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October 20, 2008

High water mark?

Two weeks ago, I made my best guess at the state of play of the Electoral Vote count.  A few days ago, I suggested enjoying this image while it lasted:

  5Iexw28Zupg Sn Ych0Lqki Aaaaaaaaak0 Ae5Lt Ejfnk S1600-R 0928 Bigmap

but now Obama has continued to break out and McCain collapse in key states, so we have this to enjoy for the moment before digging in to finish the next month of work.

October 11, 2008

Concern in G.O.P. After Rough Week for McCain - NYTimes.com

Re: Concern in G.O.P. After Rough Week for McCain - NYTimes.com:

Again and again, party leaders said in interviews that while they still believed that Mr. McCain could win over voters in the next 30 days, they were concerned that he and his advisers seemed to be adrift in dealing with an extraordinarily challenging political battleground and a crisis on Wall Street.

Hmm, yes.  Republicans should work out a careful plan with McCain so that he builds his strength so that McCain pulls ahead in the polls in 30 days.  Um, except that would be a week after the election was over: 24 days to go, not 30 -- not more than four weeks, but just over three weeks.

October 09, 2008

Obama buys half-hour of network primetime

Obama's strategy (not tactic, McCain) has always been to: move the direction of the country, not just eke out a victory.  To get the maximum turnout everywhere: driven around the ideas of a 50-state strategy, getting so many more voters that the Republican vote manipulation games can't affect the outcome, to be sure there is a big enough victory to provide a real power base with the people, to cross party lines, and to build enough coattails to provide the governing power in Congress and in state legislatures around the county.

This is a natural move, since he has the money, to reach out to everyone he can, not just the swing states, and make sure he has done everything to make an overwhelming victory.

Re: Exclusive: Obama buys half-hour of network primetime--The Live Feed:

Barack Obama has purchased a half-hour of primetime television on CBS and NBC, sources confirm.

The Obama campaign is producing a nationwide pitch to voters that will air on at least two broadcast networks. The ad will run Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. -- less than a week before the general election.
The special is a smart move for the Obama campaign, said Larry Sabato, a political analyst and director of the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia.

“Obama's theme is not just change but unity, so he's appealing to the whole nation rather than a handful of tossup states,” Sabato said. “He wants to win the popular vote by a good margin, which will enable him to govern.”

October 06, 2008

Re: Where the Election Sits with a Month to Go

I couldn't agree more: Where the Election Sits With a Month to Go :

Democrats should not be counting their chickens before they are hatched, confidently telling each other it's done. Instead they need to seal the deal over these last few weeks, and drive a stake in the heart of right-wing Republican politics as it has been practiced since the hey-day of Richard Nixon.

Sarah Palin claims Barack Obama would 'pal around with terrorists'

McCain is the one “Palin” around with a terrorist -- she's throwing incendiary dung-bombs wherever she goes:

Re: Sarah Palin claims Barack Obama would 'pal around with terrorists' - Los Angeles Times:

On Saturday, the Republican vice presidential nominee unleashed her inner pit bull, accusing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of being someone who would “pal around with terrorists.”

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October 02, 2008

Pollster.com: Can McCain Make an October Comeback?

Re: Pollster.com: Can McCain Make an October Comeback?:

This is an obvious point, but If McCain is going to get back in this race, he can do so in one of two ways: (1) he can win over undecideds or (2) he can change the minds of those who are currently planning on voting for Obama.

... This chart shows the Pollster.com trend for undecided respondents. At the end of August, the undecided trend was around 10%. By October 1st, that number dropped to just above 5%.

Page-01

Presently, Obama holds a 5.6% margin over McCain in the Pollster.com trend. Thus, even if you allocated every undecided voter to McCain, it still wouldn't be enough for him to overtake Obama (though it would certainly make for a very close race).
Despite the fact that McCain is only down by 5-7% nationally, time is running out and a comeback seems like a tall order. In the new era of partisan polarization, major October shifts in the presidential polls are unlikely. There are few undecided voters left to persuade at this point and in recent elections we've seen that few voters change their minds once they have settled on a candidate.

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October 01, 2008

Northwestern Mutual - News Brief Issue 58 - Economic Commentary

Fairly consistent with my take from over a year ago....

Re: Northwestern Mutual - News Brief Issue 58 - Economic Commentary:

The causes behind the current financial problems are similar to those that were behind the savings and loan crisis: low interest rates, loose lending standards and excessive leverage.  Low interest rates in 2002-2003 initiated a sharp expansion in both real estate demands and mortgage-loan supplies, which lenders funded with short-term borrowings. Home prices soared to unaffordable levels in 2005-2006. Demand for homes peaked in 2005 and home prices peaked in 2006. But lenders loosened their standards in an effort to attract new borrowers and maintain revenues. And loan problems – delinquencies and foreclosures – have soared since then.

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Re: The Omen In My Mail

Conservative commentator, Kathleen Parker criticized Palin's qualifications to be VP and learned what it has been like to be a liberal for the last 30 years.

Re: The Omen In My Mail:

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster, but since she didn't, I should “off” myself.

Those are a few nuggets randomly selected from thousands of e-mails written in response to my column suggesting that Sarah Palin is out of her league and should step down.

Who says public discourse hasn't deteriorated?

The only reason that she thinks that public discourse has deteriorated now is that it is only now that her conservative compatriots have aimed their bile at her instead of at liberals.  The previous 30 years of vicious, bigoted, violence-tinged commentary targeted at liberals didn't count somehow in her book.

But better late than never:

More important in the long term is the less tangible effect of stifling free speech. My mail paints an ugly picture and a bleak future if we do not soon correct ourselves.

The picture is this: Anyone who dares express an opinion that runs counter to the party line will be silenced. That doesn't sound American to me, but Stalin would approve.

Readers have every right to reject my opinion. But when we decide that a person is a traitor and should die for having an opinion different from one's own, we cross into territory that puts all freedoms at risk. (I hear you, Dixie Chicks.)

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