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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, October 25, 2008

McCain commits the sin.

Have you ever known any candidate who cited "Dewey defeats Truman" who then went on to win? Anyone? Ever?

It's nearly the last signpost towards losingtown.

Chuck Todd gives Obama 286 EV on NBC's map

On the NBC nightly news, Chuck Todd said he'll be moving both Colo and Virginia to lean Obama on the NBC projection map.

Big news in a CW sense because he has been so cautious, and because he's listened to by a lot of people who matter.

(He's part of the Meet the Press panel tomorrow AM.)

Also, (LATimes) Early-voting trends appear to favor Barack Obama.

Picture of the Day

On a beautiful clear Saturday in Albuquerque, John McCain drew a crowd of less than 1,000.

(John McCain speaks at a rally at the New Mexico Fair Grounds in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster))

McCain aides are complaining about Palin to everyone

Take just a minute to appreciate the increasing level of this.

On Thursday night/Friday morning, a couple of lower level aides passed on McCain campaign complaints about Palin to Ambinder who posted them on his blog in kind of a gray, hazy way. A Palin friendly McCain aide came out with a rebuttal.

By Friday night, it appears more aides were talking, and Politico had the story of Saturday with Palin allies complaining about McCain staff and McCain staff complaining about Palin. A much bigger venue, with much greater attention. The McCain campaign made an effort to rebut this as well.

You would think at this point, someone in the campaign would put a stop this, but, now, this afternoon, we've got McCain aides (plural) reconfirming the charges to CNN and then going directly after her character. (Calling her a diva!!!)
“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said this McCain adviser, “she does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.”

The fact that this backstabbing is still going on (and getting more personal) after the Politico story this morning says that it's getting some sanction from top aides if not McCain himself.

Let's go back a few days to Chuck Todd on Wednesday noting the weird tension of the McCain-Palin joint interview where they both seemed very annoyed with each other.

The rifts behind this are deeper than we're hearing.

(When was the last time she passed through campaign headquarters?)

Related: Kinda makes me want to reexamine the Lieberman quote yesterday, "thank God she's not going to have to be president from day one. McCain's going to be alive and well."

Later: Is this just wardrobe wit or another Palin needle?
“Your state is filled with good, hard-working people all loving the outdoors,” she said, “and it was nice and crisp getting off the airplane and coming into the — it reminded me a lot of Alaska, so I put my warm jacket on, and it is my own jacket. It doesn't belong to anybody else."

As in, mine, and mine alone? and "Washington" didn't buy me?

Picture of the Day

Whose campaign is it?

Cincinnati airport, Oct 22, 2008. (AP Photos Carolyn Kaster, Stephan Savoia)

The Palin "rebellion" story hits Politico's front page

As I speculated last week this is a growing story.
Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.....

He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

The second page has more detail.

This comes the day after Ambinder's rumory post yesterday about "whispers" of infighting and blame.

(PS. The same McCain aides who were responsible for her surprising selection now say that she, not they, is responsible?)

PPS. Newsweek included this in their poll to Republicans,
If John McCain is not elected president, which one of the following three possible candidates would you be most likely to support for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012?

Mitt Romney 35%
Mike Huckabee 26%
Sarah Palin 20%

Political bits

The NYTimes leads with the campaigns' potential transitions,
Interviews with dozens of Republicans and Democrats over the past two weeks suggest that the transition efforts mirror the campaigns — where Mr. Obama’s is methodical and highly regimented, Mr. McCain’s is more tightly held and seat of the pants.....

Many Republicans who would normally be consulted about plans and personnel said they had detected little preparation — perhaps, they said, out of a sense that it would only be an exercise in “going through the motions,” as one put it...

(WSJ) Obama Assists Down-Ticket Democrats

Polling expert Charlie Cook offers you a little victory porn.

(RCP) Jay Cost has an interesting look at statistics and the polls.

(Newsweek) Richard Wolffe has a little background on the Obama 30 minute primetime show.

(AP) Joe McCain, John McCain's brother, is "withdrawing" from campaign activities after his 911 call to complain about traffic on I-95. (Made the AP's top ten.)

(WaPo) "The White House has asked the Department of Justice to look into whether 200,000 new Ohio voters..."

And, Bob Geiger's collection of political cartoons.

(Still building this post. Check back.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fantasy numbers out of Florida

For some reason, I'm watching the Florida game closely.
Through their persistent registration drive, Florida Democrats have doubled their lead in registered voters since last year, from about 312,000 to almost 660,000, according to state figures released on Monday. That surge of new registrants -- plus 600,000 African-Americans and an overlapping 900,000 young people who were already registered in 2004 but didn't vote -- could "fundamentally change the state,"

7.5 million people voted in Fla in 2004, and they're talking at least 1.2 million (15%?) new available voters with at least 950K (12%) new available Dem or black voters?

Now, those probably aren't all valid, and they're not all going to show up, but almost any of that tips Florida at least a couple percent.

(Oh, and there doesn't appear to be an Ohio-like effort to scrub the Florida voter rolls. Surprising. Is that Crist?)

Related: Nagourney writes about McCain's mistakes in Florida.
(McCain lost Crist because they didn't show Crist's convention video?)

Picture of the Day - 2 - Elitist

(Sen. Barack Obama takes a brief walk through his old neighborhood while visiting his ailing grandmother in Honolulu, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

Quote porn - Ben Smith

On a conference call that reminds me a bit of those calls David Plouffe would hold in the primary to insist (accurately, it turns out) that Obama had already won, Obama aides told reporters that their position is extremely strong.....


Maybe somebody could have guessed that chick was lying about being attacked by a black Obama supporting mugger because, you know, the "B" was backwards. Like maybe it was done in a mirror?

(You're telling me that the right wingnuts who caught up Dan Rather on the available IBM selectric typefaces of the late 60's didn't notice that?)

On the bright side, Texas has a new entrant in the long running Texas v. Florida "crazy off."


If John McCain is now refusing to do townhalls, does that mean he has to go negative on himself?

Oh my, The hits keep coming....

Sarah Palin's makeup artist was the highest paid figure in the McCain campaign for the first two weeks in October.

Bad for two reasons. 1) It continues the clothing storyline.

2) It gives a lever for anyone to crack on the McCain staff. ("Maybe the makeup artist should have been put in charge of message...")

Picture of the Day - Palin wears a Dem scarf?

Palin wears a Dem scarf in Reno, Oct 21?

I guess she got "dressed" in a hurry.

(Photo: Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

CBS/NYTimes internals

Even if you accept that the CBS/NYTimes poll tips a few points blue (Obama +13,) these personals findings are more than that little lean.
Obama has been more successful in evoking a positive response from voters: Sixty-two percent say they feel personally comfortable with the Illinois senator. Far fewer - 47 percent - feel comfortable with McCain. In fact, a slightly higher percentage - 49 percent - report feeling "uneasy" about the Republican nominee. Thirty-four percent feel uneasy about Obama....

Seventy-five percent of registered voters say Obama has the temperament and personality to be president, up 6 points from last week. Nineteen percent say he does not. Only 50 percent say McCain has the proper temperament and personality, while nearly as many - 45 percent - say that he does not.

So, to recap. 49% of the American electorate feels "uneasy" about McCain, and 45% say he does not have the proper temperament to be president. Those are some big numbers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Conventional wisdom

The two top "straight news" campaign reporters, the NYTimes' Nagourney and the WaPo's Dan Balz both lay out the improbable path to McCain victory.

Nagourney is more state detailed, winning all of Florida, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, and Virginia (all of which he currently trails in, all without a single miss,) and then still havinmg to pick off Pa or some combination of Colo, Nv, NH, and NM. (That second group having already been written off by the campaign.)

Balz goes with the "closing the national polls" scenario.
It requires a combination of smart campaigning, traction for his arguments and what the McCain team hopes will be fears among the electorate at the prospect of a Democrat in the White House with expanded Democratic majorities in Congress.....

Advisers believe the contest's margin is in the five-to-seven-point range....

It's no wonder the campaign is disheartened. (see next.)

This is an article you want to read.....

The final stage of implosion is upon us with still 11 more days until the election.
With despair rising even among many of John McCain’s own advisors, influential Republicans inside and outside his campaign are engaged in an intense round of blame-casting and rear-covering—-much of it virtually conceding that an Election Day rout is likely.....

Top Republican officials have let it be known they are distressed about McCain’s organization. Coordination between the McCain campaign and Republican National Committee, always uneven, is now nearly dysfunctional, with little high-level contact and intelligence-sharing between the two.....

At his Northern Virginia headquarters, some McCain aides are already speaking of the campaign in the past tense. Morale, even among some of the heartiest and most loyal staffers, has plummeted. And many past and current McCain advisors are warring with each other over who led the candidate astray....

One well-connected Republican in the private sector was shocked to get calls and resumes in the past few days from what he said were senior McCain aides – a breach of custom for even the worst-off campaigns.

The real killer is that this far enough in front of the election that, if they don't get it together, it could create a mini-wave that will further affect enthusiasm and turnout. I mean, if this is the message coming down, how hard are those volunteers going to work on election day?

And how do those downballot races look without turnout?

This is the way over the cliff.

Picture of the Day - 4

"You betcha!"

(Gov. Sarah Palin gives a thumbs up sign to a supporter during a rally, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008, at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati.(AP Photo/Al Behrman))

Rehabbing Sarah Palin's image

Sarah Palin is scheduled to give a "major policy speech" tomorrow on special needs children. (How does that get a bad review?) She's also loosely scheduled for another "major speech" on energy policy next week.

Since I asked a couple days ago, there have been some floating rumors about whether Palin might be trying to rehab her image and separate herself from the loss.

So, the question is, are the McCain folks trying to rehab Palin for their interests, or is she pushing the image rehab for her own interests?

(Oh, I forgot to mention that Palin is also giving a Troopergate deposition Friday, so, it's also about winning her newscycle.)

Community Organizer

Who would have thought that a former community organizer might develop a good ground game?

Picture of the Day - 3

"In North Carolina, for example, 40,000 more blacks who are registered as Democrats have cast an early ballot than have registered Republicans overall."

(Voters stand in line to vote at an early voting site in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton))

Conceding by remote feed....

This is really, really weird. Instead of appearing in the ballroom with supporters on election night, McCain will be on the lawn outside the hotel with his favorite press figures?
John McCain's election night watch party might be missing John McCain. Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4, the Republican presidential nominee plans to deliver postelection remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel's lawn.....

McCain's remarks will be piped electronically into the party and media filing center, aides said. Only a small press "pool" — mostly those who have traveled regularly with the candidate on his campaign plane, plus a few local Arizona reporters and others — will be physically present when he speaks.

What the hell? If I'd worked my butt off for him for two years....

(It will be an interesting bit of Kremlinology to see who the "guests" are. Family, Lindsay Graham, Lieberman... who else?)

And again, not the action of a campaign that expects to win.

(Later: The McCain campaign is denying this story, but notice the original story cites "aides." So, they realized the bad optics and now it won't happen.)

Would you like to buy a satellite TV system?

Robocalls are, perhaps, the cheapest ways to advertise, but they're also one of the least effective.

If robocalls were effective, don't you think all those companies you see advertising on TV would be using them?

Florida - on the ground

As you hear about McCain having no ground game in Florida, I want to point back to the reports over the last week of Florida's governor Charlie Crist and the GOP state chair showing their lack of enthusiasm and support for the McCain campaign. (They're holding back $2 million for Florida state elections in 2006.)

Also, add the report that the McCain campaign was having to hire canvassers for the campaign in Florida.

Hard to say what all that is worth, but the Obama team is working hard in Florida, $40 million, 50 field offices, and 10,000 volunteers, the biggest state team ever put together.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Senator John McCain attends a rally at the Technology Creativity Manufacturing in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, October 21, 2008. (Carlos Barria/Reuters))

The final McCain gambit?

In a Washington Times interview, McCain decides to gamble it all and "lambastes" his party's current President, George Bush.
Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted President Bush for building a mountain of debt for future generations, failing to pay for expanding Medicare and abusing executive powers, leveling his strongest criticism to date of an administration whose unpopularity may be dragging the Republican Party to the brink of a massive electoral defeat.

"We just let things get completely out of hand," he said of his own party's rule in the past eight years.

Interesting he would do this in the very right, and almost exclusively right read, Washington Times.

(Let's finish this off by pissing off the base, eh?)

Political bits

(NYTimes) McCain Is Faltering Among Hispanic Voters (If you read deep, this is why they've given up on NM and Colo. McCain is polling 26% among Hispanics.)

(WaPo) David Broder has an on the ground look at Obama/McCain campaign offices in a GOP county in Ohio. (The difference in activity, volunteers, and likely effectiveness is pretty much the same as you're hearing from everywhere else..... but it's Broder.)

Ben Smith has been running some anecdotes of apparent racists for Obama. Today, Confederate flag and lawn jockey folks for Obama.

Just for the headline: (AFP) "Sarah Palin becomes a burden to Republican ticket."

And, (Quinnipiac) FLORIDA: Obama 49 - McCain 44; OHIO: Obama 52 - McCain 38; PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 53 - McCain 40

(BigTen) Obama leads all big ten states. Notable: Ohio 53-41, Pa 52-42, and Indiana 51-41(?)

(Time/CNN) North Carolina: Obama 51%-47%, Ohio: Obama 50%-46%, Virginia: Obama 54%-44%

(Mason-Dixon) Florida McCain 46-45, Virginia Obama 47-45.

Later: (SUSA) Pa Obama 53-41.

We're past issues....

After almost two years of campaigning, and the last overfocused month during the economic crisis, we're past issues in this campaign.

We've reached a point where no one is listening to the candidates or the campaigns anymore. The media has moved on to process and horserace coverage. Opinions of the candidates and their character have been laid in, voters' decisions have been mostly made, and a minimum of 10% has voted already.

At this point, it's about not making any mistakes, and GOTV.

(How does McCain make substantial headway when his message is getting drowned out by "analysis," horserace coverage, and state/demographic voting/prediction stories? McCain's daily message is way down the media's priorities.)

Picture of the Day

(Hands cover Sen. Barack Obama's hand, center, with black watch band, as he shakes hands at rally at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Oct. 20, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

Quote - Congressional election night plans

The House and Senate Democrats are planning a joint party at the Washington Hyatt, similar to 2006.
The House and Senate Republican campaign committees have no real party plans for Election Night..... NRSC spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher said there will be "a gathering here at the NRSC for invited guests."

It may be subdued. But don't worry, weary Republicans, (NSRC spokeswoman) Fisher promises there'll be "lots of booze."

I wish I had a picture...

Serenaded by their world famous marching band, almost a thousand students, faculty and administrators marched off the campus of Florida A&M University on Monday. It was not a protest march — at the head of the line was the university’s president, James Ammons.

Forty-five minutes later, they decamped on the lawn of the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee. And they voted....

Shortly after the FAMU contingent showed up, a second wave of student voters from Florida State University arrived en masse at the courthouse....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Picture of the Day - 3

McCain doesn't look like a candidate who expects to win.

(Oct. 22, 2008, at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman))


If you're feeling particularly snarky about the Palin $150,000 wardrobe, I would recommend a quick turn through this slideshow. Just click through the first couple, you'll get the idea.


I agree. We're starting to see the final phase of the McCain campaign where they all break apart and blame each other.

The real damage isn't that it's happening, it's been happening in the backrooms for weeks. What's notable is that that it's starting to happen where the press can pick it up.

(And it's not just McCain and Palin. It's also McCain and Schmidt and Davis. It's the inner core and the near campaign advisers. The backstabbing leaks between McCain aides and the RNC. For instance, look at all the "leaks" about whether or not to use Wright.)

This is one of those significant signposts of losing.


Supposedly, an Obama staffer sent out a bit of Obama campaign internal Pa. polling that shows Obama up by only 2 in Pa. (I'm not sure I believe that. Sounds like someone was trying to fire up the team.)

Also, from the House GOP, a leaked "death list" of endangered GOP House members is making the rounds, supposedly predicting a 34 seat loss.

Quote - The rare insider double snark

One McCain aide asks of the spending on Sarah Palin's wardrobe:

"Isn't this the best $150,000 the RNC has spent the entire cycle?"


Picture of the Day - "Body language"

As the McCain "polling surge" has failed to materialize, it might be useful to start watching the "body language" of the McCain campaign

When they know the cameras are on, the candidate will be on, but it's the "off" moments when we will see where they really are.

While the Obama campaign is laughing and shoulder punching....

(Cindy McCain on the tarmac in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, October 21, 2008, and John McCain leaving his hotel in St. Louis, October 20. (Both photos: REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

Pulling out of states, focusing on Appalachia, and reintroducing Wright

Nate Silver has an interesting, but speculative post about a possible McCain strategy.

I'm not sure I buy it, but if you're looking for a McCain "last gasp."

(PS. Don't forget that the Obama campaign has purchased that half hour of all network primetime on the last Thursday for a potential rebuttal.)

Political bits

(CBS) "Not once this year has President Bush appeared in public at a campaign rally for the Republican Party or any of its candidates."

(CNN) "Early voting suggests 2008 may see record turnout, expert says" (I'll point again to Obama winning new voters 73-26.)

(USAToday or NYTimes) Across the country, early voting is big and more Dems are casting early ballots. (Measure of enthusiasm.)

(HuffPo) The NYTimes Sunday mag has a one of those long feature pieces coming on the McCain campaign and all its chaos.

(FirstRead) Palin tries to go feminist again. (It's notable that her "historic choice" is actually losing women.)

(AFP) McCain raises nuclear war (and no one cares.)

(NYTimes) An interesting point. As economic times got tougher, Obama has let go of "hope" and soaring rhetoric. (Good sense of tone.)

(Politico) These are the "vicious" "Joe the Plumber" ads that will turn the election?

(Politico) McCain starts advertising in Indiana and Miami. (Needing to spend defensive money in Indiana?)

And, (Politico) the 527's never showed up for McCain.

McCain's schedule - Travel to the states we've given up on

Today, McCain travels to New Hampshire the day after his campaign admits they're basically pulling ads there.

Next week, McCain travels to Colo, a couple days after his campaign says they've given up on Colo, and cut ad spending there.

McCain plans to spend two days part of Saturday and Sunday in Iowa, shortly after his campaign said they can't win Iowa.

Less than two weeks left, and they're wasting (at least) the four days listed above. What the hell are they doing?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Picture of the Day - 4

The RNC has spent $150,000 on the Palin family wardrobe since she was picked.

It's a good thing people aren't hurting out there.

(PS. Would that be $150,000 worth of lipstick on a pig?)

(Sarah Palin in Grand Junction, Colo., Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski))

13 days.....

1) Has anyone else noticed that, as we enter this final election phase, the media coverage is shifting more and more to process and horserace, than anything anyone is saying.

How could McCain make up ground if no one is listening?

2) Notice the demographic "seniors" or "over 65." That demo has gone even or even leans Obama. That way lies blowout.

3) Wasn't I told to watch for some kind of "McCain polling surge" right about now?

(Obama over 50% with people making up their minds.)

I wonder if Drudge will headline with this poll?

Either the trackers are a little too tight at about Obama +7, or the set piece polls are a little too loose. NBC/WSJ Obama 52-42.

However, alot of the internals are consistent across multiple polls. Obama's judgment preferred over McCain's, Dem enthusiasm, independents favoring Obama, and a catastrophic Palin fail.

And, Don't miss this from yesterday's ABC/WaPo (Obama 53-44,)
Among people who’ve voted previously, Obama and McCain are at 50-47 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, not a statistically significant gap. But first-time voters favor Obama by a lopsided 73-26 percent, lifting him to an overall advantage.

That's 47 points. ABC/WaPo gets to their Obama +9 assuming an identical new voter turnout to 2004. Do you think that's likely?

Picture of the Day - 3

(A supporter holds a sign as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a rally at Legends Field in Tampa, Fla., Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

For some fundraising perspective

(Politico) "President Bush has raised $146 million for Republican Party committees and candidates this election.... $4 million less than Barack Obama raised last month."

Political bits II

(ABC/Snuffleopogus) McCain is pulling ads in Wis and NH. (Leaving a few on the air so they don't get the "pulling out of" stories...)

Ben Smith points out that this story came out of the McCain campaign right before McCain appears in NH tomorrow. (Bad.)

Later: Also a report of spending cutbacks in Colo and Maine.

(538) If you're living and dying watching the tracking polls, Nate Silver has an essential, if very lengthy, post on the strengths and weaknesses of each of them.

(CNN) AFL-CIO launches its 250,000 volunteer GOTV effort.

(Politico) McCain will be at the Phoenix Biltmore on election night. (It's the same location where he accepted the primary win. If you remember, it's a pretty small space.)

In Kansas, "As I'm leaving the voting room, the young black janitor is in the hallway in front of the room with his cleaning cart. "Did you do the right thing?" he asks me. "You know it." I say and we exchange a terrorist fist jab."

Taking the temperature of the race

When the governor and the state party chair of a state you have to win (Florida) are actively distancing themselves from you, you've probably already lost that state.

When you base your campaign on winning a state where you are trailing by 10+ points and Dems outnumber Repubs by 1.2 million (Pa,) you're in a lot of trouble.

When you have to exasperatedly tell a network interviewer, "Listen to Me! I'm the Candidate!," you've lost the message battle.

And, When you're handed an RNC mailer by a local reporter (Mo) and asked, "are you proud of that?," you've probably gone too negative.


Is the Sarah Palin VP nomination the dividing point in the Republican civil war?

Ubersnark (From ABC's The Note)

The good news for McCain: He has fewer states to spend in every day.

Picture of the Day

All politics is local, but sometimes it's hard to keep smiling....

(Sen. Barack Obama holds a set of Mickey Mouse ears with his name stitched on them at the airport in Orlando, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

(Realistically, this may have been after the news of his grandmother.)

Warning - The polls aren't necessarily the whole story

No matter what the polls say, I think it's important to remember that the Obama campaign functions on their own "math."

Think back to the primaries where Obama was losing states, but picking up delegates, executing a very deliberate path to get to the numbers they needed. They built coalitions and managed local message around the Clinton core to hit their numbers.

(I'll never forget that in the primaries the most accurate delegate predictions always came out of the Obama camp.)

This campaign, especially with the money it has had behind it, has been amazingly effective at microtargeting, turning out specific voters, and "doing what they need to do" to get across the line.

So, as you begin to dwell on the polls, national, or even at the state level, remember that they are very useful guideposts, but there are levels well beyond that, regions, counties, sub demographics, turnout rates, etc, where these guys are working.

Although the polls are narrative, the reality is a much more complex game which can shape a couple points either way.

Political bits

(ABC) Minority Voters to Make Major Impact in Swing States (A good look at Hispanics in Colo, Nv, and NM.)

(AFP) The Obama/Clinton crowd in Orlando, "police and fire marshalls at 20,000 with an overflow throng of 30,000 outside the crash barriers."

(AP) Obama is holding a "jobs summit" today. (Basically a "looking presidential" photo op.)

The WaPo has a nice graphical look at Virginia.

(WaPo) A look at how black turnout may affect downballot races.

Michelle Bachmann can't run fast enough from her own comments.

And, if you didn't see it last night, the McCain camp laid out their map for victory. Unbelievably, it rests on winning Pennsylvania.

Quote - Divine justice

There is a certain irony in the pivotal role that blacks could play in congressional elections, given how some of the districts were drawn, Bositis said. "When these districts were designed, certain assumptions were made about what black turnout would be so that the district would pretty much favor Republicans," Bositis said. "Now, all of a sudden, you have an election . . . where African Americans are enormously excited and mobilized. Not only that, you have the Obama campaign going out of its way to make sure these voters are registered and are going to turn out."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Picture of the Day - 4

Best wishes. I hope she gets to see him elected President.

(Barack Obama with his grandparents, Stanley Armour Dunham and Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham in New York City, during a visit with Obama, who was a student at Columbia University. (Campaign supplied photo))

The McCain campaign has just conceded the election.

CNN is quoting McCain advisers saying they believe that Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico are gone due to the Obama ground game.

They claim their plan for electoral victory requires McCain winning Pennsylvania (with the assumption they'll win NV and Va.... and Fla and Ohio and NC and Mo and.....)

Maybe that's some kind of head fake, I don't know, but, as a plan, that is completely insane. (Pollster, RCP)

(Later: Here's CNN's John King's report.)

Later: For a sense of the Obama campaign's feel on Pa, they have no plans to be in Pa at all for the rest of the campaign.

Picture of the Day - 3

(John McCain holds up a T-shirt that was handed to him at a rally in Melbourne, Fla. (Photo:AP))

Political bits III - The Republicans who want to race tint the campaign

(CNN) Rush Limbaugh is still a jackass saying even more forcefully that Powell's endorsement is only about race. (Anybody remember Michael J Fox? Limbaugh serves to attack endorsements that matter.)

(Politico) Giuliani tries to raise Obama's drug use.

(HuffPo) Rick Davis says they're "rethinking" using Rev. Wright. (A way to raise Wright when he's not supposed to do so. Public divisiveness in campaign strategy.. not a sign of a happy house....)


Pretty much everywhere data is available, it appears Dems are turning out to early vote in higher numbers than Republicans.

That doesn't necessarily mean a winner, but it is an indication of more enthusiasm and an active Obama ground game accomplishing its goals.

Picture of the Day - 2

Political bits II

Obama in St. Louis drew 100,000. McCain today, 2,000. (He better hope those Missouri rurals love him.)

(AP) McCain had $47 million in the bank at the start of October.

(Politico) Salter on a McCain conference call says the McCain/RNC will end October having raised $150 million. (Do I believe that?)

(WSJ) The Google CEO will endorse and campaign with Obama this week.

Ambinder has an interesting post about the success of the Obama folks in framing the grand narratives. (Change vs. experience. Obama's steady temperament.)

Two interesting posts on polling, samples, etc. WSJ and PPP.

(Politico) After blasting Russia over and over, the McCain campaign sends a $5,000 fundraising letter to the head of the Russian UN mission.

And, Quote of the day. Obama speaking on the stump about the robocalls, "You really have to work hard to violate Governor Palin's standards on negative campaigning."

Two roads diverged in a losing wood.....

Sarah Palin speaks lightly against the robocalls and the McCain position on gay marriage, but, more broadly, is there a point at which her interests and McCain's interests diverge?

I mean, he has no political future to worry about, but, as losing looks more likely, does she have some countervailing interests in the brief time she has left on this national stage?

Picture of the Day

Not a man who looks gravely concerned.....

(Sen. Barack Obama makes a call to a voter, as he tosses an orange, during a stop at the Obama Kansas City campaign office in Kansas City, Mo. Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

Political bits

(LATimes) "The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud."

(WaPo) A very interesting look at the development of the Obama fundraising mechanism.

(Politico) The Obama campaign claims no knowledge of Powell. (sure.)

(ABC) A teaser on the ABC/WaPo poll. No topline numbers, but 60% of voters say Ayers is not a legitimate issue, and Palin polls badly.

(ThePage) On NBC this morning, Obama repeats, "The race will tighten."

(FirstRead) Chuck Todd says that even SC is closing.

And, (Kurtz) Judy "kneepads" Miller goes to FoxNews. (at bottom.)

Just because I love the headline......

AFP: Clinton joins Obama's bid to crush McCain comeback hopes.

(More seriously, another well planned move to claim another day's news cycle. They're in Florida, too. Fla. early voting starts today.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

McCain battling with Florida and Virginia GOP

I've been tracking all the state locals complaining about the McCain campaign. Well, two absolute gems. First, from Florida,
Florida Republicans already are looking ahead to 2010 when Crist runs for re-election. State party officials announced to their state executive committee Saturday that they expect to carry over at least $2-million into 2009, rather than spend all their money on this election.

Read that again. The Florida state GOP, led by "I'm not campaigning with McCain" Crist, is holding back $2 million out of this election.

Second, add two pieces about the collapse and ill feelings in Virginia, one from the WaPo, and one from the Richmond Times-Dispatch. (The GOP effort in Virginia is already into blaming.)


"One piece of press bias is they don't like losers," says CBS correspondent Jeff Greenfield. "When the whiff of defeat surrounds a campaign, the press picks up on it the way sharks smell blood in the water, and then it becomes a feedback loop."

Picture of the Day - 3

(On FoxNews) "And I love being the underdog. You know every time that I've gotten ahead, somehow I've messed it up," he said......

(Westerville, Ohio October 19, 2008. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria))

My take on the Powell endorsement.

I don't buy the premise that a Colin Powell endorsement will bring many voters. However, it does have influence.

The top line CW setters in Washington take what Colin Powell says very, very, very seriously. Thus, the Powell endorsement affects these powerful opinion setters which then affects the coverage of the race.

As careful as he is, Colin Powell going on MTP and making these statements, will have an effect. It will affect how the media views the race, and how they frame the McCain campaign's tactics. (at least for awhile.)

(And, I do believe that the Obama campaign's goal this weekend is to create a narrative of inevitability to get the media to call the race over. (HUGE rallies, unheard of money, Powell endorsement, game over.))

(PS. Limbaugh is the first jackass to say it's only about race.)

Picture of the Day - 2

Kansas City, just hours after that 100,000 person St. Louis rally.

I don't know how Missouri breaks, but the enthusiasm is there.

Does anyone remember that Obama attritted Clinton with money?

What sort of pressures does Obama's HUGE money pot put on the Republican side? Does the RNC try to put it's $67 million for McCain against the Obama/DNC money or do they start looking at downticket races? Do Republican donors just throw up their hands?

(PS. As Todd kinda pointed out, one of those unwritten stories of this cycle is that the GOP 527's haven't shown up for McCain.)


McCain cries on FoxNews about Obama's fundraising.

(If only we'd done more townhalls...... POW.)

Picture of the Day

"Well, the devil is offering a deal where I have to pursue starvation of the poor, increase racial strife, and start at least two wars to clinch this thing.....

Now... I'd rather work with you guys, but you gotta give me something. You gotta tell your boss it's time to bring it, Cardinal...."

(Sen. John McCain speaks with Cardinal Edward Egan at the 2008 Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York October 16, 2008. (Jim Young/Reuters))

The totally and completely unbelievable Obama fundraising number

Holy Sweet Jesus.....
The Obama campaign announced this morning that it had raised a record $150 million last month, and had added 632,000 new donors to its total.

Probably as amazingly, that was built on "the average donation for September was less than $100."

So, (quick math,) more than 1.5 million donors in September alone?

(Also: The DNC raised $49.9 million, $27 mil. cash on hand.)

Creating the impression of a popular wave.....

100,000 people in Missouri yesterday. Releasing an unbelievable fundraising number showing average donation less than $100. Colin Powell's likely near endorsement today.....

The press is going to love putting all that together.

The new McCain attack, "Socialist."

"Barack Obama's tax plan would convert the (Internal Revenue Service) into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington," the Republican candidate said.

"At least in Europe, the socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are up-front about their objectives. They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Senator Obama," McCain said.