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12 September 2008

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lina

I pray to God/Allah/Vishnu/Odin you are wrong.

I agree with Matt Damon. This is like a bad Disney movie (but I can't change the channel).

William R. Cumming

Camille Paglia, a revisionist feminist, has an article posted in SLATE discoursing on Sarah Palin as representing a new kind of feminism, specifically the frontier woman role model, strong, independent, fearless yet protective of her own and caring. Who knows but the swing to McCain seems driven by white women, not racism. The problem I have with all this is that we have had almost eight years of the gunslinger, and now wonder what of a "Maverick" administration followed by the wilderness Princess. The rest of the world KNOWS how important the US election is to them. Weird things may be going on in the 50 state elections being separately held for the Presidential election in November. Novel twists leave possible last minute changes in votes, from new or revised data, or as in Ohio from the first use of election day registration. Whatever happens, the world and US look like a possible very different future from what a Clinton or Romney Administration might have led to. Are we so desperate as a NATION willing to roll the dice? Ignoring blissfully knowledge, competence, experience, and proven judgement. POSSIBLY!

lina

Re putting Hillary Clinton on the ticket: I don't know how that would have helped with the racist vote. Was Sen. Clinton as VP supposed to talk them out of their racism? Vote against their racist leanings? I don't get it.

Dave of Maryland

You are more optimistic than I am.

You ran a picture of McCain greeting Palin at the airport a week or two ago. There was a noticeable golf-ball sized growth in his left jaw.

Ask the campaign, they'll say it's benign, but that's what you'd expect they'd say. Whatever it is, it's untreated, since removal means wiring John's mouth shut, and chemo is physically debilitating. Either would end his candidacy. The earliest treatment could start is post-election day, but how much of Senator McCain will be left by then?

Sarah Palin >>is<< the next president. God help us! You say she is unreadable. Not at all. One poster mentioned Obama as a Leo a week ago. Which is nice, if simplistic. (Bill Clinton is a Leo. Big deal!) I do this stuff for a living. Sarah Palin has a very tight Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius. Saturn & Mars get together for a few days every two years. Once in every four or five meetings, the Sun joins them, which is to say that what Palin's carrying around happens once every 12 to 15 years or so. It's as mean-spirited & as nasty as it gets. Which is exactly what she's shown us.

S.D.

Sadly, I cannot disagree with this take. Not that the Dems could have withstood the neocons, but at least one could hope that they would not embrace them.

It has been a really long 8 years. Can someone name just one Foreign Policy success?

I begin to think I now know what it is like now to live in a banana republic. Sad.

Pan

Pat,

I'm not as pessimistic as you, yet. I think Obama can remount an affective offense against McCain/Palin by emphasizing he is running against McCain, not Palin. Get Hillary and Bill to go all out for him and blitz those states that he needs. Use Hillary to directly attack Palin as a sham feminist. Let Palin answer directly to Hillary. Offer Hillary a prominent role in the Obama administration, such as SecState. He needs to recover from the mistake of not picking Hillary as his Veep.

Leo Lane

Republicans in Congress now are only 3 points behind Democrats in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey.

PS

My analysis is that Obama picked a VP to help govern -- and succeed him, if needed --and McCain picked one to win the Presidency. I am sure that the combination of Obama, a Clinton who thought she won, and a Clinton who used to be POTUS would make for more drama than the best West Wing episodes.

The irony is that the candidate more likely to need a successor -- assuming the Secret Service continues to do its job well -- thought least about the requirements for succession.

I am not so sure that Hillary would have strengthened the ticket. I know too many with a real aversion to Hillary who are planning to vote for Obama.

bstr

The Gibson question on the "Bush Doctrine" was hardly a fowl attempt to trip up Palin. Please see the James Fallow's blog in the Atlantic as argument against that position. Also the new "Attention Sara Palin" button must be seen. It clarifies the historical precedence of the campaign.

Twit

Col,

If you're right, then, hopefully, the silver lining will be a Democratic Party chastened enough to actually produce a coherent vision of modern America to vote for. Enter the 'Virginia Caucus' of Jim Webb and Mark Warner?

On Sarah Palin, I think a big part of her appeal is that she talks like a 'winner' and people like winners, even when they are total losers (the same was true of Bush).

On the racism of the American electorate, the relevant sentiment is with closet racists, not the David Duke crowd (who won't vote Democratic anyway), and they are only coming out of the closet because Obama is not actually offering people something to vote FOR (instead of just against). In other words, racism is definitely a factor for some, but Obama could easily have overcome that.

Jose

Way to early for such a prediction because we still have insufficient data for analysis.

Race leans to McCain but in the beginning of the year Hillary was unbeatable, McCain was finished and Obama was unknown.

Events changed rapidly to our current situation.

I always said this race was about Ohio, if Obama where to "surge" on that state plus Colorado and New Hampshire he will still win.

Scott

I agree with your point about racism. I have friends and family members who hem and haw about why they won't vote for him, but it's clear why. Sad, but true. I am optimistic about the "get out the vote" and the newly registered voters.

Walter R. Moore

Too funny. Want to predict some lottery numbers and hurricane landfalls while you're at it?

Patrick Lang

Walt

I can't predict "Monte Carlo" outcomes. Ask me to predict something that has antecedents.

I have had this discussion with many who would accept Professor Taleb's thesis that the past is useless, intuition is egotism and the futire lies without our ken.

Try me. I will tell you if I know enough to make a "guess." pl

Shrike58

If McCain acts the way I think he will, with ill-throught-out confrontations with so-called rogue states, we might just get the next general war. There won't be much to worry about after the fall-out settles.

Walrus

I think it's too early to tell, and, believe it or not, I'm optimistic about Obama.

My view is that Obama and Biden have yet to work out how to counter Palin, but November is still a long way away and anything can happen.

ked

I believe that the most telling factor in a Pres election outcome is the electorate's perception of their personal financial condition & prospects. The perception-formation that matters takes place in the last 2 or 3 weeks of the campaign. We are not yet there. It is possible that McCain's Sarah-bump has already hit its high water mark, & that it is a receding tide from here forward (are all Frontier Princesses comfortable with speaking in tongues, Creationism, banning books & special holy status for special Christians?). There are numerous events (esp self-inflicted ones) that might accentuate / accelerate that recession (like, more recession).

It isn't clear to me that Hillary would've helped much where it matters most, & some significant negatives (voter perception wise) are undeniable.

Sarah may help in close-outcome red/blue states - places where an army of Pentacostals & Evangelicals will help get out the choir. McCain will gain votes that might otherwise have sat out, but mostly in states where he was the likely winner anyway (the solid, sorry South - but I love it anyway).

The polls that focus on "likely voters" may prove amiss this season (as they did in the Dem primaries) due to the enthusiasm that Obama generated among first time, younger, & dissaffected voters. Of course, this potential must be balanced against GOP strengths in voter & vote suppression (both legal & "extra-legal").

To overcome racism (not isolated to any region in the US, but matters more someplaces than others) Obama will need to work very smart, very hard & have a bit of luck/fate on his side.

It's America, anything might be possible.

TomB

Seems to me the remarkable thing that's being overlooked is what a poor campaign Obama is running, which at some point might say something about how he'd do as President too.

By all the usual measures and etc. (due to the war, "right track/wrong track" poll numbers, the economy, gas prices, etc.) he ought to be at least 10% points ahead of McCain, and maybe even more.

As someone has said, given the circumstances, if the Dems can't win huge in this environment they ought to get out of the politics business.

Yet Obama seems unable to even think up a new punch on McCain (other than just the bland statement that's he's just a clone of Bush), much less land one. And yet given McCain's long public history and what's he's done during same, the volume of material out there negative on him is just staggering. (The Keating business, stark flip-flops, pandering to the Fundamentalists, pandering to special interests in Arizona and elsewhere, and etc., etc.)

Meanwhile, McCain just benefits from Obama's refusal to so define himself given that one of Obama's obvious big hurdles was that he was such an unknown quantity. So staying that way doesn't seem all that smart to me at least.

I.e., Obama is not only failing to try to define his opponent, but he's even failing to define himself.

I still think he is going to win, but he sure is running a very poor race so far at least.

Cheers,

P.S. And while I favor Obama over McCain I think the racist thing ought to be put in fair context: While of course some small percent of non-Black Americans are going to vote against Obama due to his race, with him likely garnering 90%+ of the Black vote surely a chunk of that is due to race voting too. While clearly more understandable, that still don't make it right.

Big Al

"Fatal error" is MMQ'ing.

Obama and Clinton were fire and oil. She tried to mobilize her base with "you know what to do" John Birch'isms, and she lost, poorly. Besides, having an also-ran in Hillary on the Democrat ticket would have mobilized the entire ReThug base, even their expats and their dead!

With Biden, Obama has a chance. Hillary? None.

You absolutely must not confuse personalities with politics! Rovian politics will always be superior. SwiftBoat politics will always be superior. It's, as you say, "in our blood", and in our institutional elitism.

But don't count out the Democrat machine just yet. Obama has organized the greatest machine in US history, and built the largest campaign fund.

Your conclusion might better have been, if ANYONE can win, Obama can, because if McCain/Palin win, they'll murder all the innocents and bury all the evidence, as Bush/Cheney already have with gwot.con, credit.con, now commodities.con, and we are all $12T poorer.

$13T with DHS:FEMA:Big Oil reconstruction of Houston.

Andy

The arrogance and overconfidence of the Obama campaign amazes me. I think maybe they've drunk a bit too much of their own campaign rhetoric. It seems they were planning their entire campaign around the "McSame" meme of linking GWB with McCain. My sense is that in making their VP calculations the Obama campaign decided, as the new face of the party, that the Clinton's would not be a necessary element to victory - that "McSame" would be enough. With that plan disrupted by the Palin pick, it seems pretty obvious the Obama campaign had no plan "B" and were expecting to win by running against Bush.

As a result we see Obama meeting with President Clinton hat-in-hand, and notice how quiet Hillary has been the last two weeks? It will be interesting to see what price Obama will have to pay to get the Clinton's out in force for him. If things should turn around and Obama wins - provided the Clintons can be persuaded at this point - Hillary may well be some kind of shadow VP. No doubt the Clintons are assessing the costs and benefits of simply letting Obama crash and burn in order to pave the way for another Hillary run in 2012....

Despite all that, I think there is an opportunity for the Obama campaign to recover as there is still a lot of time left before the election (not to mention the debates yet to go), so I don't share Col. Lang's confidence level...yet.

Andy

Wow, it may be worse than I thought. I just watched the latest Obama ad. Someone should tell the morons in his campaign who ran this ad about the 20% of the US population who've never used email or a computer before.

Paul

Sarah Palin is a spoiled princess who will eventually get on your nerves. An RC-cum-Pentacostalist speaks volumes to me.

It is too early to hyperventilate about polls and pundits. Back in 2000 Howard Dean was the man; in 2007 it was Hillary. Are we to believe that a two-week swoon will overwhelm the country?

Those mostly toothless, uninsured and ignorant "Joe" white guys (they work in factories) who would never vote for a black guy will not vote for McCain either; he promises nothing but tough talk and more war.

The Republican party is a white man's club with a few women thrown in. Once they elevated Condi, they acted as if she never existed. Republicans have wealth, pensions and health insurance so sickness, tight family budgets and retirement is never a concern. Their main goal in life is to hoard money for themselves. Conservative principles? Rubbish!

As stupid as the American public is, they know when they are being sodomized.

Obama will win and it will not be close. There are too many disenfranchised whites, blacks and hispanics.

mlaw230

The tone in the media indicates that Obama is losing ground, but I don't think so.

The Media takes its cue from the polls but these polls seem skewed to me. Is there anyone in "the house" that knows whether these samples are at least the same mix as before the conventions? Drilling down at least at Gallup the percentage of Republican respondents appears to be about 10% higher now than in the pre- September samplings.

Is this djusted/accounted for? Is it significant?

bcw

the democratic party can not win presidential elections because there are more red states than blue.

Fred

Pat,

My analysis of Palin is this: Knows correct answer when told (by the neocons).

Based on my experience living in 7 different states from New England to the Midwest your analysis of racism in America is accurate. Obama has great appeal among the under 30 voters, yet I believe he'll need to increase their turnout by about 200% to make up for the racist (conscious or not) portion of the vote. I believe your assessment of Palin's appeal to many women is also accurate, but I have to pose some questions: how many of these women you mention now vote and for which party? Is the crossover significant and in which state. (It is the electoral college vote that counts). The current Palin bias reminds me a great deal of the original appeal for Bush. The general approval of his performance to date is 29%. I wonder if that will also affect the Palin appeal.

I honestly can't give a good analysis of an Obama/Clinton ticket. I believe I get too much in a flux over a belief in her effectiveness countered by the thought of the 'right wing noise machine' that would certainly come out in full force if she had been on the ticket.

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