Browsing the blog archives for September, 2008.

My VP debate prediction *Update*

Debates, Politics, US Elections, US Politics

Expecting to see a repeat of the Couric interview on the stage Thursday night? Get used to disappointment. What we will see is Sarah Palin relentlessly attack Biden — about his gaffes, his age, made up stuff, whatever. Do not expect her to even try to answer a question with any depth. She is at her best when delivering snarky lines about her opponents with cutesy lip smacking femininity. Her base will LOVE it. Biden might too.

Thanks to Butryflynet for great information. Not everyone reads comments, so I’m adding them here. You can view one of Sarah Palin’s past debate performances here.

2006 Gubernatorial Debate — Sarah Palin, Tony Knowles and Andrew Halcro

Andrew Halcro reflects on his experiences debating Palin and has some advice for Biden.

“Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers, and yet when asked questions, you spout off facts, figures, and policies, and I’m amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, ‘Does any of this really matter?’ ” Palin said.

While policy wonks such as Biden might cringe, it seemed to me that Palin was simply vocalizing her strength without realizing it. During the campaign, Palin’s knowledge on public policy issues never matured – because it didn’t have to. Her ability to fill the debate halls with her presence and her gift of the glittering generality made it possible for her to rely on populism instead of policy.


Tracking polls update, 30 September

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

Today’s daily tracking polls offer a mixed picture, roughly showing a stabilisation of Obama’s lead.

Daily tracking polls, 30 September

Daily tracking polls, 9/30 - click to enlarge

Gallup has Obama’s lead down 2 points, from +8 to +6, but the other three trackers all have his lead increasing by a percentage point. Rasmussen and Hotline both have it growing from +5 to +6, while Research 2000, the Daily Kos-sponsored poll, has him going up from +9 to +10.

Both Rasmussen and Hotline have basically has Obama’s lead stable at 5-6 points for four days in a row now. Basically, it seems Obama’s lead grew as the financial crisis first became clear, then stabilised, made another jump when McCain “suspended” his campaign, and now has stabilised again.

Obama’s well; impact of debate hard to distinguish from impact of McCain’s political stunts last week

McCain announced the suspension of his campaign on Wednesday the 24th. The first day of polling after this announcement was included in the daily tracking poll releases of the 26th, and that day Obama’s average lead in the tracking polls jumped from 3.3% to 5%. As the three- and four-day rolling polls started including more days from after McCain’s announcement, Obama’s average lead increased further, to 5.5% on Saturday, 6.5% on Sunday and 6.8% on Monday. The public was obviously not impressed by McCain’s political theatre.

By then of course the debate had taken place too, though. The first day of polling after the debate was included in the releases of Sunday the 28th, when Obama’s average lead jumped up a full point to 6.5%. But that jump can’t be read to directly indicate the impact of the debate. That’s also the day, for most of the tracking polls, when the last pre-suspension day of polling rolled out from the sample. In short, just like the previous two days which also saw notable gains for Obama, it was a day on which a day’s worth of polling from before McCain’s suspension of the campaign was replaced by a day’s worth of post-suspension polling.

It’s the two days since that which seem a more logical focus for measuring the impact of the debate. And on these two days, Obama’s lead basically stabilised, with his average lead rising from 6.5% to 6.8% and 7.0%. Just going on these tracking polls, the debate was indeed something of a draw, then. Which arguably counts as a tactical victory for Obama, since he’s the one ahead, and a draw is a perfectly adequate result if you’re 7 points out ahead.

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Now we’re going back more than a year to find Biden gaffes?

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

This is the kind of thing that would usually take the form of writing an email — but now we have a blog!

Joe Biden is usually gaffe-tastic enough that it’s telling that Fox would need to go back more than a year to find ammo:

When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about “landing under sniper fire” in Bosnia, she was accused of “inflating her war experience” by rival Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign.

But the campaign has been silent about Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, telling his own questionable story about being “shot at” in Iraq.

“Let’s start telling the truth,” Biden said during a presidential primary debate sponsored by YouTube last year. “Number one, you take all the troops out – you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die.”

So, when was that presidential primary debate? July 23rd, 2007.

Yet Andrew Sullivan says today:

Biden Was “Shot At” In Iraq?

30 Sep 2008 01:26 pm

No he wasn’t. He really needs to stop running his mouth off. It’s my big worry about Thursday night. If anyone can rescue the Palin farce, it’s Biden’s dumb-ass logorrhea.

Check the dates, Andrew!

Note, I worry just as much that Palin will get a Biden gaffe-gift in the debate. But I think that part of why Obama chose him was that Biden showed that he could be disciplined if he tries, and he’s done pretty well since he was selected. A few small ones, no biggies. Yet.

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What’s the Real Issue with Palin?

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

In the weeks since Senator McCain announced Governor Palin as his running mate, the left half of the political spectrum has been rightly foaming at the mouth … but for the wrong reasons.

Governor Palin

Governor Palin

On paper, the governor has a lot going for her.  She worked herself up from beauty queen to mayor to governor.  In the process, she locked horns with and defeated those who underestimated her.  If her looks helped some, I doubt it helped more than the family money and connections that politicians typically bring to the table.  As both mayor and governor, she hauled in the cash from Washington.  She’s got a good personal narrative given her constituency, a combination of loving mother, self made politician and rugged outdoorsman.  So what’s the problem?

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Barack Obama: Antichrist?

Presidential Elections, US Elections

An item, published in the Charlotte Observer, and picked up by ThinkProgress:

Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk says he was “just curious” when he forwarded a chain e-mail suggesting Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama is the biblical antichrist. “I was just curious if there was any validity to it,” Funderburk said in a telephone interview. “I was trying to get documentation if there was any scripture to back it up.”

The story goes on to note that the e-mail in question “claims the biblical book of Revelation says the antichrist will be in his 40s and of Muslim ancestry.”  And in a stunning bit of journalistic honesty, the author of the Observer article, Stuart Watson, actually writes: “There is no such scripture. And Obama is not a Muslim.”  Of course not.  Islam was founded in the seventh century, about six hundred years or so after the Book of Revelation was written.  Far from mentioning Islam, the Book of Revelation doesn’t even mention Christianity.  So props to Watson and the Observer for correctly pointing out the blindingly obvious.

Funderburk, however, is not so easily swayed by the facts.  “When asked if he believed Obama was the antichrist, Funderburk replied, ‘I’ve got absolutely no way of knowing that.'”

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The McCain Brand

Politics, Presidential Elections, US Elections, US Politics

Is John McCain’s reputation permanently damaged?

Josh Marshall says:

I’ve been thinking over the last few days that if John McCain loses this election he will have lost much more than the presidency. His reputation as an honest and honorable politician will be wrecked, I suspect, for good — particularly among centrist and independent voters and the centrist commentator class in New York and Washington.

I know what he means, and I have been having similar thoughts. Since I have thought that the media has been fawning over McCain for, well, years, the recent change has been welcome. A democracy needs a critical, assertive press to function properly. (Note, not a rabid pack of snarling dogs, just regular fact-checking and journalism.)

But my first thought when I read the above was Hillary Clinton.

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Who’s Going to Bailout the Bailout?

Economy, US Economy

Yesterday the $700 billion bailout failed to get through the House, today will be finger pointing day.  The Republicans say Pelosi hurt their feelings.  The Democrats say the Republicans put party politics ahead of the country.  Senator McCain pointed at Senator Obama and his “allies” but said now is not the time to point fingers.  Obama said “I’m confident we’re going to get there, but it’s going to be rocky.”   It looks to me like there is enough blame to go around.

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