22 August, 2008


The lead on Drudge right now?


With a picture of Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) on it.

I haven't seen this much hype about the name of a single person since the identity of the person playing the young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars I-III.

Yeah, that worked out well.

Barack, take a lesson from George Lucas.  Over-hype can be a bad thing.

Let me be the first to say I couldn't possibly care less.  I gave my thoughts on this about a month ago. I still say that if it's not one of those 4 people then it's just the guy (or woman) in the suit standing next to Obama.


Obama Suspends Advertising in 7 Battleground States

FOX News is reporting that Senator Barack Obama's (D-IL) campaign has "temporarily suspended" advertising in seven key battleground states.  The states are AK, GA, MT, NC, ND, FL, and VA. This is beyond perplexing. They have plenty of money and are within striking distance in several of these states. VA is as close as you can get to tied.

Aides to Obama told FOX News that the changes are related to the convention next week. They wouldn’t discuss the specifics of their ad strategy, but the Obama campaign insists that it has not pulled out of those states permanently, calling this a temporary suspension.

Perhaps they hope to ride the crest of the post-convention wave and return to advertising then? I don't know.  But VA and NC are very winnable for Obama, and MT, ND, and FL are definitely within reach.  Demographics in MT and FL strongly favor Senator John McCain (R-AZ), but polls in these states are exceptionally close.

Usually candidates only stop running ads in a state to save money when they've given up on taking the state.  That's obviously not the case for most of these.

I admit it. I'm baffled. I can think of no logical reason for doing this.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign is implying that he's giving up in those states. I find that hard to believe. It's too early in the campaign season and the states are too close.  They point to this chart for evidence.

The numbers are clear. In these states, where Obama has spent a considerable amount of money ($15 Million) and time, McCain's numbers have improved by an average of 4-points.

Uh huh. I'll stick with "baffling".

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says "I can't stand John McCain". I'm sure it's quite obvious on this blog by now the disdain that I hold for Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), but I'm still ambivalent about Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Harry Reid's comments help though.

The disdain I hold for Obama is nothing compared to how I feel about Reid. I try to be snark free here, but calling Reid reprehensible and repugnant would be taking it easy on him.

So, when he says that he can't stand John McCain, then my feelings for McCain go up by quite a bit.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

21 August, 2008

Battleground States - 08/22

My somewhat weekly look at the battleground states. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had a good week, as has already been discussed here. Three new states have been added to the battleground list, two of which are traditionally blue (MN, NH) and one traditionally red (NC).  Discussion follows:

Here's the current standings with difference since August 15 in parentheses:

  • Michigan (17): Democrat last 4 elections, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) currently leads by 7 pts.
  • Indiana (11): Republican last 4 elections, McCain by 6 (+7).
  • Ohio (20): Picked winner in last 4 elections, McCain by 4. (+2)
  • Missouri (11): Picked winner in last 4 elections, McCain by 7.
  • Pennsylvania (21): Democrat last 4 elections, Obama by 5
  • Iowa (7):Picked Winner in 3 of last 4 (had Gore in 2000), Obama by 6. (+1)
  • Virginia (13): Republican last 4 elections, currently tied.
  • Florida (27): Picked Winner in last 3 elections, McCain by 3. (+1)
  • Colorado (9): Republican last 3 elections, McCain by 3. (+1)
  • New Mexico (5): Picked Winner in 3 of last 4 (had Gore in 2000), Obama by 5.
  • Montana (3): Republican last 3 elections, McCain by 1.
  • North Dakota (3): Republican last 4 elections, McCain by 3.
  • Nevada (5): Picked winner last 4 elections, McCain by 3.
  • Minnesota (10): Democrat last 4 elections, Obama by 3. (new)
  • New Hampshire (4): Democrat three of last 4 elections (had Bush in 2000), Obama by 1. (new)
  • North Carolina (15): Republican last 4 elections, McCain by 3. (new)

Bellwether states (EV totals in parentheses):

McCain: OH, FL, NV, MO (63)
Obama: IA, NM (12)

Battleground EV Totals (diff since August 15 in parentheses): McCain 104 (+26 due to inclusion of NC), Obama 64 ( +3 due to inclusion of MN and NH), Tied: 13

Rest of map: McCain 157 (-15), Obama 200 (-14)

Totals: McCain 261, Obama 264

For the first time during the campaign, Obama is not in the driver's seat.  He's done well as the "rock star", and not so well as the "presumed winner". It remains to be seen how he does in a tight race. Remember that he didn't do very well down the stretch in the Democratic primaries.

The only state that flipped in the last week was Indiana. Right now that means VA controls the whole thing. Not many states had any changes at all, for the simple fact that most of them didn't have any new polls. McCain also currently leads in SD by only 4, but that's the first poll showing that state so close. One more and I'll have to add it as a battleground as well.

I said last week that Obama wasn't really playing defense anywhere. That's no longer true. He's playing defense in MN and NH. But McCain is now also playing defense in NC. Demographics in that state make things precarious for McCain.

A couple more good polls and I can probably take MI, IN, MO, and IA off this list. For the most part, that's good news for McCain. I don't think he ever planned on IA, and MI always looked out of reach anyway. But to take IN and MO off the chart for Obama would be huge.

Right now McCain has all the momentum, but momentum changes rapidly in Presidential elections and Obama has his convention coming up. It couldn't come at a better time.  I expect that in a week to a week and a half from now, the map will be much more blue. But then another week after that, might be back to how it is now.  Might not, though.  Two to three weeks is a long time in a race this tight. More and more it looks like the debates will be crucial in this campaign.  I've commented on them previously, but I've since thought some more on it and have more to say on this subject, so another post on the debates will be coming in the near future.

FL is still far closer than it should be for McCain. I still find that the most disconcerting state on the map for him.  For Obama, he has two very disconcerting states, MN and MO.  MN because it should be solid blue, and MO because it should be pretty close to a tie.

I still say that for McCain to win, he has to pick up all of FL, IN, MO, OH, NV, and VA, which seems a tall order. Right now he leads in five of those and the sixth is too close to call. Obama has many ways to win, but in general, he just needs to pick up one of those six states.

20 August, 2008

A Good Day for McCain

Today is a good day for Senator John McCain (R-AZ) by any measure.

For the first time since both candidates secured their nominations, he leads Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) in the electoral vote count at RealClearPolitics. In fact, the latest map even has McCain over the 270 needed to win.

The news is almost as good at Electoral-Vote.com where he trails Obama by a mere 3 EV's, 264 to 261 with VA's 13 EV's up for grabs (RCP gives VA to McCain, probably reasonable since of the last 4 polls there, he leads in 3 and the fourth is a tie).

The national popular vote average at RCP is the closest since June 1. Obama leads by 1.3.

SurveyUSA has him up by 6 in Indiana, despite an enormous effort by Obama to win this state.

Zogby has him up by 5 nationally.

That doesn't appear to be all that much of an outlier, because GWU Battleground has him up by 1 nationally.

LA Times even only has Obama up by 2 and they tend to favor Obama.


Great kid, don't get cocky.


There may be problems with all of these polls. It's very possible that every single poll out there is undercounting Democrats. There's been a lot of new Democrats registered this year, and the old statistics on party affiliation may be wrong.

Also, I know that historically Democratic Presidential candidates put up big leads in the summer only to be overtaken in the fall by the Republican candidate. It's very possible that trend won't happen this year and may even be reversed. Republicans tend to do that because of a) outspending their opponents, and b) having a better ground game (the ground game certainly helped in 2000 and 2004). This year, the Democrat has the money and appears to have the better ground game as well.

Don't go counting your EV's until they're hatched.

17 August, 2008

Eight Golden Performances

  1. 4x100 Individual Medley
  2. 4x100 Freestyle Relay
  3. 200 Freestyle
  4. 200 Butterfly
  5. 4x200 Freestyle Relay
  6. 200 Individual Medley
  7. 100 Butterfly
  8. 4x100 Medley Relay

Personally, I find Phelps' record of 14 career gold medals more impressive. The two top performances in Olympic history belong to Phelps with 8 and Spitz with 7.  To beat 14 in two Olympics would require something like an 8 and 7 performance. Or, in other words, two of the best four performances ever. To do it in three Olympics would be something like 5-5-5. There haven't been that many people who have won 5 in a games, and to do it three times seems impossible. I'm not sure his career record will ever be broken, except by him if he returns in 2012 and can pick up a couple more.

Oh, and hats off to Natalie Coughlin who's had nearly as incredible performance as Michael Phelps.  She won 6 golds in Beijing and 5 in Athens, acquiring the second most medals (to Phelps) in both games.

Above Your Pay Grade?

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) says that deciding when life begins is "above my pay grade". That seems an evasive answer for a U.S. Senator, but it's absolutely a horrendous answer for a Presidential candidate.  While it may be above your pay grade now, it's not above the pay grade of the job you're trying to obtain.

Besides that, it's clearly an answer to keep from scaring away pro-lifers that might be supporting him.  Obama's record on this issue is quite clear.

Senator John McCain gave a quick and unequivocal answer:

He said a baby’s human rights began “at the moment of conception … I have a 25-year pro-life record.”

The difference here is that the "new kind of politician" gave an evasive and very calculated answer, while the career politician gave the straightforward unafraid one.

Clarence Thomas Not Experienced Enough For the Supreme Court

Last night, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) started to say that Clarence Thomas wasn't experienced enough to be a Supreme Court justice. He caught himself mid-word, but the damage was done.  That's obviously what he thinks.

Let's look at Thomas' career prior to when he was nominated:

From 1974 to 1977, Thomas was an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri under then State Attorney General John Danforth. When Danforth was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976 to 1979, Thomas left to become an attorney with Monsanto in St. Louis, Missouri. He returned to work for Danforth from 1979 to 1981 as a Legislative Assistant. Both men shared a common bond in that both had studied to be ordained (although Thomas was Roman Catholic and Danforth was ordained Episcopalian). Danforth was to be instrumental in championing Thomas for the Supreme Court.

In 1981, he joined the Reagan administration. From 1981 to 1982, he served as Assistant Secretary of Education for the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. From 1982 to 1990 he was Chairman of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").

And Barack Obama prior to his own nomination:

A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, he announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate in January 2003. After a primary victory in March 2004, Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He was elected to the Senate in November 2004 with 70% of the vote.

Clarence Thomas didn't have enough experience to be one of nine of the most powerful jurists in America, and Obama has enough experience to be the most powerful man in the world?

Once again, it appears to me that Barack Obama is running for President of Fantasyland.

UPDATE: Hot Air has video and Glenn Reynolds agrees with me.