remarkably stable pattern with Obama right around 50% and McCain steady in the low 40's.

(McCain is still trapped below that extremely hard ceiling at 45%. All year, even at his peaks, McCain hasn't bee able to get enough independents to break 45%. That's the number I'm watching. Until McCain beaks 45, it's a guaranteed loss.)

Anyway, I kinda wanted to look at the internals, here. From the WaPo version, McCain's main attack lines are failing,
On taxes, an issue that often benefits Republicans and that McCain has worked aggressively to highlight, Obama holds a significant lead for the first time as voters gave the Democrat an 11-point edge on whom they trust to handle tax policy....

McCain's efforts to portray Obama as a risky choice do not appear to have worked, either. In fact, voters are likelier to describe the Republican candidate that way.....

Yet on the broader question of leadership, voters gave Obama a 14-point advantage, saying, by 54 percent to 40 percent, that he is a "stronger leader" than McCain.

Also, from the ABC version, this would seem to indicate why the polls are fairly fixed,
Given the critical elements at play, attention to the contest is extraordinary. Ninety-two percent of registered voters are following the election closely, 59 percent "very" closely – both mid-October records in ABC and ABC/Post pre-election polls back to 1988.

And, the enthusiasm gap is back,
Just 29 percent of his own supporters are "very enthusiastic" about his campaign, the fewest since August and down a sharp 17 points from his post-convention peak. By contrast, 63 percent of Obama's backers are very enthusiastic, steady since September.

Related: Read the last section of this "Focus on White Voters" to get some idea of where the McCain camp sees their road back into the election.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

More from the racist jackass in Johnstown, Pa.

Much worse video of the racist jackass I linked last night.

I sure hope this guy's name gets publicized. I'd like to see him publicly outed for the racist that he is.

(Again, from a Palin rally yesterday (surprised?) in Johnstown, Pa.)

Charlie Crist no likey McCain no more

You know I've been tracking all the states publicly complaining about the McCain campaign operation (as a tell on the states), and, we've got a doozy out of Florida with this amazing bit.
Even Gov. Charlie Crist, who helped deliver Florida for McCain during the primary, said he will spend the final weeks before Election Day minding the state's weak economy rather than campaigning for the Arizona senator.

''When I have time to help, I'll try to do that,'' Crist said last week, after he flew around the state with McCain running mate Sarah Palin. Saturday, he skipped a McCain football rally and instead went to Disney World.

Remember that Crist's primary endorsement pretty much guaranteed McCain the nomination. Now he's skipping McCain rallies for nothing and saying "When I have time....." ? Slap.

(Was Crist promised the VP back then?)

Spin of the Day

Rick Davis: The "angry crowds" are actually provocateurs.
When asked about these outbursts, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said that he didn't know who those people were and if they were there as supporters or to disrupt the rallies.

(Also, Axelrod goes after Rick Davis hard on Fox. (Read it.))

Someone else for McCain to distance himself from

Ladies and Gentlemen, your Virginia Republican Party Chairman.

Picture of the Day (I'm sure you've seen it, but.....)

(Politico) The boos were "resounding...." an "avalanche."

(CNN) "90 seconds of sustained booing that rumbled through the arena....." (video)

And, don't miss, "The GOP Vice-Presidential nominee said at an earlier fundraiser that she would stop some of the booing from the rowdy Philadelphia fans by putting her seven year old daughter, Piper in a Flyers jersey. She said, “How dare they boo Piper!”" (Notice the Obama signs in the back.)

(Gov. Sarah Palin drops the ceremonial puck before the start of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek))

McCain tries to transition to "Everyone's angry."

Interesting attempt at transition. The McCain campaign tries to wriggle out from under the blame for the "angry mobs" by transitioning to "everybody's angry," trying to convert the ugly "angry crowds" into all of our frustrated voices.
"I've traveled all over this great country and one thing I hear from Americans at every stop is that they're angry." Repeating "they are angry," twice, he added, "they're angry about the mess in Washington and Wall Street. They're angry about the failure of leadership at this hour of national crisis. They are angry that our leaders are more interested in pointing fingers at each other and advancing their own political interest than in coming together, Democrats and Republicans to solve the big problems we face."

(Although, somehow I don't think the people shouting death threats at Dem nominee were really craving more bipartisanship.)

And, Palin transitions to her "personal story" over abortion.

(Abandoning Ayers and going to their "strengths?")

Three "on the ground" pieces.

Both the WaPo and NYTimes look at the Obama groundgame.

And, a (pretty funny from my side) NYTimes article with tons of GOP figures complaining about the McCain campaign.