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Obama wins the first debate [Update]

by Frank Schnittger Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:47:59 AM EST

The US Presidential debate was about winning over the undecideds, not satisfying the faithful, and so Obama took the line of least resistance in many instances. Many Democratic partisans will be unhappy with the very centrist line Obama took on several issues, but the bottom line is that Obama won on McCain's home turf which is as much as he could possibly have done - without seeming arrogant, conceited, or too intellectual.  McCain, by comparison, frequently came across as patronising: "Obama doesn't understand" and as re-fighting yesterday's wars.

Obama didn't give the Republicans anything to fire up their base with and yet looked collaborative and Presidential to the independents.  Having Biden do the Democrat spin spot on CNN afterwards was masterful - who wants to hear what some paid staffer has been told to say.  Palin's absence was commented on by way of contrast.

According to the CBS News / Knowledge Networks' poll of undecided voters:


40% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. 22% thought John McCain won. 38% saw it as a draw.

68% of these voters think Obama would make the right decision about the economy.  41% think McCain would.

49% of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq.  55% think McCain would.


Mediacurves.com has the figures as follows:

In other words Obama did better among Democrats than McCain did among Republicans (and there are now many more registered Democrats than Republicans) and also won by a major margin among independents.

It's very hard to see a way back for McCain from here.  He's had a dreadful week, and has now lost the debate on his home ground.   Next up is the Palin debate, and the economy will probably be centre centre stage for the rest of the campaign.  

Already he is over 3% behind in the statistical trend line based on all the major published polls:

[Update] Drew J Jones, in comments below noted that if certain types of polls (or certain dodgy posters) are excluded, the Margin of Obama's lead is increased. The Polster.com graphical tool I am using to display poll trendlines allows you to filter out such polls, but for some reason beyond my ken it doesn't seem possible to embed them in a comment. It works fine when you embed them in an actual diary - so I have added below the same chart with Zogby internet and Arg polls excluded. The impact is to expand Obama's lead from 3 to 4% - not all that much because there are so many polls included in the chart. Each dot on the chart represents a separate poll and so a vast amount of data is included and subjected to statistical trendline analysis. Go to Pollster.com if you want to play around with this excellent tool. The graph without those polls is as follows:

It should be noted that Real Clear Politics, which employs a much simpler arithmetic averaging technique already has Obama with an over 4% lead in the polls. It should also be noted that, particularly with the Pollster.com methodology, the vast amount of data from many polls used screens out a lot of statistical "noise" and dramatically reduces the (typically 3-4%) margin of error of an individual poll.

[End update]

And the trend in all the key swing states is even worse:

His narrowest margin of victory in all the states he has to win in order to achieve the minimum 269 Electoral College Votes is 2.7% in Pennsylvania and there are several states which are currently in the McCain camp which are a lot more marginal than that.

But it is the overall trend which is the more important.  Virtually all of the swing states have been trending towards Obama in recent times - and this is before the events of the past week have been fully reflected in the polls.

McCain needed another game-changer tonight, and he didn't get it.  A lot more can happen in the next 5 weeks, and I would be very worried if Obama went into the election with less than a 3% lead in the poll of polls. The Bradley effect is still an unknown quantity in Presidential elections, and recent US Presidential election results have belied the opinion polls and exit polls taken just before and after the vote.

We can all speculate as to why this might be, but a 3% margin in the polls is the very least I would be comfortable with.  Tonight's first debate was a very good start in terms of consolidating his position.

Display:
Thanks, Frank, for the good data.
For me, a 3% margin would offer no confidence at all.
 Past events suggest that the results can be moved by something around 3% pretty easily by a combination of widespread voter caging, an array of questionable poll challenges based on lots of things like the colorado technique of perverting the HAVA "exact match" idea, manipulating access to voting machines in critical precincts, and the well-known and effective manipulation of touch-screen machines- memory cards, softwarwe and the like. Will the Republicans get to divert the precinct data and do the intermediate vote tallys on their own computers -again- in Ohio? Unlikely, yes, but if you think the Rove theft machine has just evaporated in the last couple years, you're dreaming.

If Obama goes into the election ahead by 6% and going away, that MIGHT be a safe margin. Hard to say.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:19:27 AM EST
The margins are only that slim when you include garbage like the Zogby Interactive (Internet) polls and the ever-more-ridiculous ARG -- the latter of which, for example, today said that Obama was winning Florida but losing Colorado (laughable).

As always, I listen to a handful of pollsters (Ras, R2K, Gallup, Quinnipiac, etc), even though I might quibble with them on methodology here and there.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you actually think he needs more?
I think he will need a landslide--and he may get it. McCain campaign appears in total chaos.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:21:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he's doing fine.  I've long thought we were looking at an Obama win by a margin of six to eight points, and the poll movements jibe with that right now.

When McCain falls into a tie in places like Florida and Missouri (two states that Obama really has no business winning), and falls behind in a place like North Carolina, the math doesn't say Bush v Gore.

You're worrying about Republican theft too much in my opinion.  They can't steal a six-point election, especially not when they don't control any of the relevant governors' mansions (Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, etc) and thus lack the necessary access to the voting machinery.  We control the state governments in the places we need to.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:41:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Better situation than 2004, and that's one reason why I put my comfort zone around 6%- I agree that experience suggests an over-6% ripoff would be nigh onto impossible.
Also, it's possible that Dean and the sentient wing of the Democratic party might have finally gotten past the "Nah--can't happen here" mindset, and actually have a coherent plan to counteract theft.
But I've underestimated the theft potential more than once. Just as I've underestimated the wizards of duct tape and lies' ability to glue the US economy back together--for a decade and a half.
Put yourself back in the mindset of October of  2004--
I factor in a 3-4% fudge factor. If Obama leads by five, I give him 2% in the bank. Maybe.


Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the election is state by state, and the question of how many electoral votes a subject to theft enters into the final result depending on how many are required for victory.

And if polls are judged on track record so that "likely voter" modeling in polls are calibrated to recent results, which included previous successes in stealing or suppressing votes, then failures to steal more votes than stolen in 2004 will be a failure to shift results compared to the polling.

If McCain is looking to steal the election in the swing states, he may well be up against it, since the shape of the electoral college map is looking more and more like McCain will have to nearly run the table to win ... and its a lot harder to subvert every single swing state more successfully than in 2004 than to subvert one or a few swing states.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The margin goes up to 4% if Zogby internet and Arg are excluded.  I don't seem to be able to embed the chart in a comment, but if you use this tool you can exclude certain polls and types of poll from the chart. Pollster.com: 2008 National Presidential General Election:McCain vs Obama

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 06:06:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... in New Mexico and Colorado, as well as well ahead in Iowa ... means that McCain has to run the table in the closer swing states.

And you don't run the table from the position that McCain is sitting in today, which is why the FiveThirtyEight.com projection is a 70%+ chance of victory.

7:3 odds on are not comfortable given how catastrophic a Bush policy set in the hands of a volatile McCain or even more out of her depth Palin would be ... but better than 7:3 odds on and trending Obama's way at the moment is much better shape than the Old Republic was in four years ago this time.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5.5% nationally now based on today's polling.  Six-point lead in Ras, five in Gallup, six in GOS, five in Diageo.  He's gaining roughly a point per day in the average of the tracking polls.

Keep in mind, too, that, as I think Chris Bowers noted, the trackers tend to lean 3-4 points towards McCain relative to the regular polls.  If that still holds true (no idea honestly), then it's probably more like a 7- or 8-point lead.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm looking at FiveThirtyEight.com right now ... their likelihood of winning ratings for some swing states based on their polling model.

  • New England, all strong Obama, 89% chance or higher. +30, 4 votes in play.

  • "Acela" States, all strong Obama, 91%+. +62

  • North Central, all strong Obama, 87%+, +48

  • Pacific, all strong Obama, 95%+, +77.

That's +217, 54 needed, NH(4), 55/45

Now the three regions in play: State(Votes) Obama%/McCain%

  • South Coast: VA(13) 79/21; FL(27) 41/59; NC(13) 33/67; GA(15) 12/88; SC(8) 4/96
  • Rust Belt: MI(17) 84/16; PA(21) 77/23; OH(20) 51/49; IN(11) 36/64
  • Southwest: NM(5) 86/14; CO(9) 84/16; NV(5) 58/42; AZ(10) 5/95

OK, now, rank those by Obama odds and do a cumulative vote frequency if there was a "pure swing" in effect:

  • NM(5) 86/14, +5
  • CO(9) 84/16, +14
  • MI(17) 84/16, +31
  • VA(13) 79/21, +44
  • PA(21) 77/23, +65
  • NV(5) 58/42, +70
  • NH(4), 55/45, +74
  • OH(20) 51/49, +94
  • *******
  • FL(27) 41/59, +121
  • IN(11) 36/64, +132
  • NC(13) 33/67, +145
  • GA(15) 12/88
  • AZ(10) 5/95
  • SC(8) 4/96

And add to that, Obama has a sufficiently large cash advantage that he is organizing field operations in Florida and Indiana.

Two solid weeks could well bring Ohio above 60/40 and Florida above 50/50, and if you thought McCain was an angry, scared, desperate looking old man now, that would really bring out the temperament of the man who crashed five jet fighters.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:32:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but remember Nate designed his model to be conservative, so there's a little bit of a lag to take into account.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:51:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... in this situation, where Obama has had an absolutely brilliant week on the back of a very strong week. Given the lag, the odds of victory should under-estimate the campaign gaining ground and over-estimate the campaign losing ground, and that will have been Obama gaining and McCain losing.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:06:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... landscape, a 50/50 tie would look like a narrow advantage Obama on the electoral map. Bringing Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado into play really shakes up the Rovian RedState/BlueState calculus.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:09:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Nate's got it right here.

The reason Obama is seen to have won the debate by voters tonight is because of the fact that he was able to turn his already-big lead on economics into an FDR kind of blowout (21 points) while closing the gap on the national security issues.

The national security gap was going to close so long as Obama didn't go up and drool.  All he had to do was prove he could go toe-to-toe with McCain.  The big punches that landed were all landed by Obama, even though McCain probably had more small jabs throughout the night.

Here are the internals:

Next, regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Barack Obama or John McCain would better handle each of the following issues:

  • The war in Iraq: Obama 52%, McCain 47%

  • Terrorism: McCain 49%, Obama 45%

  • The economy: Obama 58%, McCain 37%

  • The current financial crisis: Obama 54%, McCain 36%

Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one better described Barack Obama or John McCain during tonight's debate:

  • Was more intelligent: Obama 55%, McCain 30%

  • Expressed his views more clearly: Obama 53%, McCain 36%

  • Spent more time attacking his opponent: McCain 60%, Obama 23%

  • Was more sincere and authentic: Obama 46%, McCain 38%

  • Seemed to be the stronger leader: Obama 49%, McCain 43%

  • Was more likeable: Obama 61%, McCain 26%

  • Was more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you: Obama 62%, McCain 32%


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:53:12 AM EST
I'll add, too, something that I believe most have missed but that will draw some attention eventually: I think a large segment of voters wanted Obama to win.  Obama did fine, and as a consequence he seems to have won.  It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The public has wanted to like Obama all year.  Even thinking of the Wright controversy, Obama recovered remarkably fast.  He's always maintained very solid favorables (55-65%).

The internals above back that up.  Look at the margins on likability, intelligence, clarity, and being in touch.

Rest assured that McCain's numbers on likability and attacking will keep Davis and Schmidt up tonight, if they think this poll is right.  It tells you McCain came off as an angry old man, while Obama came across as the intelligent, middle-aged Yuppie dad we've all met a million times.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:17:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many of the indies will be new to Obama, and all he had to do was convince them that he's not 'that kind' of black to claw back the racist bias. Which he did, handily. He's now officially not so bad, actually, and could be worth a vote.

The Republican brand isn't popular at the moment, and McCain lived it live. Only condescending pricks want to vote for a condescending prick, so McCain lost the rest of the indies just by being his Republican self.  

He's also shorter, fatter, and unable to look his opponent in the eye.

So Obama won on identity. Even though he's smart, liberal and black, he's still closer to most people's self-image than a cranky old guy who rambles, interrupts, won't shut up, and talks down to everyone.

Apparently there was also some point scoring around foreign policy, but I don't suppose most viewers paid much attention to that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 07:51:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The argument about whether Obama should meet foreign leaders directly took up a lot of McCain's attack time and would have been totally lost on most viewers.  If anything, Obama demonstrated that he would be good at projecting a US point of view whereas McCain was old school bluff and bluster.  If that is the best angle of attack for McCain he doesn't have many shots in his armoury.

Has McCain every conducted a negotiation with a foreign leader of note? - Or does he just talk to "his friends"

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:04:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama's arguing from a stronger position in the minds of voters than the pundits think he is when it comes to meeting with people like Ahmadinejad.  It was weak on McCain's part.

The earmarks stuff is all inside-baseball, make-the-reporters-nod-at-your-Seriousness horseshit.  And I think T. Boone Pickens's ads have undermined McCain's offshore drilling position.

In other words, McCain's whole offense went to shit, and all he had left was THE SURGE WORKED!@!#$$#$

I'm amazed it took him so long to play the POW card.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:10:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He liaised with the Vietnamese government to tidy up some details after the war. Even that was controversial - there were families convinced that there were still soldiers held in captivity there, but he said there was 'no evidence' that was true.

He has little or no other foreign policy experience. He's been to Iraq a couple of times, but that's pretty much it.

The reality seems to be that his sole claims to 'experience' are a rather sketchy navy background which includes crashing planes, being shot down, being captured and tortured, and then running a training squadron.

So his foreign policy expertise is pure fantasy. He's spectacularly clueless and ignorant about basic facts, and there's no evidence that he's capable of diplomatic strategy.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:22:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For five and a half years, John McCain couldn't travel to meet with foreign leaders, you know.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting but sad discussion. But what does this all have to do with politics?
by Trond Ove on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely everything - its about validating claims to relevant experience, competence, and whether voters cAN IDENTIFY THESE CHARACTEREISTICS AND SKILLS IN A PERSON.  sEE ALSO DISCUSSION ON mCcAIN'S PYSCHOLOGY BELOW.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a beauty contest. The only thing it tells us is who is the best actor with the best pr coaches.
by Trond Ove on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:09:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're so young to be so cynical :-)

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:27:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All the world's a stage and we the players.....


Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:44:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://waxy.org/2008/09/sarah_palin_1984_miss_alaska_pageant_video_swimsuit_competition/

My head is exploding! AAAAgh!

Read the comments further down by the way. This is the end product of politics turned into a popularity contest.

by Trond Ove on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:51:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And how can a POLL validate ANY kind of claim?... Is competence and truth decided by vote? Are we even certain polls reflect how people will vote, or just a moment's mood? Trond is only too right, I'm afraid...

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 06:16:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was playing to a populist narrative about not consorting with the enemy and appearing to be tough in negotiations.  That plays well with certain mach male psychological types but it lost him the adult, educated, female, independent and even business vote....  The problem with McCain's psychological make-up is that it plays well with a certain older male feeling unappreciated type - but theses are only a small proportion of the electorate and he has those in the bag already.

What he didn't do was connect with people outside his own rather narrow cultural/psychological horizons whereas Obama did.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding McCain's pyschological makeup. Many commentators have noted that throughout the debate, McCain refused  to look over at Obama. Some wrote this off as contempt and maybe some low level effort at basic anger management. But a commentator over at TalkingPoints memo who studies monkies in an academic environment, makes this observation:

I think people really are missing the point about McCain's failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear--look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior--low ranking monkeys don't look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

In the context of McCain's heirarchical world view, this seems almost right. Certainly, I bet the eye contact thing has also got something to do with being dressed down by superiors as he wound his way through the Naval Academy (at the bottom of the class). In the USMC, when you are being bitched at--at least during boot camp--one of key and first directives to the trainee--is never, ever, ever look at the drill instructor. As a mere trainee, you're not 'good enough' to look the DI in the eye. So, subliminally, at least, Obama is schooling McCain, and McCain knows it.
by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:32:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely - not making eye contact is what people do when they are being submissive.  In a hierarchical system, making eye contact can be seen as challenging authority and demanding to be treated as an equal.  In most normal society it is about showing acknowledgment, respect, affection, and self-confidence.

McCain didn't have the self-confidence to treat McCain as an equal.  It wasn't racism or arrogance. He ddin't look down on McCain, he could bear to look at him at all.  It is because he knew Obama was well capable of challenging and befuddling him, and he was desperate avoid confusion and hang onto his own preconceived and memorized talking points.

He didn't really engage at all - except to claim greater experience/expertise and to disparage.  But Obama didn't claim greater competence, he DEMONSTRATED IT.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:43:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A different view here - suggesting that the McCain campaign literally thinks Obama is beneath contempt and impossible to take seriously, and that McCain was deliberately avoiding eye contact to signify that, while also hammering on 'naive and inexperienced.'

It doesn't have to be either/or. In McCain land he's entitled to the presidency, and when this polite, respectful and deadly black liberal comes along to steal it from him, he's furious and also scared.

Whatever the plan was, people saw the fury, not the alleged gravitas.

Palin meanwhile, was in an Irish bar in Philly, schmoozing with the GOP party people - and being mobbed by 300 angry protestors.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw that on Palin.  What in God's name were they thinking sending her to Philly?  I guess it could've been DC or Detroit or something worse, but man....

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If that was the plan, then they're drooling idiots: you can't treat a guy who is at best neck and neck with you in the polls that way and have it interpreted the way you'd like, especially when he has Obama's presence.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:58:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, they are drooling idiots. They've always been drooling idiots.

But they're still believing that reality is for the little people and doesn't apply to them.

As long as there was a pretendy war they could get away with that. Now that there are petrol shortages, repossessions, and people living in cars, it's suddenly become a little less convincing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:24:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They thought they could treat it as Reagan-Carter.  Everybody's talked about Reagan-Carter with this election, and the comparison isn't lost on me.

But what the McCain campaign doesn't seem to understand is that McCain isn't Reagan in this analogy.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:39:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From that angle, Reagan-Mondale is starting to look more apt.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:02:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mondale was sharper than McCain now or Carter then.  He got the better of Reagan in the first debate.  McCain's behavior is similar to Carter's.  Both tried to paint the opponent as dangerously inexperienced, and both wound up looking angry and immature.  Carter allowed Reagan to get under his skin, and McCain seems prone to the same, but to a far greater degree.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:08:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sharpness not being the issue.

It's the Real Middle Class American™ schtick which is winning it for Obama, and where McCain is losing badly.

This is anecdotal but seems more insightful than most of the professional punditry.

The consistent pattern in debates seems to be that facts and sharpness are irrelevant, because it's all about personality and poise. The coolest and most relaxed person wins. And that's not going to be McCain this time around.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:32:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And, yes, it's certainly not either/or.  I think it's been pretty obvious for quite some time that McCain has a truly amazing sense of entitlement.  (And most politicians -- even ones with Bush, Kennedy and Clinton for last names -- are at least willing to put in some work.  McCain, though, is both entitled and lazy.)  It's his only rationale behind his campaign.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:03:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But don't you know the country owes him for having endured imprisonment and torture for his country.

As Dylan is reputed to have said:  I've suffered for my music.  Now its your turn.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's actually an album by Marshall Crenshaw (for my art, rather than music, to be pedantic).

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I did make it up....

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... some action on the side from female lobbyists and a cushy job as a Senator Maverick ought to be enough of a sinecure.

Its not like he broke out of the prison and then did so much back-line disruption to hand the US some big military victory in some battle in Vietnam. He's no Rambo.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:57:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And don't forget his father and grandfather were admirals. And his father knew what a "fuckup" he was, as does Obama.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that because he was tortured as a POW and can't raise his eyes high enough?

</smirk>

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain, by comparison, frequently came across as patronising: "Obama doesn't understand"

Could that not have been interpreted as McCain playing the "Obama is inexperienced" card?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 04:50:04 AM EST
He did so in a pretty ugly way though.  The big tell is McCain's apparent inability to look Obama in the eye.  Obama either fills McCain with rage or fear, and McCain wound up coming across as a bitter and entitled old man at times.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 05:12:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama either fills McCain with rage or fear....

...adding, it's not either/or.  More likely, it's both.  McCain actually seems at least moderately intimidated by Obama, even in a debate that's supposed to be on his turf (foreign policy).  Obama stuck to the Iran negotiations position, and apparently -- I must have missed it after turning it off -- even suggested closer work with Russia as a means to working with Iran, which is actually pretty bold (sadly) considering all the fearmongering about Russia and Iran in the American press for the last few months.

Even when McCain attacked with feeling last night, it came across more as desperation than conviction, pleading with people to believe his bullshit.

McCain was stronger, stylistically, when they got away from economics and into foreign affairs.  When on economics, he was kind of a joke, rambling about earmarks and offshore drilling and all of his other usual nonsense.  That's not where you want to be in an election in which 60+% the people are voting on the economy ("Economy," "Jobs," "Health Care," etc).

Interestingly, Obama scored remarkably well with older voters in the CNN poll (O48-40M).  If old folks start moving to Obama, it's going to be an ugly night for the GOP on November 4th.  The focus group also suggests he got a big win among Ohio undecideds.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 06:00:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Check my comment upstream. Maybe it's more a matter of instinctively recognizing superiority? Heh. A commentator over at TalkingPoints memo who studies monkies in an academic environment, makes this observation:

I think people really are missing the point about McCain's failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear--look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior--low ranking monkeys don't look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

Nice to thinks so anyhow.

Now, of course, if you told McCain this, it would royally piss him off, and he'd start staring at Obama with that leering, teeth grinding grin.
So here's my bet. Next debate, I bet there's a weird series of unnatural 'stare down'/ 'eye contact' moments by McCain.

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's perfectly natural for McCain to be afraid of Obama.  If you had run a filthy campaign and still couldn't beat the guy who didn't -- the guy whom none of us had heard of just a little more than four years ago, and the guy who single-handedly took down the Clintons -- wouldn't you be scared out of your mind, especially seeing him do to you what he did to them (per the polls)?

I don't think it's really opening any new doors to suggest that Obama is easily the more intelligent of the two.

Add to that the fact that Obama is simply a much larger guy than McCain.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...and probably has a bigger penis too!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:34:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow! Now we have a LEP macho moment of the day Technology!

Glad to find company ;-)

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[LEP's Macho Moment of the Day™ Technology]

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:25:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... big smear offensive would have been, "well, there's a risk in going negative early, but we are going to take him down so hard he can't get up again". And instead Obama weathered the storm and now McCain is stuck with the pick he made to win the media cycle the day after Obama's big speech and she is doing more damage to his chances than Obama's speech would have done if it won that media cycle. Oops.

It must feel to him like the last moments before wrecking his five jet airplanes, except it will be a wreck that is drawn out for more than a month more.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... can do that to a campaign. But McCain hearts his inner gambler.

It's scary really, as President he could very well be worse than Bush. I mean, Bush was always an idiot and slimey, but played the politics of any moment as safely as possible (from his cave like perspective, anyhow); McCain on the other hand seems decidely oblivious to what a wreck he is making of his own campaign--either he's making these bad calls and not listening to his advisors OR his advisors are making these bad calls and he does not have the sense that god gave a grapefruit to blow them off. Or some combination of both. Any way you cut it, he's bad news for the country.

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the rope-a-dope theory of the Obama campaign -- that they allowed McCain to launch the harsh attack ads in the summer, defining himself as the ugly candidate, and allowing themselves to go hard at him when we got to crunch time.

I don't really buy it, at least on the Obama's camps side.

I think McCain felt he had to go negative or Obama would run him over, and they said as much when they pointed out how Hillary waited too long to start playing for blood.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:28:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... thought it may come across that way, but rather their strategy to invest a lot of time and effort in building up field during the summer and to have a steadily rising TV ad buy left them reacting slower and with less ability to run multiple streams of ads in summer.

... add to that their strategic commitment to avoid playing into the "angry black man" meme even at the cost of some short term opportunities to win news cycles ... which has been evident for over a year.

Now with a steadily increasing ad buy and the field operations in place, they are reacting more quickly, and with the rush of events moving the issues in their favor, they can force McCain on the defensive without nationwide slime ... the slime is carefully targeted state by state.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:34:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me it was striking the way Obama gave him the John this, John that, while McCain was hardly polite and never friendly, let alone calling his opponent by the first name. I think McCain was very cold, and refused himself seeing Obama as a valid competitor, and this brings to mind the funny comment from Joe Biden, that Obama is the first educated, smart, articulate, civil black man, or so. McCain looked (to me) like the WASP patrician having to face a kid of the Bronx, and I really hope americans are indeed ready to have a non-white president...

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)
by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 06:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.  Obama treated the debate as though it were simply a conversation.  McCain treated it as some kind of requirement that was beneath him.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
remember a couple of weeks ago, when mccain made his ' i don't know how many houses i have' comment, and obama said in a much tv'd speech 'mccain just doesn't get it'. (talking about JM being out of touch with regular americans)?

that soundbite was delivered with such cool aplomb, and reached so many people, it stung mccain big time.

so he's trying to get his own back.

the fact that neither of them might get it has apparently not dawned on either yet.

glass-stiegel houses, no-one's throwing that stone, not with wall st. paying for and advising both campaigns.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 05:52:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama said 'It's not that John McCain doesn't care - it's that he doesn't get it.'

As a line that's painted a bright shade of ambiguity, and it's so very, very easy to remember it subsconsciously as 'John McCain - he doesn't care.'

Obama does this regularly. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a secret devotee of something like NLP, where you can learn how to smuggle linguistic WMDs into apparently straightforward English.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Campaign advisor Derren Brown.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:05:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One point Obama didn't make is that the invasion of Iraq CAUSED a large part of the huge increase in oil prices that Americans like to complain so much about.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:06:45 AM EST
Spain!!!

the attack line of the night was Spain!!! I can not believe it :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:11:01 AM EST
Obama's bit on Spain was pretty effective.  The attack line of the night, though, was Obama going down the list of reasons and rationalizations we were given before going into Iraq, followed by Obama saying after each point, "You were wrong."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:14:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but that was not a line .. it was a whole pargraph :) je je

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:17:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a link to a youtube of the 'you were wrong' smackdown:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHW-0LDQ0IE

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]


A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Devastating.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:12:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But didn't you know that Spain is in Latin America and Zapatero is a terrorist sympathiser?  Must have gone down well with the Latino vote!

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:20:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We Spaniards are known for bringing terrorists to TRIAL!! can you imagine... trial!!! We would find Bin Laden and bring it to trial.. well ctually that's what we did with 11-M.. it is clear we are terrorists sympathizers.. instead of blowing them up bomb bomb bomb, we bring them to justice..

we nuts.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:30:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh no your not - known for that in neo-con circles.  You are known for running away from Iraq after the Madrid bombing.  McCain actually placed Spain in Latin America, not in Europe - pity Obama didn't raise that issue.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Miami Herald: Obama engages McCain on his diss to Spain
"He even said the other day that he would not meet potentially with the prime minister of Spain, because he -- you know, he wasn't sure whether they were aligned with us," Obama said. "I mean, Spain? Spain is a NATO ally. If we can't meet with our friends, I don't know how we're going to lead the world in terms of dealing with critical issues like terrorism."

"I'm not going to set the White House visitors schedule before I'm president," McCain replied, getting in a dig at the presidential-seal like sign Republicans have ribbed Obama for displaying. "I don't even have a seal yet."



A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:23:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone remember those '04 debates?
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:53:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A 3 percent margin isn't even statistically significant in most of those polls. (Although I don't see the margins of error listed....),  Never mind the Bradley Effect, a 3 percent margin is almost always a statistical tie. WITH the Bradley Effect (something I've seen in action too many times to discount it) then 3 percent is not comfortable at all. I won't relax till I start seeing 10 percent margins -- especially in states that traditionally vote Dem, where by all rights a Dem candidate in this election year ought to be cleaning up, not scraping by with 3 percent....
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:59:50 AM EST
European Tribune - Obama wins the first debate [Update]
It should also be noted that, particularly with the Pollster.com methodology, the vast amount of data from many polls used screens out a lot of statistical "noise" and dramatically reduces the (typically 3-4%) margin of error of an individual poll.

I don't for a moment believe the current real position is just a 3% lead.  Polls are lagging indicators and not all that frequent in many states.  In a weeks time - when they have caught up on current events - I would expect Obama to be ahead by 5/6% plus.  Call me on it if you will - but I would even expect some individual polls (with 3% error margins) to come in giving Obama a 10% lead.

And this is before you factor in the Palin debate and the Republican party tearing itself apart over the bail-out plan.  That will become evident in two weeks time.

So far Obama has hardly put a foot wrong.  All could still change if he commits a major blunder.  But on current evidence and trends I would be pretty confidenet.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:25:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Toss out the GWU poll and you get a five-point lead in the RCP average, maybe a tad more.  And ditto on the state polls: Toss out the garbage and you'll find Obama with a decent lead.

State polls are lagging indicators.  National polls are leading indicators.  The state polls only began catching up with the national polls early this past week, and if the national polls continue moving Obama's way, you can expect the state polls to do the same.  I think it typically takes about five days.

Both Rasmussen (O50-44M) and Daily Kos (O49-43M) show Obama bumping up to a six-point lead over McCain.  Could be noise, could be continued growth.  I doubt those results will include much, if anything, following the debate, since it ended so late in the evening.  If Obama did, indeed, win the debate in voters' minds, he may well keep chugging along.

The Bradley Effect probably existed at one time -- twenty five years ago when Bradley ran -- but the evidence actually points in the opposite direction in modern examples (the primaries and the 2006 Tennessee Senate race).  Obama almost always outperformed polls.  In the end, Harold Ford outperformed the polls (having been down seven in pre-election polling but closing the gap to three when the results came in).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:42:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Rasmussen poll is a 3 day tracker and includes almost no interviews done before the debate.  We haven't elly begun to see the debate effect yet, although it could, of course be a temporary bounce drowned out by subsequent events- see bail-out deal falls apart, who is to blame.....

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:57:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain's also at his lowest level of support in months for Ras's poll apparently.

Again, if the debate really was won by Obama, McCain may be in serious trouble.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be his mid-week bailout stunt - no one who was paying attention appreciated that.

I think his base is going to start to soften now. The averted gaze is going to be more deadly than the exasperated sighing and watch checking in 2000 and 2004. It made McCain look shifty and weak, and that won't play well with the weekend warriors. Also - the economy.

I have no idea what to expect with Biden/Palin. It'll probably be an inverse Disney movie - punk Bambi vs Godzilla.

I wouldn't be surprised if she's being coached to burst into tears for a sympathy vote.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:35:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama apparently played fairly well compared with past Dems among Republicans last night, so you may be right.  It's possible, I think, but very difficult to bust through that barrier.

punk Bambi vs Godzilla

LOL

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:55:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha ha---I just choked on my Chateau Reysson.
La Belle toxique vs. La bete ancienne

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hear, hear.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:03:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my favorite moments was when, after McCain had already indulged in several attempted emotional cheap shots, he held up the bracelet he wears for the mother of a soldier fallen in Iraq and goes on about promising the mother to make sure her son had not died in vain. Then  Obama holds up his own bracelet, while maintaining a grave tone, and tells how the mother of that soldier asked him to wear it in rememberance and to make sure that other mothers did not have to lose their sons! Perhaps that will drive a stake through the noxious "not  die in vain" meme.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:32:47 AM EST
I'm glad I didn't watch the debate.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:35:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aw, come on.  It was a good counterpunch.  An excellent "You shut your whore mouth" moment. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:43:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say it wasn't a good counterpunch - but I don't watch boxing either.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 09:49:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, debating is a game and being a good debater doesn't necessarily make you a good President.  But being a good communicator is a very good start.  The debate is partly about how the national dominant narrative is changed, and I think a few hoary old chestnuts were put to bed last night.  It certainly will have real consequences in the real world.

I hope we aren't indulging in some intellectual snobbery...:-)

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:02:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gore Vidal calls American Politics are only blood sport.

Of course, he said it before the rise of the WWF cage fights.

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:52:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a good counterpunch.
Better, it effectively exposed McCain for the cheap shot poser that he has become in the last six months.  It also showed that the campaign has analyzed some of these manipulative symbols used by the Republicans and devised effective counters.

The unreality of the grounds on which so much of the campaign and even the debates is fought makes it hard for me to watch, so I sympathize with Mig.  But I can't look away.  I am not a detached observer and have no confidence that the majority of voters will see things as I do, so I am glad to see the results Frank has so helpfully posted.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:13:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a lot more positive internal poll results here and here

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:24:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this observation:
The unreality of the grounds on which so much of the campaign and even the debates is fought makes it hard for me to watch ...
, but I think it's the other way around for many Americans.

For most of these folks, the debates, and too a large degree politics itself has descended (ascended?) to the realm of spectacle--and in doing so it has precisely made it easier to watch. Watch being the key word.

Roland Barthes wrote a remarkable essay sometime way back in the 70s before wrestling was even remotely fashionable in which  he argued that wrestling was not about who wins, in terms of consequences, nor about whether it is 'rigged' or not,. He said something along the lines of 'what matters is not what one thinks about the matter at all, but what one sees'. The audience attended wrestling matches like they attended opera to experience the event as pure spectacle, an aesthetic pleasure devoid of practical implications and moral valuations--precisely because the 'morality' of the event Bart Bad against Dudley Doright (or whatever) was so obviously foisted up AS rigged.

I think what happened in last night's debate was John McCain playing spectacle to his right wing base, going on about sacrifice and 'dying in vain', etc... these are all sound bites that are so abused by the Republicans they've lost for many of us any moral compulsion--they have become theater. (Even Chris Matthews went off on McCain for pulling that one out again)

Obama rightly called him on it. But it was a quick counter stroke (I have a bracelet too), not so much raised as theater to make the audience 'feel' but to do the reverse, ground the audience into the actuality of what war so blithely entered into actually means.

In fact, maybe what we were seeing was the difference between a classic Jansenist sport like  boxing, a demonstration of excellence, getting in exquisitely executed jabs and then, backing off because the point isn't to destroy your opponent but appeal to the judges (the audience) regarding the execution of the matter and a prima donna of the wrestling arena who understands that his appeal lies largely in making a larger than life spectacle of the event, by, for example, appealing maudily to the audience without taking much note of his opponent at all--unless it's to quite dramatically try to trash him. Objective reality never enters into it from the wrestlers perspective--it's always rigged. Conversely, the boxer is made accutely aware of reality and knows that where he stands and what he's about must be accurately carried out or someone could --and probably will-- get badly hurt.  

Some messy ruminations with morning coffee :-)

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:26:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I will propose to you the idea that with so many Americans about to lose their homes, their jobs and their 401K's this election is becoming much more than "spectacle."

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This election is very important indeed.  However the means used to win it unavoidably include, propaganda, theatre, psychology and marketing - all capable of use and abuse.  How many people truly understand what is the best way to ameliorate the financial crisis?  The political game is about appearing to show leadership whilst taking none of the blame for what has gone wrong.  At least Obama challenged McCain on the deregulation meme  - something that Clinton never did.  Its about moving the dominant narrative forward one step at a time - making sure you don't get too far ahead of your audience.

There is no crime greater in politics (or business) than being right too soon.  You have to be able to bring people with you - and Obama has shown considerable skills in that regard.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

There is no crime greater in politics (or business) than being right too soon.  You have to be able to bring people with you

How does that apply to blogging?

(A Dead Serious Question)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:54:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And it deserves a serious response.  Unfortunately I have to run - will respond tomorrow

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:33:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome a Paris:
A question (4.00 / 3)

There is no crime greater in politics (or business) than being right too soon.  You have to be able to bring people with you

How does that apply to blogging?

(A Dead Serious Question)

Blogging can take all forms - from far out wierdo madness to prophetic musings to hard critical analysis to ignorant rantings.  Managing a blogging website, or developing a specific blogging community is another matter entirely.

It is partly about providing an infrastructure - ref. our discussions on ET 2.0, multi-lingual blogging, ETpedia, ET online magazines, publications, books and political actions such as petitions, LTE's, meet-ups and conventions.

It is partly about providing a leadership of ideas - being ahead of the dominant narrative/conventional thinking and being sufficiently distinctive to mark out a distinct ideological/brand/political identity.  However this leadership has to continually renewed.  What was leading edge last year (Anglo-disease) can quickly become mainstreamed and few remember who said it first.  

The "window of opportunity" that new ideas give you to establish yourself - between far out crankiness only accessible by a small minority - and an idea which becomes absorbed into the mainstream is narrowing all the time.  I spent 20 years as a new ideas change agent within a business.  The organisational structure/culture changed dramatically and I suddenly (within 6 months) I was perceived as being part of the ancien regime.  The organisational memory collapsed to 6 months and no one knew or cared what you had done a year ago.  Being an old-timer automatically classified you as dead wood.  It was time to move on.

ET may have a "window of opportunity" to dramatically increase its userbase now, because community blogging sites are rare and most don't have the range and depth of experience and expertise we have now.  However, very quickly, we could be overtaken by events and politically or commercially driven sites could take over.  

Think Libertas ploughing a couple of Million into developing a pan-European infrastructure for Eurosceptic anti-EU political commentary.  They know how to market it and would have the funds to do it.   And it is not as if there aren't enough pockets of nationalistic sentiment they could exploit.

That is why I have been keen on the idea of applying for EU funding to develop our infrastructure and marketing so that we could be at the leading adge of developing an EU public space - something the EU itself is pledged to develop.   The "hooks" for obtaining such funding would be:

  1. Our track record and existing presence
  2. The need for a multi-lingual platform capable of hosting a much greater membership with specific national and subject area themes/tabs/interest groups
  3. Our independence and community based membership and technology
  4. The need to tackle the EU democratic deficit
  5. The need to counter the misinformation about the EU as exemplified by the Irish Lisbon debate
  6. Our lack of political or commercial affiliation
  7. The need to create greater public awareness and debate around the issues raised here

My fear is that the window of opportunity may not last long, and that we don't have a legal personality, decision making process or management organisation capable of undertaking such a major project.

You can be too early with a big idea - and be dismissed as a dreamer.  But you can also be too late...


Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:30:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:15:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prefer not to diary this at this time

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 29th, 2008 at 11:54:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... because of the ability to continue being right until it is no longer too soon, and link back to when you weren right too soon.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:39:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Incredibly good point. Thanks.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely. That's why the far right is struggling I think. They've always been about issues of 'spectacle' over substance. I consider social wedge issues to be cynical spectacle 'operas' that the right simply uses to break up the electorate.

The pick of Sarah Palin is a rather desperate case in point.

Rove's running this like it's 2000 and all he has to do is provide 'theater' that frames the evil 'elitist/liberal' Obama and glamorizes the 'plucky' heartland Palin, and her stalwart ally, the long suffering POW, whathisname.

But it's not 2000, and although there are plenty of mouth breathers, I think the majority of folks are ready for substance again. Besides, whathisname was always going to be a tough sell, and the heartland kid is almost too brain dead even for Republicans.

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's clearly true, given the way the election shifted when the financial crisis hit -- or, rather, the way the shift accelerated as the economy became the issue to more and more people.

Clearly, without the economic fears, Obama would have no shot in places like (say) North Carolina.  Maybe not even Virginia, although I kind of think Virginia reflects a rapid ideological shift based on changing demographics more than the economy.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The debate as theater meme is certainly one I would buy into.  It certainly isn't about the objective accuracy of many of the points made.  For instance Obama didn't challenge McCain on the Russians initiating aggression against Georgia - choosing instead to sound equally tough on Russia.  There aren't too many Russians in the voting population, so not too many votes were lost there, but the point was Obama gave no ground to McCain on recognizing the Russian threat.  Being nice to Russians sound weak in right wing demonology whilst sounding tough carries little or no cost.  So why give ground here seems to be the logic.

What Obama would actually have done in similar circumstances is neither here nor their.  Personally I would like to see Scheunemann tried for treason - but that battle is for another day.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:58:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you notice that  both Obama and McCain said that they did not want to go back to the "cold war"? Very intelligent I must say, since the U.S. is dirt poor at the moment and way overextended and Russia is very liquid. Russia also holds a good deal of Treasury Bonds and could do quite a bit of mischief if it got angry.
My own personal theory is that if the U.S. attacked Iran Russia would be in the Crimea quite rapidly and we could do nothing about it save for preventing Russia from joining the WTO whatever that is.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 12:23:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
delicatemonster:
these are all sound bites that are so abused by the Republicans they've lost for many of us any moral compulsion

I think that's a bottom line point which seems to have been missed - the Republicans have lost all moral authority.

The 'effete liberal' line used to be the moral high ground and the de facto position of seriousness and suitability for government - robust, manly, straightforward American republicanism against weak, effeminate, morally promiscuous, self-indulgent, lazy but also oddly intrusive and controlling (if not outright scary and gay) liberals.

There are still a few hangers on in that world, but after Iraq, torture, sleaze, hypocrisy, and especially the bail-out, that narrative is over for most of the public.

So McCain can't assume the moral high ground any more. The Indies were expecting him to come driving down from the high ground in a tank, and he didn't do that - he shifted around, blinked, yelled, twitched, and jumped up and down defensively.

Obama hit him on Iraq, and generally looked more like a Real Middle Class American™.

The Dems haven't staked out the moral high ground yet, but it's looking like they could if they wanted to. A change in narrative - to 'we're all Americans' - seems part of Obama's plan, so we'll see if he can make it stick.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds about right. My one concern is something coming down the pike that could really screw the pooch for that Real Middle Class American riff: it's Democrats  support of a bailout bill for Wall Street, over the strenous objections of far right Republicans. That's beginning to sound like the play around here, and you can bet McCain will amp it up if the bail out goes through--especially if he post a 'no' vote or simply refuses to vote on it. If he doesn't vote for it, if he doesn't marry the damn thing, the Democrats should just walk away until he does.

Otherwise it will be Republican economic populism for the next three weeks--and, crazy and counterintuitive as it seems, that will play to lots of folks both as substance and opera.

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 01:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He said he'd vote for the bailout last night, so no good to be done there, and anyway he'd get nailed for every downtick in the market.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 02:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
getting in exquisitely executed jabs and then, backing off because the point isn't to destroy your opponent but appeal to the judges (the audience) regarding the execution of the matter

Sounds a lot like competitive Fencing where, when my teammates complained to our coach about referee calls he replied "fence for the director". (This is more relevant in foil and sabre, where there are 'right-of-way' rules and an 'improperly' executed attack that lands first may not get the point)

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 03:18:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is more relevant in foil and sabre
That is why I preferred Epee, but I never really had any competent opponents, especially after I bent my epee stop-hitting the foil champ on the top of the arm above the bicep when he foolishly tried to lunge at me.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:53:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
debate as beauty contest...maybe more with the VP one!

i must say i thought mccain showed more spunk than i expected, though the tension is his jaw almost gave me TMJ just watching him.

his demeanour is robotically preprogrammed, but he did hold it together not to crumble or flap, he's not a bad debater, especially considering how tiring it must have been to campaign at his age with cancer, and the useless (possibly counterproductive) dash for washington to play hero on the financial crisis.

all the jetlag, and the demoralising effect of having had to back down on his vow to suspend campaigning until an agreement was made, and the fact that his political philosophy is as redundant and irrelevant as the dodo bird weren't enough to break him.

more than a beauty contest, it's a character demonstration, a grace under pressure exam, a trial by fire.

i thought it was interesting that barack used mccain's christian name, while mccain stuck to a fossil-ike, emotionally frigid formality, as if he couldn't accept his opponent's humanity, weakening his jus' folks narrative.

barack was a tiny bit too deferential, i wonder if that's strategic or really internalised racial stuff.

politeness, fine, but don't indulge the old fraud, (fear of seeming 'uppity' probably), he's doing surprisingly well as it is.

nice to see you back with great comments, delicate monster!

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:05:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
debate as beauty contest...maybe more with the VP one!

We have checked that the VP debate dosent incude a swimsuit section, havent we?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 10:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Twas a famous Victory.

Today's tracking polls - which include McCain's "suspension" - show Obama with a Rasmussen Tracker +6, and in the Gallup Tracker +5.  Both have a GOP bias of +2 so the indications are Obama has momentum to a 7 to 8 point lead going into the early part of next week.

Flubbing the debate has put McCain on life support.  Obama is the perceptual winner.  McCain came across badly to Undecideds.  The Palin bounce has ended and has pretty much ensured McCain is going to take states he was going to take anyway.

The Fundamental basis of the 2008 campaign hasn't changed: McCain is the status quo candidate running a status quo campaign (based on the last 30 years) in a political environment in which 70% of the US voting population thinks the country is on the wrong track.  

Further, the Latino vote is moving back to the Democratic candidate after flirting with Bush in '04.  This is important enough to give some analysis:

Colorado went for Bush 1,101,255 to 1,001,732 in '04 for a 99,523 winning margin.  Of those voters approximately 168,239 were Latino.  Using a conservative 34% estimate of the number of the Bush share of the Latino vote and a high 30% of Latino support for McCain we get 50,471 Latino voters moving from Bush/McCain to Obama.  Using the '04 vote figures that translates into:

McCain 1,050,784
Obama 1,052,203

or a narrow 1,149 win for Obama.

What this suggests is Colorado biases Obama whereas the historic bias is for McCain.

Every indication is the McCain campaign is predicated on What Worked Before.  This is confirmed by an on the ground report by Nate Silver over on 538.  (No link)  His eyewitness account is the McCain GOTV effort is working the lists they made in 2000, updated 2004, by telephone.  This tactic isn't going to work when the bias is against your candidate because it doesn't persuade people.  IF they are already persuaded it does help to get 'em to the polls but you're not going to expand your voter totals that way.

Obama, on the other hand, has a 'boots on the ground' strategy that:

  1.  Raises the total vote in areas that are bound to go for McCain ('Limit the loss')

  2.  Increases the total vote in areas that are bound to go for McCain ('Raise the win')

Expanding, the Colorado situation is, with differing voter blocks being the winning margin in the differing states, consistent across the US.  

In Indiana, for example, McCain's opposition to ethanol is not a winning position.  Query: are Corn Farmers the Latinos of Indiana?  Answer: Yes, but with a twist.  The large AA population in the cities and along Lake Michigan make the Corn Farmers a 'Limit the Loss' demographic.  Shifting even small numbers from McCain to Obama lowers the McCain totals while simultaneously maximizing the Obama Coalition: AAs, young people, the Democratic base, & etc can significantly shift Indiana's relative vote totals and flip it.

A Status Quo campaign doesn't have an answer to this, other than to hope like hell it doesn't work.

There is one good tactic to use against an Insurgent Candidate: experience.  McCain got some traction with that earlier in the summer.  He's undercut that by nominating Palin as his Veep.  Obama undercut that last night during the debate.  Obama's numbers of "Capable of Doing the Job" jumped over 50 (!) points in the post-debate CBS poll.

So they've blown that one, too.

They've got nothing left.

Anything they could throw at Obama has already been thrown: it's old news.  And old news is no news.

The GOP has a cranky, out-of-touch, Old Man running in the Presidential Election of 1988 who tends to panic and make lousy decisions with a campaign operation geared for 2004 to compete against a Status Quo (Establishment) Democratic candidate.  They're flailing.  

The Obama campaign, meanwhile, is steadily marching forward, as they did in the primary, focused on what they have to do to win, doing what they have to do to win.

Since the first debate is behind us we can confidently give the following status:

McCain has to have a tipping point in order to catch-up to Obama.

Obama has to have a tipping point in order to get a Landslide (350+ EV.)

The Weirdest Election Ever© continues on, and anything might happen, but this is as likely an Obama win as I've ever seen.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 08:40:46 PM EST
Trippi's thoughts echoed what I said earlier today to geezer, even though I don't see Virginia the same way as Missouri and Florida:

I know the polls show it is close - but when states like Missouri , Florida and Virginia are still in the toss-up category that signals a potential Obama rout to me. And it certainly isn't the electoral map you want to be looking at if you work for McCain at this point.

And then there is the Obama campaign - far from erratic - a strong candidate and the strongest campaign organization in American political history. Obama delivered last night in what should have been his toughest debate - his campaign organization should deliver a 1 to 3 points in additional voters to the polls in get-out-the-vote operations in key states the campaign is targeting. So if these states are close in the closing days of the campaign Obama is likely to win most of them.

It's a lifetime or two between now and election day, by no means is this thing over. Questions of polling accuracy are legitimate in my view. Things can turn on a dime and I may change my take on how things are going. But right now this thing feels like it is really starting to unravel for McCain and Obama could open up a strong electoral lead.

Trippi says this is starting to feel like an Obama rout.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 10:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure do, don't it?

I can't construct a realistic scenario, from where we are now, for a McCain win.  The only Kerry State McCain has a hope in hell of flipping is New Hampshire which only gets him to a 269 EV tie.  

Meanwhile, McCain is going to have to play defense in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri (tho' I have faith MarekNYC will bring it home for Obama! :), Florida, Virgina, North Carolina, Nevada, and West Virgina.  (West Virginia?  Say what?)  The greater the concentration, and money, that flows into New Hampshire the greater the danger one, or more, of these will flip and cancel NH.

The GOP is spread-out too much and they are starting to run into money problems.  Also their 527s have been strangely quiet this time.  Either they don't have the money or they can't find a wedge issue to push with any traction.

BTW, Did you see this GOP running scared in Indiana diary on Kos?

The result [of recent polling] is that the GOP is running scared, and the RNC will be spending $740,000 on TV ads over an eight-day period beginning next Tuesday.

(he-he-he)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 27th, 2008 at 11:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Indiana seems to be the same story as North Carolina.  Obama plowed money and organizers into both all year, and they eventually started coming around to toss-up status.  It seems he may well have turned North Carolina to lean-Obama.  No idea where Indiana's at, but if the RNC is putting so much in, it must not look good for McCain.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:40:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indiana: McCain is up by two but within the MOE.

Swear to God, Obama is writing THE book for how to run, and win, an Insurgent Campaign.  The man is impressive.

These tactics, with suitable changes for the particulars of the country, could be used by every Left political party.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:07:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure they could.  At least not near-term.  Other liberal parties in other countries simply don't have the organizing and media infrastructure developed to the extent Democrats do in America, and the gap only seems to be widening.

I could be wrong, but I don't see the Lib-Dems (nevermind the still-to-be-lost-for-years Labour Party), the Socialists in France, etc, developing the infrastructure.

More worryingly, the only group that seems to be kinda-sorta getting it, to take the UK example, are the grassroots Tories, who -- and, yes, it's to their credit -- are at least putting in some effort.  But the American blogs churn out more new stuff in a day than they churn out in a year.

There's stuff like ET, but I'm thinking more along the lines of the actual party machinery.  They simply aren't rallying around the new medium.

There's no Howard Dean or Barack Obama leading in that way either.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many moons ago, in the late 70s, I used to be in communication with the youth wing of the SDP.  (Been so long I can't even remember who it was I used to talk to.)

Back then, a Dean or Obama would have never graduated from grassroots activism to political leader and certainly Obama could never have arisen to lead the party in a mere 4 years.  From what Dodo has written I guess the same old, same old, is in control.

Too bad.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:14:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It'll change, but I don't think you can really plan it.  The cool and scary thing about politics and media these days is that it's taken on a kind of Silicon Alley mentality (only better, since Microsoft isn't around to dictate the terms on which it fucks things up).  Eventually the party activists will get it.  Just takes time.

Part of the problem is that, I think, European parties of the Left are struggling, as the Dems have for so long, to figure out where they fit in.  They struggled after the Cold War (most choosing to take the centrist route), and they'll now find themselves struggling to get back to more progressive positions as a backlash builds against the Reagan-Thatcher Era.

The parallels right now, to me, scream a weird mixture of 1932 and 1980 -- the starting points of the two major ideological realignments of the past century.

The Dems got lucky, because the grassroots saw it coming and got to work building the wave.

And the Dem leadership seems to be slowly (so very, very slowly) figuring it out.  The organizing is obviously well ahead of the philosophical transformation.

But current events and demographic shifts are, I think, going to help move them along on the governing principles.  Arguments about regulation and health care -- two good examples for now -- now favor us, while voters don't seem to really care about the old Reaganite hits on "socialized medicine" and "tax-and-spend liberals".

How the European parties adapt is anybody's guess in the short run.  But they'll figure things out eventually.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:35:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what's killing the Left in the UK, and probably the rest of Europe. Without a community and grassoots foundation for local involvement, working as a meritocratic filter for effective professional action, you have nothing.

The local Labour office closed here last month. This is a Tory safe seat, so it was never about the win. And you really have to see these offices to believe how parochial they are.

Even so, after an 80 year tradition of local activism - pfft, gone.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:37:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lib Dems have pissed away the years when the Tories were weak, and now that Labour is fraying suddenly the public perception is that (on the basis of nothing they have done or said) the Tories are "ready for government".

They have a grass-roots machinery but it's geared entirely to electing local councillors. The structure to run an effective campaign for anything larger than a local council ward just doesn't exist, by design.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:11:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By design?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't want to know.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:46:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lib-Dems: "Our grassroots is geard towards local council seats."

Mig: "How about Parliament?"

Lib-Dems: "PANCAKES"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 09:20:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about London Assembly or Mayor elections, Welsh Assembly, European Parliament, Scottish Parliament...?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 10:18:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know, I'm just kidding you.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 10:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gall-damn

Reports are starting to surface the Obama campaign is canvassing neighborhoods and throwing money into the Nebraska 2nd Congressional District -- essentially Omaha.

Omaha, with about 400,000 people, lies in a congressional district of nearly 600,000. The city and suburbs have most of the state's black population and much of its population of Hispanics and other minorities, groups that national polls show favoring Obama

The McCain campaign is going to shit little green bricks.

Sean Quinn over at 538 wrote:

While Nebraska as a whole has only 4% African-American voters, many of them are in Omaha. The second congressional district is diverse, with a large blue-collar manufacturing base and many independents. In a state that has no trouble sending Democratic Senators to Washington, Nebraska voters are drawn more to the non-insider candidate, all things being equal. Obama also benefits from two additional factors: (1) the relative compactness of the district, which is basically a bit larger than Douglas County, makes it easier to canvass and organize; and (2) the fact that voting lasts for 37 days here when you count early voting. That helps a better-organized ground effort.

If Obama can get Warren Buffet - the fourth member of the Trinity in Omaha - to endorse him or even Hagel it might be enough to swing it.

Hard to do without both a determined GOTV effort and a major, major endorsement.  Bush took the 2nd 153,041 to 97,858 in '04.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Buffett is already an Obama supporter/kinda-sorta advisor.

I don't know if Hagel will endorse, but I'm pretty sure he's an Obama supporter.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, knew that.  

Buffet has been speaking out more this election than I remember in the past.  Perhaps the campaign is making an effort to prove to him he can make a difference?

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Buffett is probably scared shitless of McCain.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama is swimming in cash, don't forget that.

Granted, a lot of that is "insurgent financing" by small donations from the grass roots, but still...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:02:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nate now, for the record, has Obama getting Florida, Ohio and Nevada, as well as on the verge of taking Indiana.  After those, it looks like NC and Missouri would be next to fall.

That gets us to 375 EVs.  Probably need to stretch it out to about an eight- to ten-point lead in order to get that.

He's got Obama taking Virginia by about 5.  Same for Pennsylvania.  New Mexico, Colorado and Michigan by about 6.  Iowa by about 10.

Not bad.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:06:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Been scoping out various blogs, some I rarely get to and ran across a couple of interesting articles/diaries.

On dKos Eye Contact & McCain: Still Nursing a Grudge? by Werebear:

From Obama, February 2, 2006:

Dear John:

Thank you for inviting me to participate in the meeting yesterday to discuss lobbying and ethics reform proposals currently before the Senate. I appreciate your willingness to reach out to me and several other Senate Democrats to discuss what should be done to restore public confidence in the way that Congress conducts its business. The discussion clearly underscored the difficult challenge facing Congress.

Yup, this is a "Dear John" letter, because later on, it says:

I know you have expressed an interest in creating a task force to further study and discuss these matters, but I and others in the Democratic Caucus believe the more effective and timely course is to allow the committees of jurisdiction to roll up their sleeves and get to work on writing ethics and lobbying reform legislation that a majority of the Senate can support.

Hmm, I'm seeing a pattern. McCain wants a task force. Obama wants legislation. Which one will actually get results, faster? And it did result in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, a response to the Abramoff scandal.

How did McCain respond?

Dear Senator Obama:

I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere.

Ouch! Passive aggressive much, Senator McCain?

You commented in your letter about my "interest in creating a task force to further study" this issue, as if to suggest I support delaying the consideration of much-needed reforms rather than allowing the committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Well, I don't know about that. I think the fact that he's alluding to what he hasn't been accused of is telling.

Since you are new to the Senate, you may not be aware of the fact that I have always supported fully the regular committee and legislative process in the Senate, and routinely urge Committee Chairmen to hold hearings on important issues.

"New to the Senate." Subtle. And a tried and true tactic he's still using, as we saw on Friday's debate.

Senator Lieberman and I, and many other members of this body, hope to exceed the public's low expectations. We view this as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to the Congress, and, most importantly, to show the public that both parties will work together to address our failings.

I would guess so, since it was an exclusively Republican scandal. And there's Joe Lieberman again! Do they sit together at lunch, I wonder?

Per Wikipedia:

    Both 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain introduced and sponsored amendments to the act, although neither were official cosponsors of the final act. The uncontroversial bill passed easily by an 83-14 margin, with Obama voting for and McCain voting against.

So if it's not his ball, he won't play?

Obama even writes, back, with a "Dear John":

I confess that I have no idea what has prompted your response. But let me assure you that I am not interested in typical partisan rhetoric or posturing. The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you nor my willingness to find a bipartisan solution to this problem.

The other interesting take is from Josh Marshall on his blog Talking Points Memo in an article entitled Humiliated.  Referencing a Washington Post article by Jonathan Weisman How McCain Stirred a Simmering Pot.

The nut is from the Weisman article (emphasis added):

Pelosi said Obama would speak for the Democrats. Though later he would pepper Paulson with questions, according to a Republican in the room, his initial point was brief: "We've got to get something done."

Bush turned to McCain, who joked, "The longer I am around here, the more I respect seniority." McCain then turned to Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to speak first.

Boehner was blunt. The plan Paulson laid out would not win the support of the vast majority of House Republicans. It had been improved on the edges, with an oversight board and caps on the compensation of participating executives. But it had to be changed at the core. He did not mention the insurance alternative, but Democrats did. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pressed Boehner hard, asking him if he really intended to scrap the deal and start again.

No, Boehner replied, he just wanted his members to have a voice. Obama then jumped in to turn the question on his rival: "What do you think of the [insurance] plan, John?" he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.

One Republican in the room said it was clear that the Democrats came into the meeting with a "game plan" aimed at forcing McCain to choose between the administration and House Republicans. "They had taken McCain's request for a meeting and trumped it," said this source.

Congressional aides from both parties were standing in the lobby of the West Wing, unaware of the discord inside the Cabinet room, when McCain emerged alone, shook the hands of the Marines at the door and left. The aides were baffled. The plan had been for a bipartisan appearance before the media, featuring McCain, Obama and at least a firm statement in favor of intervention. Now, one of the leading men was gone.

McCain, like everybody else, keeps forgetting Obama cut his political teeth in Chicago and has years of experience in the Illinois legislature.  Obama is a seasoned political player and knows perfectly well how to maneuver.  

McCain is notorious for his short fuse and inability to get over it.  He holds grudges.  I'm willing to be the farm he couldn't get over his mad at the "upstart senator" and carried it into the debate.  With the result that has already been well analyzed in this thread.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:00:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Yep.  I referenced that fight over the ethics bill a few months back when the primaries were going on.  McCain clearly wanted to do the taskforce/bipartisan-grandstanding bullshit.  Obama wanted a bill.  Obama won, and McCain got all pissy.

Same thing happened with the bailout this week.  And, once again, McCain got beat again.  McCain seems to suffer the same illness as Bill Clinton: If Obama comes within a thousand miles of him, he loses it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I reckon both are what I call "Country Club" racists.  Not as violent or vocal as the KKK-type they think Negroes are allowed to be citizens of the US as long as they stay in their place and do what they are told; but never, ever, speak up for themselves or contradict Massah.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:52:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've little doubt that Cindy McCain is a country-club racist, not because I've heard her make racist remarks, but simply because she fits the profile on everything else.

I don't know about St John.  I know he has serious issues with Asians.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:02:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't Clinton Toni Morrison's first Black President?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:00:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never understood that one.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 11:04:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a new one for ya.  Mason-Dixon says we're tied at 41% in the Kentucky Senate race.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait a minute.

The last I remember seeing is McConnell ahead something like 48/42.  What's going on in Kentucky?

From the link:

Lunsford polled strongest in the Louisville area, where he got more than 54 percent of the vote, while McConnell runs strongest in the Republican stronghold of south-central Kentucky, where he got 61 percent.

Looking at a map it doesn't look like very many people live in the south-central area whereas Louisville is THE city of the state.

H'mmmmm.

If Lunsford can drive his percentage up in Louisville he might take this thing.

(Wouldn't that be sweet.)

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's be one more seat, which would get us to, I think, 59 if Franken and Merkley keep pace.  Need two more to get the Lieberman- and filibuster-proof majority.

Then again, Reid has said he may just throw out the filibuster if the Reps try to block big things like health-care reform.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 02:59:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reid has said he may just throw out the filibuster

I thought the Dems didn't like the nuclear option...

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't, and I doubt they'll actually do it.

For the record, I don't like the idea of throwing it out either.  It's good to have protection of the minority, even if the filibuster has been used for evil in the past.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
_ Obama's numbers of "Capable of Doing the Job" jumped over 50 (!) points in the post-debate CBS poll._

(!) indeed.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 03:53:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.  He did precisely what he needed to do.

One thing I'd advise the blogosphere here in the states: I know we on the Left wanted Obama to come out and viciously attack McCain in the debate, but, in my opinion, Obama's debating style was an almost-perfect balance to his campaigning style.  Much of what I suspect drives nervousness about him in some swing voters is the fact that they had, prior to the debate, really only gotten acquainted with Obama through video footage of rallies, which are filled with partisans and red meat and rah-rah.

So Obama doing his Cool Brotha thing at the debate was probably incredibly comforting to people who didn't really know him.  He looked and sounded like someone who'd make a solid president in a time of fear.  And that's precisely the gap he needed to close.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:01:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
Cool Brotha thing

i agree, like with the christian-naming, he's pomo hip, that's why the young love him.

with all the insanity exploding in today's political turmoil, barack's still up on his board surfing the wave, with enough extra panache to be wry and dry doing it.

mccain's just an old ham spouting old lines, even when he looks at new problems, like dealing with new russia, he thinks the old hemingway era, foolish, self-destructive, tragic hero pugnacity ways, such red meat to his crusty, aging, (fear-)base, are still the way to go, even though the effects of that insanity lie like baghdad rubble around our feet.

i don't think either really won the debate, but no ground was lost on either side, though i doubt too many indies are swinging for mccain, high or low info.

obama has time and smarts on his side, mccain has the dirty tricks brigade and the older man in a national crisis often attracts weak-minded voters anxious to retreat into some womblike sense of pre 9/11-ness, when america ruled, Any Question?

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 04:31:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain had a bad morning on "This Week" with Snufflufugus.  His lip was swollen, and his lisp is getting worse.

Something is wrong with McCain.  I don't know if he had a minor stroke, or if he's having a relapse of melanoma, or if he's suffering from something else, but he's not well.  And I'm starting to seriously wonder if his advisers didn't have him pull out of the debate for fear that he'd be having a "bad day" on Friday, and then get back in when they discovered he was having an alright one and couldn't afford to miss it.

I don't say that to be an ass.  I don't wish physical harm on the guy, even if I think he's a nutcase who shouldn't be allowed within a hundred miles of the White House.  But something is wrong with him, and his campaign is covering it up.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 11:28:37 AM EST
Makes the Palin selection all the more critical.  I always had a theory that McCain's health could stand the rigours of a prolonged and tough campaign.  What happens if he has to withdraw?  Does Palin automatically become the GOP nominee?

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:02:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I believe she would become the nominee, unless the RNC changed her out for someone else.  But that's legally questionable because of ballot deadlines.

I don't think McCain is physically capable of handling the campaign.  Campaigns are hard even for young guys like Obama.  Imagine what it's like for someone like McCain, who was physically questionable to begin with.  It's one thing for someone like Reagan, who was psychologically out to lunch a lot of the time, but had good days and was in decent physical shape.  It's quite another for someone like McCain.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:10:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from a brief lookround you have to file papers declaring your candidacy 60  days before hand in each state.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought so.  So they're out of time.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what happens if he dies - what is Palin's legal status and does she then nominate a running mate?

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
McCain would remain at the top of the ticket.  Palin would be president if they won, I believe.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:50:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is certainly what would happen in a state election.  But in a national election, it's the electoral college that actually votes. They would presumably feel obliged to vote for Palin as president, but they also have to vote for Vice-President. How would that work out in practice?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:59:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... this is behind the scenario of a tie, with a rogue elector flipping his/her vote and deciding the election on his/her own (most plausibly in favor of the Republican and then retiring to Rio).

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:34:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would an unexpected Palin+First Dude ticket be more or less likely to win than McCain+Palin?

Yes she's ignorant and insane - but she's far more charismatic and popular with the base than McCain is.

I can see her pulling in another 5% or so among the troglodytes, low info types, and some of the sympathy moms.

McCain is clearly ill so this isn't entirely hypothetical.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:04:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A narrow victory in this case would be very interesting, as the 12th Amendment means that the Alaskan electors would not be able to vote for both of them...
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think just the opposite would take place.  The Republican base loves her, but this isn't a base election, and her favorables are sinking.

More likely we'd be looking at an Obama win by over ten points, perhaps a lot closer to twenty.  The country flirted with Palin briefly, but it seems to be rapidly coming to the conclusion that she's not only wholly unqualified but a complete moron.

I'd put her vote down to 43% (which is a sad statement about voters in this country), but that's probably being very generous.

And Heaven help her if McCain died before the debates were finished, because even Obama, who isn't exactly God's gift to debating, would destroy her.

The Republican Party would also be thrown into a civil war.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about a diary, Drew, on what evidence we have regarding McCain's current state of health and the legal/political implications of him being more or less disabled.  Do American's do a sympathy vote?  Would GOP/Palin get one?  Would McCain get one if he was soldiering on despite illness?

I know too little about US political psychology and the relevant legal constraints to be able to contribute to such a discussion.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really enough to warrant a diary, and I prefer leaving election-related diaries to you. :)

Basically, there are some real signs that something is wrong with McCain.  One of the guys over at the Young Turks mentioned the symptoms to his doctor, without mentioning McCain's name, and the doctor suggested that it sounded like a brain tumor.  Others have suggested McCain may have suffered a mini-stroke, given the seeming partial paralysis he experienced on the left side of his face.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah found the official words

http://www.gop.com//images/legal/2008_RULES_Adopted.pdf

RULE NO. 9
Filling Vacancies in Nominations
(a) The Republican National Committee is
hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all
vacancies which may occur by reason of death,
declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate
for President of the United States or the Republican
candidate for Vice President of the United States, as
nominated by the national convention, or the
Republican National Committee may reconvene the
national convention for the purpose of filling any such
vacancies.
(b) In voting under this rule, the Republican
National Committee members representing any state
shall be entitled to cast the same number of votes as
said state was entitled to cast at the national convention.
(c) In the event that the members of the
Republican National Committee from any state shall
not be in agreement in the casting of votes hereunder,
the votes of such state shall be divided equally,
including fractional votes, among the members of the
Republican National Committee present or voting by
proxy.
(d) No candidate shall be chosen to fill any
such vacancy except upon receiving a majority of the
votes entitled to be cast in the election.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 01:10:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
September the 5th was the deadline at least in North Dakota, Tenessee it's 90 days, but apparently only for Independents, nothing as to when official parties have to register.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
perhaps not, on further investigation

What Happens if a Presidential Candidate Dies Between Now and Inauguration Day? « Gabriel Malor

There's also the problem of what to do if either candidate passes, say, the very weekend before November 4. There's no time to nominate another candidate, the ballots will have already been printed, the ballot machines programed, and early voting and absentee voting will have already gone on. Congress could either postpone the election (there's no Constitutional reason it has to occur on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November) or we could proceed with the understanding that the voters are voting for their party's electors rather than a particular candidate. That's the true state of things anyways during presidential elections. Then those electors can vote for whomever their state parties have picked when December 15 comes around.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the electoral college actually does have a useful function...

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 12:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now apparently the McCain campaign and the Palins are thinking of having Bristol and Levi's wedding before the election.

Seriously, where did they find these people?  It's like the scariest episode of Jerry Springer ever.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 05:49:56 PM EST
Will that mean McCain will have to suspend his campaign again, so that he can attend the wedding - in a non-partisan manner, of course...

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 06:20:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who knows?  What I do know is this: If they did this, the entire country would look on in horror.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 06:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Palin would invite her next door neighbour Putin to the wedding to prove her foreign policy credentials?  How about Prince Charles to prove her environmental credentials?  We could have fun drawing up a guest list...

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 06:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never cease to be amazed at how fact free MSM reportage can be: RealClearPolitics - Articles - No Winners or Losers
No Winners or Losers By Susan Estrich

And the winner was ....

No one. No one won, which also means no one lost.

snip

--------And if you were undecided Friday afternoon, you probably still are today.

There is a simple assertion that the debate didn't sway undecided one way or another - and no mention of 4 separate polls which found precisely the opposite.  How do they publish this stuff?

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 06:58:57 PM EST
They had initially said that McCain won. Now that they've read the polls, they're trying to call it a tie for fear of seeming out of touch.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 07:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, since McCain was behind going in, if in fact no-one had won, that would have meant that the challenger lost.

I dunno ... maybe they have become so used to "I thought that was terrible, boorish behavior without a shred of real support, so the people will vote for that guy", that they called it for the biggest boor and biggest liar, even though the polls clearly showed that Obama improved his position and McCain did himself no favours at all.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Sep 28th, 2008 at 07:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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