Showing posts from September, 2008

John McCain's bailout two-step

John McCain's campaign is increasingly incoherent. First, McCain claimed credit for the success of the bailout plan this morning, well before the actual vote: Shortly before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen. Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines. “I've never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I'm not going to stop now,” McCain told a rally in Columbus, Ohio. Of course, the bailout plan failed in Congress - but it should be noted that more than twice as many Democrats voted for the plan as Republicans (140 and 65, respectively). McCain's reaction? To blame Barack Obama : “This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country,” said a statement from Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s top economic adviser, who had represented McCain on Capitol Hill over the several days. McCain suspended his campaign Thursday morning to return to Washington to try and get a deal done. So

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin II: Bailout Boogaloo

Tina Fey reprises her role as Sarah Palin on SNL, this time lampooning the Katie Couric interview. Just to get everyone psyched up for the thursday veep debate. Assuming the McCain campaign actually lets Palin attend, that is. Excerpt on foreign policy: POEHLER AS COURIC: "On foreign policy, I want to give you one more chance to explain your claim that you have foreign policy experience based on Alaska's proximity to Russia. What did you mean by that?" FEY AS PALIN: "Well, Alaska and Russia are only separated by a narrow maritime border. (using her hands to illustrate) You got Alaska here, this right here is water, and this is Russia. So, we keep an eye on them." POEHLER AS COURIC: "And how do you do that exactly?" FEY AS PALIN: "Every morning, when Alaskans wake up, one of the first things they do, is look outside to see if there are any Russians hanging around. And if there are, you gotta go up to them and ask, 'What are you doing here?'

First Debate: yawn

Over at City of Brass, I offer my take on the first presidential debate . In a nutshell, the debate was really solely for the benefit of the undecided, low-information voter which both candidates are trying to woo. And I firmly believe that these voters are fully rational in their thought process - but if fed garbage, the end product of that rational thought process will also be garbage. McCain's strategy is to feed them garbage, and Obama's defense needs to be to factoidify his responses so that there is a better chance of his basic message making it through McCain's wall of FUD. I explain all this in more detail so go take a look! I even have a bonus picture of Vice Presidential Nominee Tina Fey in there.

The fiscal crisis explained by stick figures

at City of Brass , with added commentary on the relevance to Islamic banking.

a Palin bounce? probably not

A batch of polls over the weekend show that McCain has gained serious ground: USAToday / Gallup 9/5-7/08 McCain 54, Obama 44) (8/23: Obama 48, McCain 45) Zogby Interactive 9/5-6/08 McCain 50, Obama 46 (8/30: McCain 47, Obama 45) Gallup Poll 9/4-6/08 McCain 48, Obama 45 Rasmussen Reports 9/4-6/08 McCain 48, Obama 48 The latter two are daily tracking polls, so you can get a very good sense of the trend and response to various events. All of these polls use "likely voter" models, ie an estimate to try and weight the results using demographics rather than just a straight sampling. Also, national polls of ths sort do not capture the electoral college math - the same kind of thing that lets a candidate win the electoral vote even if they lose the popular vote. The million-voter question remains: is this due to Palin? It's unlikely - Palin just doesn't appeal to independents and Hillary voters : When we ask the ultimate question--how does each candidate's VP pick affect

Joe Klein off the reservation regarding the GOP

Joe Klein : Maybe I'm getting old, maybe it's that I've seen this act so often before, maybe it's that the people I talk to when I go out on the road really are having a harder time paying for things like health care, gasoline and college tuition, but I'm finding the Republican attempts to derail the conversation from the actual state of the country really depressing and disgraceful this year. They practice Orwellian politics of the crudest sort. They are trying to sell a big lie -- that the election is about the social issues of the 1960s, or Barack Obama's patriotism or his eloquence, or the "angry left," when it's really about turning toward a more moderate path after the ideological radicalism and malfeasance of the past eight years.

The Sarah Palin Countdown clock

The McCain campaign has something to hide - and its name is Sarah Palin : In fact the McCain campaign is audaciously spinning this as perfectly normal, as if press access to an unknown vice presidential candidate is utterly unreasonable. Campaign official Nicole Wallace literally laughed at the suggestion - see for yourself: WALLACE: But I mean like from who? From you? Who cares?! CARNEY: Who cares? I think the American people care. WALLACE: I think the American people want to see her -- I mean who cares if she can talk to Time Magazine? She talked to the American people. As Booman Tribune notes , The McCain campaign is literally going to try to sell Sarah Palin as a credible president without letting the press talk to her. For example, this Sunday, Barack Obama will appear on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, John McCain with be on Face the Nation, and Joe Biden will be on Meet the Press. Sarah Palin will be reading briefing papers in Alaska. The Nation observes,

Palin vanilla

Over at the new Beliefnet-hosted City of Brass , I take a look at Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign's strategy,and conclude that her speech represents a wasted opportunity to appeal to the middle .