Friday, October 31, 2008

What's Next for Palin?

If the McCain Palin ticket loses, what will Palin do?

CNN: But the fact is that if some people in the Republican Party get their way, she could be tested one day. Should John McCain lose the race for the White House, you can bet your last dollar this moose huntin’, gun totin’, pro-life hockey mom will not fade from the political spotlight. She’s a huge hit with a group of social conservatives who embrace her values and see her as a fresh face for a divided party… to them, a 2012 Palin run for President may be on the horizon.

But a lot of other people feel quite differently. Sarah Palin quickly became a national joke for her lack of experience, failure to grasp the issues and inability to handle herself with the media — especially those awful interviews she did with Katie Couric. Recently she’s gone off script and off message on the campaign, angering several of McCain ’s campaign advisers. She’s been called everything from a “diva” to a “whack job,” and yet through it all she remains remarkably unphased.

I actually think her days in politics are numbered, unless McCain wins. She's proven she could care less about government, and if the republican party wants to reform itself, it won't be looking toward the fringe, which Palin represents. They'll be looking past Palin. Or perhaps the republicans will suffer schizophrenia for a while. I think she's headed for a TV show. She loves the limelight. 

Obama Has Big Lead in Wisconsin

Survey USA: In an election for President of the United Stated in Wisconsin today, five days until votes are counted, Democrat Barack Obama defeats Republican John McCain 55% to 39%, according to this latest SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WGBA-TV Green Bay, KSTP-TV Minneapolis and WDIO-TV Duluth. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll released two weeks ago, Obama is up 3 points; McCain is down 1.

Obama Has Big Lead in New Hampshire

Survey USA: Fiercely independent New Hampshire, which was expected to be a 2008 battleground, is poised today to award Democrat Barack Obama a larger share of the presidential vote than it has given any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for WBZ-TV in Boston. Four days until votes are counted, Obama defeats John McCain 53% to 42%%. New Hampshire voted Republican in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988 and 2000. New Hampshire voted Democrat in 1992, 1996 and 2004, but no Democrat running for President in New Hampshire has received more than 50% of the vote in the past 44 years. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll 3 weeks ago, Obama is flat, McCain is up 2.

Obama Leads College Newspaper Endorsements

Ed &Pub: NEW YORK The Obama campaign leads by better than 23-1 in newspaper endorsements from dailies and weeklies, based on our tally so far. But the Democratic ticket has an even more impressive lead when it comes to college newspapers — 63 to 1, according to UWIRE’s Presidential Endorsement Scorecard (we have been providing a partial tabulation).

Rendell: Pennsylvania is Close

Ed Rendell agrees with McCain that Pennsylvania is close.

Gov. Ed Rendell Friday said the presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain is "closer than the polls indicate." Urging people to get out and vote in Tuesday's general election, Rendell said Obama does not have a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania and he told voters to take an umbrella and dress warmly to withstand the weather.

"Stay in that line and make sure you vote," Rendell told about 50 people at Wilkes University. "I've seen polls that have the race as close as four points."

Palin: First Amendment Rights Threatened

In the videos below, Palin the Incompetent One, says her First Amendment rights are being threatened by the press who is criticizing her for attacking Obama.

Salon: If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.
This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.
According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers. In the Palin worldview, the First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials such as herself would not be "attacked" in the papers. Is it even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?

The radio host, Chris Plante, is a conservative radical and Palin's so ignorant that I can barely stand it anymore. She also should not be calling Obama "Barack Obama." She needs to show respect. I can't wait until these voices crawl back into the dark corners.

The second part of this interview that highlight McCain Palin's very fringe campaign. Palin may be pretty on the outside, but she's a very ugly woman on the inside.

Obama Lays Out His Priorities


Here are some of the folks that will help him.

CNN: In an interview with Wolf Blitzer in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama was asked to name his top priority from a list of issues, including taxes, health care, education, energy policy and immigration.

"[The] top priority may not be any of those five. It may be continuing to stabilize the financial system. We don't know yet what's going to happen in January," he said. "None of this can be accomplished if we continue to see a potential meltdown in the banking system and financial system. So that's priority No. 1: making sure the plumbing works."

Obama said priority No. 2 is energy independence:...
Priority No. 3: Health care reform.

Priority No. 4: "Making sure we have tax cuts for the middle class as part of a broader tax reform effort."

Obama later expanded his discussion on how tax cuts relate to a bigger economic plan.

"The tax cut that I talked about may be part of my priority No. 1, because I think that's going to be part of stabilizing the economy as a whole," he said.

"I think we're going to need a second stimulus. Part of my commitment is to make sure that the stimulus includes a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. It may be the first bill I introduce."

Priority No. 5: Reforming the education system.

Obama and Bill Clinton: No on Prop 8

For all you Californians out there, follow the money. Prop 8 is a discriminatory bill being funded by fringe types, the kind who attend Palin rallies. Got a good picture?
Obama and Clinton both oppose Prop 8. So does Google and Apple.

More McCain Palin Idiots

More racist fun with McCain Palin supporters:

MACK, Colo. — A skeleton pirate holding a gun to an effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who appeared to have just walked off the plank of a pirate ship, caused a stir in far western Colorado.

The scene was a Halloween display outside the home of Jim and Cheryl Barnes, 955 U.S. Highway 6 & 50.

Obama was constructed from a white plastic skeleton, painted dark brown, with large ears and eyes and black hair glued in place. He wore suit pants, a white shirt and a tie.
On the ship was a sign, “Obama for president of Afghanistan.”

After the Grand Junction Free Press asked the Barneses about the display Thursday afternoon, they discussed the decorations, which were only feet from the highway. And then they removed the Obama effigy and sign.

“We decided we’d just take it down. We don’t want to cause any trouble with anyone,” said Mike Barnes.

“It’s just fun. It’s just a pirate ship thing.”


Vote early and phone bank the next few days if you can.

Former Reagan Adviser Votes Obama

CNN: Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN's Fareed Zakaria Friday he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama this Tuesday.

Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official - Colin Powell - in his decision.

"Well let's put it this way - I think Colin Powell's decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama."

Powell served as national security advisor to Reagan during Duberstein's tenure as chief of staff.

What if McCain Wins?


With only four days left, I ponder this. I dread this. And I try to find a way to feel okay with it.

The worst part of a McCain win would be the ugly people, the ones who've been shouting racial epithets and other horrible things at the McCain Palin rallies, would feel validated. They shouldn't be validated. They should be shamed.

McCain doesn't deserve to win after his nasty, low road campaign.

The other worst part is Palin. In reality, she's not fit to govern and is unworthy of even running. The other worst part -- there are many -- is McCain is erratic on economics.

He also seems to lack organizational skills and doesn't seem to know how to attract talent. He's got Joe the Plumber, Palin and TV host Elisabeth Hasselbeck vouching for him. That says everything. Joe the Plumber said Obama would mean death to Israel. If McCain had any honor whatsoever, that would've been the end of Joe the Plumber.

I've lived through 8 years of Bush, so I know I could hunker down for four more years of McCain. Maybe McCain, the McCain of old that everyone talks about so glowingly, would rear his head and actually do something good.

But if Obama can't win after all this momentum, after all this hope, perhaps politics isn't a means to changing anything.

Here's to hope and phone banking this weekend.

Florida Republican Party Chair Scared of Black Voters


These people are supposed to be grownups. This guy, David Storck, apparently issued an apology for this email but you get the idea -- he's ignorant. These people just don't get it and no amount of talking would change their opinions. Let's hope they don't resort to wide-scale cheating. Sadly, racism is rampant in the republican party. Read all about it here.

This is the e-mail forwarded by David Storck, chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Party:
This e-mail was sent to me from one of our Volunteers in the Temple Terrace office. If you think it can help us win this election please pass it on. This election is now in our hands everyone can make a difference.
Thanks
Dave
THE THREAT:
HERE IN TEMPLE TERRACE, FL OUR REPUBLICAN HQ IS ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM OUR LIBRARY, WHICH IS AN EARLY VOTING SITE.
I SEE CARLOADS OF BLACK OBAMA SUPPORTERS COMING FROM THE INNER CITY TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR OBAMA. THIS IS THEIR CHANCE TO GET A BLACK PRESIDENT AND THEY SEEM TO CARE LITTLE THAT HE IS AT MINIMUM, SOCIALIST, AND PROBABLY MARXIST IN HIS CORE BELIEFS. AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK--NO EXPERIENCE OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS--BUT HE IS BLACK.
I ALSO SEE YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS AND THEIR PROFESSORS FROM USF PARKING THEIR CARS WITH THE PROMINENT 'OBAMA' BUMPER STICKERS. THE STUDENTS ARE ENTHUSIASTIC TO BE VOTING IN A HISTORIC ELECTION WHERE THERE MAY BE THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT.
THE COLLEGE PROFESSORS, PARTICULARLY IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, FOR THE MOST PART HAVE LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE IN THE WORK-A-DAY WORLD.
THEIR LIFE EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN MOSTLY ACADEMIC UNDER THE TUTELAGE OF LIBERAL COLLEGE PROFESSORS. FOR THEM, A LITTLE SOCIALISM AND ANTI-AMERICANISM IS A GOOD THING. AFTER ALL, IF TERRORISTS ATTACK US, WE MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO PROVOKE THEM.
YOU AND I UNDERSTAND THE DANGERS THE POTENTIAL OBAMA PRESIDENCY PRESENTS TO OUR WAY OF LIFE. THE SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH, INTRODUCING UNION INTIMIDATION IN THE WORKPLACE, INCREASED DANGERS TO OUR NATION BY TERRORISTS, CUTTING OUR DEFENSE BUDGET BY 25%, TURNING OUR TAX SYSTEM INTO A NATIONAL WELFARE SYSTEM AND ECONOMIC POLICIES THAT COULD DRIVE US INTO A DEPRESSION.

Voter News for North Carolinians

Fox Business Reporter Takes McCain to Task on Economics

 

Obama Talks Fisheries in Sport Fishing Magazine

Former Klan Member Sounds Like McCain Palin Fringe Supporters

I debated with myself on blogging this but what's interesting is if you listen to this interview with David Duke, a former Klan member, you'll see he sounds just like the McCain Palin wackos we've seen at McCain Palin rallies, the ones who scream that Obama is a Marxist and a socialist.

They attack Obama with such venom that you know there is more there.

Duke sounds like Rush Limbaugh and Hannity, Palin, and the like. I've always believed that to each one of these folks there is an underlying racism that they have acknowledged privately or are unaware of. Duke is just out about it. Only he doesn't call it racism. He calls himself a white civil rights activist.

Duke's reasoning, logic and outlook on American culture is very twisted.

This is the reason why the younger generation needs to get out there and vote! We can't let these folks be the voice of America.

Happy Halloween

More at Yes we Carve.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Final Obama Artist Poster

It already sold out. But there are others here.

Rachel Maddow's Interview With Obama

A great conversation.

Obama's Campaigning Like He Means It


Obama doesn't need Florida but the more states Obama wins, the more support he'll get if he's elected.

It's been really fun watching Obama over the last several days. I can't keep up. He's everywhere. He seems to be giving every ounce he has, a competitor, for sure. He'll make a great Commander in Chief.

WaPo: Barack Obama can win the White House next Tuesday over John McCain without carrying Florida and its 27 votes but it has become increasingly clear that the Democratic nominee and his campaign see the Sunshine State as a critical symbolic victory given the state's history in presidential politics over the last eight years.
For months, Obama has been flooding the state with resources -- primarily on a massive television campaign that is costing the campaign more than $5 million a week. (Worth noting: Obama kept the ad spending up even when polling in September suggested it was having almost no impact. Perseverance sometimes pays off in politics.)
In the last few weeks, Obama has sent his top two field generals -- "Sunny" Steve Hildebrand and Paul Tewes -- to direct ground operations in the state.
Surrogates for Obama are also flooding the state. Last night, following his 30-minute national informercial, the Illinois senator appeared alongside former President Bill Clinton at a midnight rally in Kissimmee. Then today came the news that former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, will make stops in West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow to lead early vote rallies.

Obama Could Win California in Historic Blowout

Obama in Virginia rain

San Diego: Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama could be headed for a blowout of historic proportions in California on Tuesday, a new Field Poll shows.

The nonpartisan statewide survey shows Obama leading Republican nominee Sen. John McCain 55 percent to 33 percent among voters considered likely to cast ballots on Election Day. An additional 4 percent favor one of the minor-party candidates and the remaining 8 percent are undecided.
....
If Obama's 22-point lead holds, it would represent the biggest presidential landslide in California since World War II. Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson carried California by more than 18 points in 1964. Republican Ronald Reagan won by nearly 17 points in 1980 and about 16 in 1984.

Palin Dragging McCain Down

Actually, McCain failed himself when he lacked the courage to choose a competent vice president who could help him govern.

NYT: All told, 59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.

And in a possible indication that the choice of Ms. Palin has hurt Mr. McCain’s image, voters said they had much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain.

After nearly two years of campaigning, a pair of hotly contested nominating battles, a series of debates and an avalanche of advertisements, the nationwide poll found the contours of the race hardening in the last days before the election on Tuesday. Twelve percent of the voters surveyed said they had already voted. These were among the findings:

Obama's Interview With Brian Williams

Obama talks about judges he might appoint. He also talks about the auto industry in America.

Reason No. 6 to Vote for Obama

Six days another reason from Lee Stranahan.

Obama's Infomercial Gets 26.4 Million Viewers

MSNBC: LOS ANGELES - Barack Obama's campaign "infomercial" drew 26.4 million viewers to three major networks, proving modestly more popular than typical prime-time programming, preliminary figures showed Thursday.

The Democratic presidential candidate's 30-minute message Wednesday night garnered 2.1 million more viewers on CBS, NBC and Fox combined than those three networks drew in the same half-hour last Wednesday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

McCain's Spokesman: Obama Anti-Semitic

Oh my gosh, this guy is a smug goofball. Is everyone from the McCain camp a non-grownup. These guys are going to such desperate lengths it's unbelievable.

Students Anti Obama Carnival Gets Shamed

Conservative students use McCain Palin tactics to attack Obama. Instead of promoting their own ideas, they attack Obama's. Which is another reason why the McCain Palin ticket is losing.
The sad part is these are the up and coming conservatives and they don't seem to be much brighter than the old guard.

Did Fox Change its Polls to Help McCain?

Obama has been beating McCain in the polls by at least 5 points. A new Fox poll puts Obama ahead by only 3 points. Apparently, Fox just changed the weighting of their polls. Hmmmmm. 

Obama Rally Pueblo Colorado Nov. 1

Update: video below
This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live

Change We Need Rally
with Barack and Michelle Obama
This Saturday, November 1st, please join Barack and Michelle Obama in Pueblo, where they will talk about their vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Change We Need Rally
with Barack and Michelle Obama

Union Avenue Historic District
Intersection of S. Union Ave. and D Street
Pueblo, CO 81003

Public Entrance: Corner of C Street and S. Main St., located in the heart of the Union Avenue Historic District

Saturday, November 1st
Gates Open: 1:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 3:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

For security reasons do not bring bags and umbrellas, and limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. Limited public parking is available in area downtown lots. ADA entrance will be located at the Corner of D Street and S. Victoria Ave. We strongly encourage the public to drop off attendees with limited mobility at the D Street and S. Victoria Ave. ADA entrance.

Obama Rally Henderson Nevada Nov. 1

Video below
This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama
This Saturday, November 1st, please join Barack Obama in Henderson, where he will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

Coronado High School
Football Field
1001 Coronado Drive
Henderson, NV 89052

Saturday, November 1st
Doors Open: 7:00 a.m.

Parking is limited. Carpooling is strongly encouraged. Shuttle service will begin at 6:00 a.m. and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Return shuttle service will run until 12:00 p.m. Free shuttle service will be available from the following locations:

Silverado High School
1650 Silver Hawk Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Liberty High School
3700 Liberty Heights Avenue
Henderson, NV 89052

For security reasons do not bring bags and umbrellas, and limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Obama Rally Des Moines Iowa Oct. 31

Update: video below.
This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live

Early Vote for Change Rally
with Barack Obama
Please join us Friday, October 31st, for a rally with Barack Obama in Des Moines:

Early Vote for Change Rally
with Barack Obama

Western Gateway Park
Between 12th St. and 13th St., Grand Ave. and Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Friday, October 31st
Gates Open: 9:30 a.m.
Program Begins: 11:30 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required, but an RSVP is encouraged.

Public Entrance: Walnut St. and 12th St.

Parking is limited; car pooling and public transportation are recommended. The free Downtown Shuttle will be available from any of the Des Moines parking facilities.

For security reasons, do not bring bags or umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Al Gore to Campaign in Florida for Obama

Yahoo:
WASHINGTON – Florida was more trick than treat for Al Gore in 2000, yet the former vice president is heading to the state on Halloween to campaign for Barack Obama.
Gore and his wife, Tipper, plan to hold two rallies Friday to urge voters to cast their ballots early for the Democratic presidential nominee, Obama's campaign said Thursday. The Gores will stop in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
"Nobody knows better that every single vote counts — especially in Florida — than Vice President Al Gore," said Steve Schale, Obama's state director.

Obama on The Daily Show Oct. 29

The Economist Endorses Obama

It's not exactly a glowing endorsement but sometimes those are the best ones of all. Here's part of it:

Is Mr Obama any better? Most of the hoopla about him has been about what he is, rather than what he would do. His identity is not as irrelevant as it sounds. Merely by becoming president, he would dispel many of the myths built up about America: it would be far harder for the spreaders of hate in the Islamic world to denounce the Great Satan if it were led by a black man whose middle name is Hussein; and far harder for autocrats around the world to claim that American democracy is a sham. America’s allies would rally to him: the global electoral college on our website shows a landslide in his favour. At home he would salve, if not close, the ugly racial wound left by America’s history and lessen the tendency of American blacks to blame all their problems on racism.

So Mr Obama’s star quality will be useful to him as president. But that alone is not enough to earn him the job. Charisma will not fix Medicare nor deal with Iran. Can he govern well? Two doubts present themselves: his lack of executive experience; and the suspicion that he is too far to the left.

There is no getting around the fact that Mr Obama’s résumé is thin for the world’s biggest job. But the exceptionally assured way in which he has run his campaign is a considerable comfort. It is not just that he has more than held his own against Mr McCain in the debates. A man who started with no money and few supporters has out-thought, out-organised and outfought the two mightiest machines in American politics—the Clintons and the conservative right.

Political fire, far from rattling Mr Obama, seems to bring out the best in him: the furore about his (admittedly ghastly) preacher prompted one of the most thoughtful speeches of the campaign. On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.

It is hard too nowadays to depict him as soft when it comes to dealing with America’s enemies. Part of Mr Obama’s original appeal to the Democratic left was his keenness to get American troops out of Iraq; but since the primaries he has moved to the centre, pragmatically saying the troops will leave only when the conditions are right. His determination to focus American power on Afghanistan, Pakistan and proliferation was prescient. He is keener to talk to Iran than Mr McCain is— but that makes sense, providing certain conditions are met.

Joe the Plumber Trying to Get Book, Music Deals

This guy, who now has a publicist, is an absolute idiot, even more so than Palin. McCain has let us all down with his joke of a campaign. Five more days!

Feeling Good About the Polls?

Obama's new ad. This is hilarious.

Anti-Obama Viral Emails Affect Vote

A study found that anti-Obama emails affect the reader's feelings about Obama. This election has highlighted the ease of which people can be manipulated.

The republicans have been sending out anti-Obama emails for at least a year. Maybe that's why McCain has a little hope in him.

Swamp: This election campaign has seen no shortage of scurrilous and "viral'' chain email - you know, like the ones that suggest that Barack Obama is a radical Muslim or that he is unpatriotic, eschewing the flag pin and even allegiance to his nation.

The impact of all this remains unknown.

But, with the help of some students of political science, professors at Elmhurst College set out early this election season to gauge the potential impact of the email-campaign on voters.

They ran an experiment: They randomly assigned 363 students to double-blind tests. One group would receive a piece of "hate-mail.'' Another would get "second-hand exposure,'' such as reading about a hateful e-mail in a newspaper account.

Their preliminary findings: Voter-choice was not altered by exposure to the email, either firsthand or secondhand. Yet, still Obama's "feeling thermometer scores'' dropped in the condition where subjects read the email, and the temperature for him rose in conditions where they read a rebuttal from Obama's Web-site.
....
"Our results suggest that these types of personal candidate attacks can have an affect on citizen preferences,'' Professors Phillip Hardy and Mary Walsh write in a draft of their report graciously shared with the Tribune. "The preliminary findings from our study point to (1) decreased feeling thermometer scores toward the target candidate; (2) a diminished sense of empathy and morality associated with him; and (3) fear of Obama's religious background.

They've also concluded that "this type of communication (i.e., chain emails) is likely to continue in future campaigns, and it does not appear to be benign or meaningless,'' in the words of Hardy, who will present the study with Walsh at the Illinois association of political scientists after the election.
....
"Our results suggest that these types of personal candidate attacks can have an affect on citizen preferences,'' Professors Phillip Hardy and Mary Walsh write in a draft of their report graciously shared with the Tribune. "The preliminary findings from our study point to (1) decreased feeling thermometer scores toward the target candidate; (2) a diminished sense of empathy and morality associated with him; and (3) fear of Obama's religious background.

Joe The Plumber Goes AWOL

That's what happens when you're campaign relies on amateurs. I can't believe they're touting this guy who actually agreed that Obama would mean death to Israel.

CNN: — Joe Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, has become an integral part of John McCain's presidential bid, but it appears the Arizona senator's campaign and the now-famous Toledo plumber need to work on their communication skills.

McCain aides told CNN's Dana Bash Wurzelbacher would appear with the Republican presidential candidate at his first campaign event in Defiance, Ohio. But in what was a slightly awkward moment for McCain, Wurzelbacher was nowhere to be seen when the Arizona senator called out for him.

A campaign aide later said Wurzelbacher had "decided not to come" and may join McCain later in the day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Socialist Presidential Candidate on The Colbert Report

This is funny. Brian Moore is the presidential candidate for the socialist party.

Bill Clinton in Kissimmee

McCain's reponse to the Obama-mercial.

Joe Biden Rally Allentown Pennsylvania Oct. 30

This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live

Change We Need Rally
with Joe Biden
Please join us in Allentown this Thursday, October 30th, for a rally with Joe Biden.

Change We Need Rally
with Joe Biden

Memorial Hall
Muhlenberg College
2400 Chew Street
Allentown, PA 18104

Public entrance on Liberty Street

Thursday, October 30th
Doors Open: 4:30 p.m.
Program Begins: 6:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however, an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

For security reasons do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No umbrellas, signs or banners permitted.

Obama Rally Sarasota Florida Oct. 30

New Obama poster going for $60 for the campaign.


This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live
This Thursday, October 30th, please join Barack Obama in Sarasota, where he will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Early Vote for Change Rally
with Barack Obama

Ed Smith Stadium
2700 12th Street
Sarasota, FL 34237

Thursday, October 30th
Gates Open: 9:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 11:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

For security reasons do not bring bags or umbrellas and please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Palin's Spreading the Wealth Around

Only in Alaska, they call it "unique."

TP: Today, MSNBC’s David Schuster asked McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds whether Palin’s “share the wealth” plan had socialist undertones. Bounds denied the allegation, claiming Alaska’s sharing of natural resources is “unique” and not at all socialist:

BOUNDS: No, in Alaska its a unique state because all the residents there have a unique share of the natural resources, that the oil companies come in and use, so therefore they share the revenues of the resources. … Its absurd to equate sharing the oil resources that all of these Alaskans have an ownership stake in, and trying to negotiate a deal with the oil companies that use those resources that —
What McCain Palin supporters are so opposed to tax cuts for the middle class as explained by wingnut Bill Cunningham, who earlier this year called Obama a terrorist while introducing McCain. People are poor because they're fat and flatulent (video), he said. They're poor because they lack values, morals and ethics. Talk about flatulence. They've convinced themselves that people who are working to survive lack ethics. No wonder they're so interested in tax cuts for themselves. They think they're better than everyone else. 

Obama's Infomercial

I should've known it would be brilliant. I'm wondering how McCain Palin will smear this. 

Another Republican Leaves McCain in the Dust

It's good to see that not all republicans are so wedded to their party that they'd cover for a bad candidate.

CNN: New England's lone House Republican appears to have publicly broken with his party's standard-bearer, saying John McCain has not run a clean campaign and is likely to lose his bid for the presidency.

"I just don't see how [McCain] can win," Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told the Yale Daily News earlier this week. "He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign." Shays, who in 2006 became the only Republican congressman from New England, perennially finds himself in a heated re-election race.

Why Obama is Winning

This is the first in my series that opposes my other little series -- Why McCain is Losing.

Weekly Reader Kids: Obama 55 McCain 43

Market Watch: America's most trusted and accurate student survey has predicted the winner in 12 of the past 13 elections.
Just days before Americans choose our next president, voting has concluded in the Weekly Reader Student Presidential Election Poll. And the nation's students resoundingly say that Barack Obama will be the country's next leader. In the 14th Weekly Reader election survey, with more than 125,000 votes cast from kindergarten through 12th grade, the result was Obama 54.7% and John McCain 42.9% (with "other" candidates receiving 2.5% of the student vote). The Obama victory in the classroom electoral vote was even more resounding: The Democrat won 33 states and the District of Columbia, garnering 420 electoral votes, while McCain took 17 states and 118 electoral votes.

Palin: Obama Palling Around with Radical Professor


You gotta laugh and count. Only six more days.
Today, Palin really went out on a limb and jumped off:

CNN: Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday said Sen. Barack Obama has ties to a Columbia University professor, whom she called "a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization."
The Obama campaign said on its Web site that "ugly insinuations about Barack Obama's relationship with a former neighbor and university colleague ... are completely false." The professor has denied he was a PLO spokesman.

Palin said her assertion "is not negative campaigning to call someone out on their record."

"It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama going back several years," Palin said at an event in Bowling Green, Ohio.

"This is important because his associate, Rashid Khalidi ... in addition to being a political ally of Barack Obama, he's a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization."

Palin has gone completely bonkers. Does she think she can say anything she wants? Can she be sued for slander? I love Khalidi's response:
Khalidi said Wednesday, "I am not speaking to the media at this time, and certainly not until this idiot wind passes."

The Obama campaign called Palin's remarks "another recycled, manufactured controversy from the McCain campaign to distract voters' attention from John McCain's lock-step support for George Bush's economic policies."

Yes We Can: A Reminder

This video never gets old. It's so communist, all that Yes We Can stuff, bringing the community together for a common purpose. Oh, how terrible.

Here's another goodie. Such socialism! Vote! Vote! Vote! I'm special delivering my ballot today.

Obama in Raleigh: I Shared My Toys in Kindergarten

I think the McCain camp has already accused Obama of being a secret communist. And a secret terrorist Muslim and a secret black guy with a Big Black Agenda. Oh, and just yesterday, Joe the Plumber, the McCain mouthpiece, said that Obama is a secret hater of Israel.

Palin Talkin' Energy

Palin pretends she knows something and says practically nothing except a lot of "good ol' boy, shakin' up and "hungry U.S. markets" (what's with the hungry?) talk. She throws her pal Ted Stevens under the bus:

NYT: Ms. Palin also laid the blame at the feet of her Democratic counterpart, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has opposed offshore drilling. Mr. Biden was overheard telling a supporter on the campaign trail that he did not support clean-coal technology in the United States.

“He says that clean coal is O.K. for China, but sorry, Ohio, Joe Biden says it’s not for you,” she said. “And that is just nonsense.”

If Senator John McCain is elected, she added, $2 billion a year would be devoted to clean-coal research and development.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland released a response on behalf of the Obama campaign:

“In a bit of rare straight talk, Sarah Palin attacked her own running mate’s record today by blaming our oil addiction on ‘thirty years of failure’ in Washington,” said Governor Ted Strickland. “John McCain was there for twenty-six of those years, during which he voted against alternative sources of energy and stood with oil industry lobbyists instead. Now he wants to give those oil companies an additional $4 billion in tax breaks, even as he proposes pennies for the kind of renewable energy that can end our dependence on Mideast oil and create new jobs. After decades of John McCain’s failed leadership on energy, we can’t afford four more.

Obama's Ad Tonight 8 PM Eastern

McCain would love to be in the position to do this but all he can do is slam it -- back to the celebrity attack. I hope it includes more from the people who support Obama, such as Colin Powell and some of the republicans who intend to vote for Obama.

CNN: "The strategic brilliance of this for Obama is that he is going to
consume about 24 hours of the news cycle," Tracey said. "It boxes McCain in,
takes the oxygen out of the room."

There is so much buzz surrounding the infomercial — which was first
announced about two weeks ago — that Time magazine's Mark Halperin Tuesday put
the ad's two editors on his daily list of the "five most important people in
American politics not running for president."

Those editors, Erik Smith and Mark Putnam, were "still in an edit room
cutting" the 30-minute piece on Tuesday when the list was published, Halperin
said.

The ad is slated to run at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Fox, BET, TV One
and Univision, the Spanish-language network.

CNN declined to run the spot, and talks between ABC and the Obama campaign fell apart.

Obama's New Ad Uses Palin Wink

See it here. It's an effective ad for anyone still paying attention. I think many of us are electioned-out. 
And check this out, Brian Griffin of Family Guy endorses Obama. 

Palin Gone Rogue Screenplay

Maureen Dowd at the NYT gets creative with her column:

THE MAVERICK WEARS PRADA
Screenplay by
Maureen Dowd
Revised third draft
© Oct. 29, 2008

FADE IN:

INT. A HOTEL SUITE — in the middle of the day in the middle of Ohio.

NICOLLE WALLACE, a slender, preppie-looking blonde wearing a string of pearls is pacing and frantically thumbing her BlackBerry. She is a top McCain adviser under STEVE SCHMIDT who has been seconded to SARAH PALIN. On the TV, MSNBC’s DAVID SHUSTER is asking ANNE KORNBLUT about rumors that PALIN has gone AWOL after McCain advisers anonymously labeled her a rogue “diva” and a “whack job.”

NICOLLE

(hissing)

How’d she get away?
....
NICOLLE

Steve’s freaking out. You know how he is about message discipline, much less completely losing a candidate. He’s got enough on his plate scaring the nursing-home Jews in Florida and painting Obama as a Palestinian Marxist Madrassa Child. Maybe all of those dudes painting their chests for Sarah and screaming “2012!” have her looking past the old man. Steve says he will annihilate her if she sabotages this campaign to get started on the next one, or if she plants negative stories about me — I mean McCain — with the base. Are the clothes gone from the belly of the plane?
You should read it all.

GOP Can't Decide on Palin's Future

I say send her packing.

She's divisive and brings out the absolute worst in people or at least draws the fringe supporters out of their shells. That's not what anyone needs. 

Surely the republicans can find a better representative to oppose abortion and be pro guns. She's just downright mean and not the least bit worldly, an anti-intellectual. As a nation, we should be aspiring to be smarter. Someone can be down home, folksy or Joe Six Packy and smart at the same time. The republicans need to find themselves grownup leaders, not the mean girl.

The fact that the republicans even have to wonder what to do with her illustrates why the republicans are losing. Republicans need to get a platform. They can't just loathe government. They can't just hate non Christians. They can't just hate immigrants. They can't just be pro war. They can't just like guns. They can't just be pro abortion. They can't just hate taxes.

Republicans need to understand the real problems in America and figure out solutions. They need to be more inclusive.

Republicans completely failed to recognize the importance of restoring America's standing in the world. It wasn't even a topic for McCain in this election. The whole party seems outdated. 

CNN: In one corner are some conservatives who believe the Alaska governor has been a detriment to John McCain's presidential bid and threatens to lead the party astray for the foreseeable future.

Another faction says Palin's core-conservative beliefs, demonstrated political acumen, and compelling frontier biography position her to reshape the face of a party now viewed by many voters as out of touch.

It's a debate,somewhat ugly at times, that is beginning to play out in public view as Republicans brace themselves for the possibility of losing the White House and a significant number of seats in Congress come Election Day. And that may leave the party in shambles with drastically reduced influence in Washington

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Admiring McCain of Old

WaPo: The larger point, though, is that if I'm not voting for McCain -- and, after a long struggle, I've realized that I can't -- maybe it's worth explaining why, for I suspect there are other independent voters who feel the same. Particularly because it's not his campaign, disjointed though that has been, that finally repulses me: It's his rapidly deteriorating, increasingly anti-intellectual, no longer even recognizably conservative Republican Party. His problems are not technical; they do not have to do with ads, fundraising or tactics, as some have suggested. They are institutional; they have to do with his colleagues, advisers and supporters.
....
Another thing I liked about McCain was the deliberate distance he always kept from the nuttier wing of his party and, simultaneously, the loyalty he's shown to a recognizably conservative budgetary philosophy. Fiscal conservatism, balanced budgets, sober spending -- all of these principles have been brushed away as so much nonsense for the past eight years by Republicans more interested in grandstanding about how much they hate Washington. McCain was one of the few who kept talking about them. He was also one of a shockingly few to understand that there is nothing American, let alone conservative, about torture, and that a battle for civilized values could not be won by uncivilized means.
.....
Finally, I admired McCain's willingness to tackle politically risky issues such as immigration, the debate about which has long been drenched in hypocrisy. Those who want to ban it are illogically denying both the role that immigrants, especially the millions of illegal immigrants, already play in the U.S. economy as well as the improbability of forced deportations; those who want to allow it without restriction don't acknowledge the security risks. McCain tried to put together a bipartisan coalition in an effort to find a rational solution. He failed -- blocked by the ideologues in his party.

If these traits appealed to me, they probably would have appealed to other independents, too. Why, then, has McCain spent the past four months running away from them? 

Will.I.Am Vote for Change

Obama on National Security in Richmond Oct. 22

Obama Rally Columbus Missouri Oct. 30

poster at obamaartreport.com

This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live
Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama
Please join us this Thursday, October 30th, for a rally with Barack Obama in Columbia:

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

University of Missouri
Mel Carnahan Quad
Off of Conley Ave.
Columbia, MO

Thursday, October 30th
Gates Open: 7:30 p.m.
Program Begins: 9:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged.

Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons do not bring bags or umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Obama Rally Raleigh North Carolina Oct. 29


This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live

Early Vote for Change Rally
with Barack Obama
This Wednesday, October 29th, please join Barack Obama in Raleigh, where he will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Early Vote for Change Rally
with Barack Obama

Halifax Mall
Government Complex
300 North Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

Wednesday, October 29th
Doors Open: 10:00 a.m.
Pre-program Begins: 11:15 a.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however, an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

For security reasons, do not bring bags or umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Obama and Bill Rally Kissimmee Florida Oct. 29


This rally may be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com/live

Early Vote for Change Rally
Barack Obama & Pres. Bill Clinton
This Wednesday, October 29th, please join Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton in Kissimmee, where Barack will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Early Vote for Change Rally
with Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton

Osceola Heritage Park
1875 Silver Spur Lane
Kissimmee, FL 34744

Wednesday, October 29th
Gates Open: 8:30 p.m.
Program Begins: 11:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and umbrellas. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.



Campaña de Voto Por Adelantado Para El Cambio
con Barack Obama y el Presidente Bill Clinton

Osceola Heritage Park
Al frente del estadio del condado -- Osceola County Stadium
1875 Silver Spur Lane
Kissimmee, FL

Miercoles, 29 de Octubre
Puertas abren: 8:30 p.m.

Este evento es gratis y abierto al publico. No se requieren boletos para atender el evento, pero se recomienda confirmar (RSVP) que atenderás el evento.

Estacionamiento disponible para el evento.

Por razones de seguridad, no se permiten bultos o sombrillas. No se permiten rótulos o pancartas. Por favor limite artículos personales.

Why McCain is Losing 3


Already up to No. 3 in my little series of Why McCain is Losing:

NYT: Senator Obama was perfectly suited to this new approach. He told the crowd that trekked through the cold and snow to hear his victory speech at the Iowa caucuses:

“You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington. To end the political strategy that’s been all about division, and instead make it about addition. To build a coalition for change that stretches through red states and blue states.”

John McCain didn’t get it. He seemed as baffled by the new politics as an Al Jolson aficionado trying to make sense of the Beatles.

He answered the desire for a higher tone in politics with ads that likened Senator Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and with attacks that questioned Mr. Obama’s patriotism, blamed him for high gasoline prices and all-but-accused him of being a socialist.

Mr. Obama, said Mr. McCain, would convert the Internal Revenue Service into “a giant welfare agency.”

Get it?

Whether this is admirable or honorable is not the question here. In the current political and economic atmosphere, it seems very much like a roadmap to defeat.

More racist fun with McCain Palin supporters.

Reason No. 8 to Vote for Obama

Joe the Plumber's Toilet Clogged

Can this election end and put me out of my misery. What a creep:

Raw Story: The all-out effort from John McCain's presidential campaign to scare voters into backing the Republican candidate continued apace on Tuesday as McCain surrogate Joe the Plumber agreed that a Barack Obama presidency would mean the "death of Israel" and end democracy in America.

The Ohio plumber, who has no license and is actually named Samuel Wurzelbacher, spoke at a McCain campaign event in Columbus Monday. A McCain supporter asked if "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel." JTP hardly batted an eye.

A McCain Palin win would be a sad day for America, indeed.
McCain's got amateurs running his campaign. Joe the Plumber. Sarah Palin. Give us break, already.
Later Tuesday afternoon, Shepard Smith pressed Wurzelbacher on his comments, reminding the woefully misinformed McCain backer that Obama has consistently voiced support for Israel. Pressed several times to explain how he could agree with the conclusion that Obama would lead to the death of the Jewish state, Wurzelbacher was unable to come up with any good reasons aside from Obama's position in favor of negotiating with rogue regimes such as Iran.

"You don't want my opinion on foreign policy," Wurzelbacher said. "I know just enough to kind of be dangerous."

The Fox news reporter actually defends Obama from this low life. His 15 minutes are so over. Can't wait til these amateurs disappear.

Michelle Obama on Jay Leno Oct. 27



Why McCain is Losing 2


This is the second in my series of: Why McCain is Losing. I started my little series yesterday with this goodie.

Swamp: For weeks, bright-eyed young people have been showing up at my doorstep with Obama shirts on their backs and clipboards in their hands asking, with an unmistakable optimism, for whom I will be voting. Can't really say, I tell them - news reporter here, no petition-signihg, thank you. But they have meticulously recorded the preferences of my family and neighbors, double-checking it weekend after weekend and building a data base which clearly they plan to utilize on Election Day for a get-out-the-vote drive of unprecedented proportions.

And then, finally today, the first sign of Republican John McCain's campaign arrived in my mail-box, from the Republican Party of Virginia: A fold-out, full-color flier with photographs of a felon from Chicago, Tony Rezko, with warnings that Rezko, "convicted just this year on federal charges of fraud for receiving kickbacks in a land deal,'' is a friend of Obama and helped Obama buy his $1.65 million home in Chicago. Never mind that the conviction of power-broker Rezko for influence-peddling in Chicago had nothing to do with the fact that Rezko bought land next door to Obama on the South Side of Chicago and sold him a piece of it. None of the extensive federal investigations of Rezko's abuses ever accused Obama of any wrong-doing.
This is a presidential campaign?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why McCain is Losing

I've never seen an Obama campaign worker/volunteer disparage McCain on video. Ever. The McCain camp seems to depend on it. 

McCain and Palin Dance

McCain Thinks It's All About Him

I'm tired of McCain's fighter pilot story.
He thinks it's his time to make a come back, despite the fact that he's run a lousy and creepy campaign and chose a lousy running mate and has no solutions -- to anything. I don't ever want to hear the word maverick again.
What he ought to be doing is setting his mob straight so they don't cause any trouble in case Obama is elected.
When you think about it, he's got a lot of nerve. I can't wait for this election to be over. I just hope it turns out the right way.

Time: McCain seemed tired, as if he had been up too many late nights, and at times his answers meandered through a series of only tangentially connected sentences. But his central argument — that the race is not over, that he might still pull this thing out — is not completely unreasonable. It is not just that McCain has stared long odds in the face before and triumphed, as he did when his campaign collapsed in the summer of 2007, financially broke and in disarray. Back then, trusted friends advised him to withdraw rather than suffer a humiliating defeat. Even some of his closest associates were ready to give up, and it fell to McCain to tell them to quit feeling sorry for themselves, to lecture them about what it means to keep fighting for what you believe in. Of course, he was right, and he emerged improbably from a field of contenders to win the Republican nomination. "McCain doesn't have a lot of time for quitters," says a senior McCain adviser. "He's not about to quit now."

The press has been awash in stories lately in which anonymous sources detail the infighting and blame-throwing going on within the campaign and the anger and fear felt by Republicans outside it; over the weekend, rising tension between aides to running mate Sarah Palin and McCain loyalists was on display, with one McCain adviser telling CNN that Palin was a "diva" who didn't listen to anyone. Morale was already an issue two weeks ago, when Schmidt gave a pep talk to staffers and volunteers at the campaign's Arlington, Va., headquarters. "Being part of an effort that fails does not make you a loser; it makes you a competitor," said Schmidt, according to an article in Sunday's Washington Post. "What makes you a loser is curling up into the fetal position at a time of adversity. The only thing that would ever define anyone as a loser is to quit before it is over."

Palin Palling Around With Ethics Violaters

Alaska's Sen. Ted Stevens found guilty on all 7 counts.

Obama's Closing Argument in Canton Video

Transcript

One More Week of Palin


One can only hope.
How could anyone regard Palin as the new republican party? She may look young and hot but she's very old in thought and her mind is ossified. If the republican party wants to revive itself, it needs to send Palin back to Alaska or Hollywood. She's a horribly divisive woman. 
All she's got is charm and she appeals to a niche group of people. No one can convince me that this woman is remotely intelligent. And what an ungrateful woman. She brings down the republican ticket and blames McCain aides?
Here's what she had to say on an upcoming Hannity & Colmes interview:

Swamp: Sarah Palin has this to say about that half-hour of prime-time TV that Barack Obama's campaign plans to air Wednesday night.

"American viewers will go into it just understanding that it's more of the same and it's scripted, of course,'' Palin says in an interview airing this evening on FOX News Channel's Hannity and Colmes. "That goes to the heart of my concern about his lack of candidness in terms of telling Americans really, what his plans are.''

Tim Kaine on Obama as a Father and Leader

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama in Denver Photos

More than 100,000 peeps. Oodles of photos at This Week With Barack Obama.



Voting in Wisconsin

Are Obama Supporters Real Americans?

Iron workers for Obama

Dana Milbank takes a tongue-in-cheek look at whether Obama supporters are Real Pro-Americans. Video.
And what do you know, he concluded we're all Americans. 
Here's the story:
WaPo: Something unreal is happening here in the real America.

Two hours before Barack Obama's appearance at a campaign rally here Wednesday, they played the national anthem -- and people stood and sang. Some even put hands on hearts! In the first row sat a woman -- we'll call her Margaret the Corporate Trainer, in Joe-the-Plumber style -- wearing an actual flag pin on her shirt. "I'm American!" she said proudly. Really.

Then Obama took the stage and gave a stirring speech about those soldiers who "fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America! They haven't served a Blue America! They have served the United States of America!"

The audience took up a chant of "USA! USA!"

And these are Democrats?

McCain Says Joe the Biden

Poor McCain. I'd feel even more sorry for him if he wasn't running such a cheap campaign.

The Obama Variety Special SNL

I just got around to watching SNL. It was a good one, even thought Amy Poehler was off having a baby. Coldplay ended the show when Chris Martin ended his song with "Barack Obama."
Here's the variety show, spoofing Obama's actual 30 minutes of prime time coming up on Wednesday. I hope he does something interesting and creative during those 30 minutes.

Joe Biden Answers: What Exactly a VP Does

A young reporter from Canal Point Elementary asks Joe what a vice president does

Compare and contrast
 

McCain's Unserious Mavericky Campaign

Why is Obama winning? Because he presented answers to serious problems. McCain said he was a maverick. Big whoop.

NYT's Paul Krugman: But I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I’d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. And this has worked to Mr. Obama’s advantage, because his opponent has run a deeply unserious campaign.

Think about the themes of the McCain campaign so far. Mr. McCain reminds us, again and again, that he’s a maverick — but what does that mean? His maverickness seems to be defined as a free-floating personality trait, rather than being tied to any specific objections on his part to the way the country has been run for the last eight years.

Conversely, he has attacked Mr. Obama as a “celebrity,” but without any specific explanation of what’s wrong with that — it’s just a given that we’re supposed to hate Hollywood types.

And the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential candidate clearly had nothing to do with what she knew or the positions she’d taken — it was about who she was, or seemed to be. Americans were supposed to identify with a hockey mom who was just like them.

In a way, you can’t blame Mr. McCain for campaigning on trivia — after all, it’s worked in the past. Most notably, President Bush got within hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballot range of the White House only because much of the news media, rather than focusing on the candidates’ policy proposals, focused on their personas: Mr. Bush was an amiable guy you’d like to have a beer with, Al Gore was a stiff know-it-all, and never mind all that hard stuff about taxes and Social Security. And let’s face it: six weeks ago Mr. McCain’s focus on trivia seemed to be paying off handsomely.

But that was before the prospect of a second Great Depression concentrated the public’s mind.

Palin Helped McCain Go Fringe


Conservative columnist David Brooks suggests McCain ceded the middle by not addressing the needs of Americans. I'm relieved to see that many conservatives and republicans are dismissing the fringe right. Brooks concludes that McCain would be an excellent president. But how could he when he has been handled to his detriment by the republican party? How could he when he has no vision? How could he when he hasn't even led his own campaign? Brooks contradicts himself.

NYT: His campaign seemed the perfect vehicle to explain how this old approach applied to a new century with new problems — a century with widening inequality, declining human capital, a fraying social contract, rising entitlement debt, corporate authoritarian regimes abroad and soft corporatist collusion at home.

In modernizing this old tradition, some of us hoped McCain would take sides in the debate now dividing the G.O.P. Some Republicans believe the G.O.P. went astray by abandoning its tax-cutting, anti-government principles. They want a return to Reagan (or at least the Reagan of their imaginations). But others want to modernize and widen the party and adapt it to new challenges. Some of us hoped that by reforming his party, which has grown so unpopular, McCain could prove that he could reform the country.

But McCain never took sides in this debate and never articulated a governing philosophy, Hamiltonian or any other. In Sunday’s issue of The Times Magazine, Robert Draper describes the shifts in tactics that consumed the McCain campaign. The tactics varied promiscuously, but they were all about how to present McCain, not about how to describe the state of country or the needs of the voter. It was all biography, which was necessary, but it did not clearly point to a new direction for the party or the country.

The Hamiltonian-Bull Moose tendency is the great, moderate strain in American politics. In some sense this whole campaign was a contest to see which party could reach out from its base and occupy that centrist ground. The Democratic Party did that. Senior Democrats like Robert Rubin, Larry Summers and Jason Furman actually created something called The Hamilton Project to lay out a Hamiltonian approach for our day.

McCain and Republicans stayed within their lines. There was a lot of talk about earmarks. There was a good health care plan that was never fully explained. And there was Sarah Palin, who represents the old resentments and the narrow appeal of conventional Republicanism.

As a result, Democrats now control the middle. Self-declared moderates now favor Obama by 59 to 30, according to the New York Times/CBS News poll. Suburban voters favor Obama 50 to 39.