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Archive for June 26th, 2008

Obama’s 14 State Battleground

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:44 am by HL

Obama’s 14 State Battleground
In an interview with Politico, Sen. Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager said they “will focus his resources largely in 14 states George W. Bush won in 2004… hoping to score upsets in places like Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia.

“In an unusual move, Obama’s campaign will also devote some resources to states it’s unlikely to win, with the goal of influencing specific local contests in places like Texas and Wyoming.”

Said Steve Hildebrand: “Texas is a great example where we might not be able to win the state, but we want to pay a lot of attention to it,. It’s one of the most important redistricting opportunities in the country.”

Deja Vu
Dan Balz: “A campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain once offered enormous possibilities for something new. Instead, the two presumptive nominees have opened their campaigns for the White House with what looks and sounds like a repeat of the kind of politics both have promised to leave behind.”


Late Late Nite FDL: Don’t Do It, Senators

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:42 am by HL

Late Late Nite FDL: Don’t Do It, Senators
The Band – Don’t Do It (1971)

The Band – Don’t Do It  (1971 The Academy of Music, NYC)

What’s on your mind tonight? 


In the Mail: Outlaw Journalist

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

In the Mail: Outlaw Journalist

In the mail today — a copy of William McKeen's new book Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson. It will be available on July 8 but you can order now at Amazon.

I'm especially anxious to read it because in the second section of eight pages of black and white photos of Hunter, is one I took of his wife Anita and son Juan. I've never been credited in a book before with “Photograph by…” and it's pretty exciting. Mr. McKeen contacted me a few years ago and asked for permission to use it. I asked Anita what she thought and she said it was fine.

Now, the book. [More…]

I skimmed the last 100 pages, read the final two chapters and it's impressive. It's scholarly, but a really easy read. Some serious research went into the book and I can't wait to delve into the 40 pages of reference notes and bibliography.

I hope Anita likes it. She's in New York today but she's staying with me this weekend in Denver so I'll get to ask her. I bet I've finished the book by then — if the final chapters are any indication, it's a page-turner.


Osama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Osama
Maybe it isn’t all that important, but I think one of the things you pay people on the teevee for is the ability to not make idiotic verbal screwups.


Bush and McCain Happily Presiding Over Massive Transfer of Wealth to Oil Companies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Bush and McCain Happily Presiding Over Massive Transfer of Wealth to Oil Companies
Republicans are funneling billions into the coffers of their oil baron backers; it’s no surprise Bush and McCain aren’t pushing for renewable energy.

Tough Economy Tightens Surrogacy Market
Increasing numbers of infertile people have been using surrogacy to have children, but a tougher economy is pushing it further out of reach.


Obama On FISA: Telecom Immunity Issue Doesn’t Override National Security

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Obama On FISA: Telecom Immunity Issue Doesn’t Override National Security
At a presser today, Obama weighed in again on the FISA cave, and suffice it to say that what he said won’t make opponents any less unhappy about Obama’s position than they were already. Asked specifically why he’s supporting the…


Who Is Esther Slater McDonald?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Who Is Esther Slater McDonald?
Kate Klonick introduces us to the little-known former DOJ official who was implicated in yesterday’s inspector general report….


The Correction Almost Complete?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

The Correction Almost Complete?

When tracking polls noted a momentum shift to Obama earlier in the month, I noted this did not look like a post-nomination “bump” that would fade, but a longer-lasting “correction” as Clinton backers gradually joined the Obama campaign.

Two recent polls further that notion: Newsweek’s 15-point Obama lead, and LA Times/Bloomberg’s 12 point lead. Both polls show a declining number of Clinton voters (18% and 11% respectively) switching parties for McCain.

But also notable is the low numbers for McCain and the somewhat high numbers of undecideds. Obama garners “only” 51% and 49% in the two polls, while is mired in the mid-30s. (It’s possible that pollsters did not “push” undecided voters to say which way they “lean.”)

Based on the LA Times report, conservative voters appear disoriented, dismayed and discombobulated.

Moreover, McCain suffers from a pronounced “enthusiasm gap,” especially among the conservatives who usually give Republican candidates a reliable base of support. Among voters who describe themselves as conservative, only 58% say they will vote for McCain; 15% say they will vote for Obama, 14% say they will vote for someone else, and 13% say they are undecided.

By contrast, 79% of voters who describe themselves as liberal say they plan to vote for Obama.

Even among voters who say they do plan to vote for McCain, more than half say they are “not enthusiastic” about their chosen candidate; only 45% say they are enthusiastic. By contrast, 81% of Obama voters say they are enthusiastic, and almost half call themselves “very enthusiastic,” a level of zeal that only 13% of McCain’s supporters display.

When [Ralph] Nader and [Bob] Barr are added to the ballot, they draw most of their support from voters who said they would otherwise vote for the Republican.

When Nader is getting more Republican support than Democratic, you know the conservative base is seriously fractured.

For some perspective, in 2004, John Kerry got 15% of the “conservative” vote, while Bush got 84%. Obama is matching Kerry, while McCain is underperforming with conservatives by 26 points.

Obama’s base is nearly consolidated. McCain’s base is not.

On one hand, you might expect some of that unenthusiastic vote to come back to the Republican fold, allowing McCain to at least get back in the 40s.

But if McCain increasingly seems like a sure loser, conservative support could continue to bleed, leading to greater numbers of protest votes and no-shows.

There are surely more undecided independent voters that Obama can win over to widen his margin. He has not reached his ceiling.

While McCain is caught needing to win over both undecided independents and conservative base voters. And after eight years of failed conservative policies, there is no overlap between the two camps. It’s a near-impossible task.

Yes, yes, it’s early. Anything can happen. Always true.

Everyone is going back to Dukakis in 1988 who had huge leads after he wrapped up the Dem nod.

But as I noted before, Dukakis’ early leads were before the conservative attack machine revved up.

Conservative-style attacks lines have already been pursued against Obama — from the Dem primary, from McCain and from other Republican and conservative groups.

After Obama has absorbed the attacks, he remains substantially ahead. What’s been thrown at him so far has only made him stronger.

This is nothing like 1988.


McCain adviser re-writes history of McCain?s ?impossible? and ?dumb? plan to kick Russia out of the G8.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

McCain adviser re-writes history of McCain?s ?impossible? and ?dumb? plan to kick Russia out of the G8.
In October 2007, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote about the G8 in Foreign Affairs, saying “it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia.” Now, an anonymous “McCain adviser” tells Reuters that McCain’s October 2007 comment “doesn’t reflect where he is right now” and is just “a holdover from an earlier period.” But that “earlier […]

In October 2007, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote about the G8 in Foreign Affairs, saying “it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia.” Now, an anonymous “McCain adviser” tells Reuters that McCain’s October 2007 comment “doesn’t reflect where he is right now” and is just “a holdover from an earlier period.” But that “earlier period” apparently includes March 2008, since McCain made the same argument then in a major speech on foreign policy:

We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia.

After McCain argued for kicking Russia out of the G8 in March, foreign policy experts panned the idea, with one “senior U.S. official” calling it “impossible” and “just a dumb thing.”


On Obama’s Coattails, an Uninvited Rider

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 26th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

On Obama’s Coattails, an Uninvited Rider
Just a month ago, Republican strategists were trying to closely link Democratic House candidates to Sen. Barack Obama, convinced that in certain parts of the country Obama would drag candidates from his own party down to defeat.