Good News For Obama

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am a firm believer that the national polling really does not matter until after the second convention. When both candidates have chosen their VP and held their conventions, then I think we will really get a good idea of how the candidates are stacking up. I know others disagree, and I know the folks at RCP and 538 and Kos are smart folks, I just still think the real game begins after the convention.

Having said that, via James Joyner, RCP has McCain ahead of Obama in the electoral college vote for the first time, and James asks:

Despite this post’s headline, I would still characterize the race as tied, if not one in which Obama has a very slight edge. But it’s very interesting that, despite Obama having made no serious gaffes and having a country palpably ready to change direction, he’s losing ground.

Several possible explanations come to mind:

The Russia-Georgia crisis has brought national security to the forefront, to McCain’s advantage;

McCain’s strong showing at the Rick Warren Saddleback thing the other night helped him;

It’s summertime, nobody’s paying much attention, and this is some statistical fluke;

Negative advertising works

Perhaps all of those things are true.

Perhaps, although if I had to bet if there was an impact on the race, it would be #3 and #4. Then again, the question I have is that if Obama only leading nationally by a few points all summer was considered bad news for Obama, then clearly McCain taking the lead must be construed as bad news for John McCain. Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN, and that when Obama was only leading by 5 it was bad news for Obama, and this is now CATASTROPHIC NEWS and the CAMPAIGN IS IN DISARRAY and they NEED A SHAKE-UP!

Personally, I eagerly await the vapid posts from a certain Hillary diehard that this is proof Obama must choose Hillary as his VP.

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115 replies
  1. 1
    4tehlulz says:

    >>I eagerly await the vapid posts from a certain Hillary diehard

    Paul L.?

  2. 2
    zzyzx says:

    You’re not reading the right Clinton blogs. Obama’s 3-5 point lead was proof that the party needed to ditch Obama and nominate Clinton instead.

  3. 3
    Incertus says:

    I’m betting on myiq1/2u, myself.

  4. 4
    DannyNoonan says:

    I’m going with #4. Negative works. Especially in the form of character assassination. In presidential politics being high and mighty loses elections. If Obama wants to tear McCain to shreds the answer is very simple; go after the 10 homes, $500 shoes and malted-hops heiress wife. It’s getting to the point where part of me wants Obama to give as good as he’s gotten. The press has no interest in being a judge and jury. And right now the unwritten rules clearly say that attacking someone’s character is as fair as it is to attack someone’s voting record or policy proposals. History bares that fact. If this race stays tight after the convention it just might be time to stop asking for help or hoping for electoral luck. In presidential politics, winners make their own luck. And the losers are left to cry about it.

  5. 5
    Xanthippas says:

    Personally, I eagerly await the vapid posts from a certain Hillary diehard that this is proof Obama must choose Hillary as his VP.

    I’d guess Big Tent but he’s technically an Obama die-hard. At least he repeatedly says he is, despite the fact that all of his advice for Obama matches exactly everything the Clinton die-hards say.

  6. 6
    cynique71 says:

    My fondest hope is that after the convention, Obama and the DNC release the ad hounds that all that money he’s sitting on can buy.

    McCain’s attacks have been ridiculously lame thus far, but unanswered really.

    Obama ran WAY too good of a primary, and I just can’t see him running the general from the Kerry fetal position.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    unfortunately, since Obama was the early favorite to win, the fact that he’s behind now is going to be seen as proof that he really is failing, badly. on the other hand, McCain came back in the primary, and now he’s come back in the general. everybody’s favorite underdog does it again! how exciting!

    in other words, yes, this will be good news for McCain.

  8. 8
    John S. says:

    Paul L.?

    His posts are vapid, but he’s no Hillary-o-phile.

    P.luk hasn’t posted here in ages, and though he’s a Hillary dead-ender, his posts are anything but vapid.

    The only commenter we have who is a president of the Hillary Fan Club and notorious for mindless drivel is myiq1/2xu.

  9. 9
    grandpajohn says:

    So one set of Rasmussen polls has shifted the entire election?That is what their latest projections are based on basically .

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    Obama ran WAY too good of a primary, and I just can’t see him running the general from the Kerry fetal position.

    Obama won the primary by getting ahead early then doing just well enough to run out the clock before Hillary could catch him. he didn’t finish strong, she did. he can’t do that this time where the only thing that matters is the finish.

    fix your servers, BJ.

  11. 11
    mike in dc says:

    Oh, Passive Aggressive Democrat will do just that, rest assured. Of course, if Obama picks Clinton and it’s a net negative, Obama will still get the blame–he waited too long, he didn’t “let Hillary be Hillary”, etc. etc.

    I’m convinced they’ll spontaneously combust if/when Obama wins in a landslide.

  12. 12
    1jpb says:

    I’m still hoping for a Cole vs. “vapid poster” bloggingheadstv.

    I know, I’m a dreamer.

  13. 13
    greynoldsct00 says:

    I’m hoping the Obama campaign is saving the big guns for after the convention and leading up to the big day, maybe they are just kind of laying in the weeds a bit now. Pleeeeassse let that be the case.

    Yeah John, what up with not being able to get on BJ lately? I need coffee and BJ in the morning and it’s been a bit rough the last couple days. ;)

  14. 14
    Joe says:

    Sorry, but I don’t think Obama has a chance, and I don’t think he ever really had a chance to begin with. It’s been written about before, but how many people that say they are voting for Obama are going to find it real hard to vote for a non-white person with a foreign-sounding name once they get in the booth? I would love to be proved wrong, but I don’t expect much from the people of this country anymore. Throw some negative ads with not-so-subtle, race-baiting images in them, and voila!, the electorate starts to shrink from voting for Obama. Sad that so many people can be fooled over and over with the same old dirty bag of tricks.

  15. 15
    jake says:

    Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN, and that when Obama was only leading by 5 it was bad news for Obama, and this is now CATASTROPHIC NEWS and the CAMPAIGN IS IN DISARRAY and they NEED A SHAKE-UP!

    Yes.

    His posts are vapid, but he’s no Hillary-o-phile.

    P.luk hasn’t posted here in ages, and though he’s a Hillary dead-ender

    I’m convinced they’re the same person.

  16. 16
    Kirk says:

    I mostly agree. I’d also like to add something I found interesting.

    Obama has been outraising McCain at the funding troughs. Both candidates have been spending a fair chunk of the money raised, but McCain has bought significantly more advertising than Obama. Have you wondered where the money’s going instead of advertising?

    Ground game is the answer. Field offices, and training and expansion and people for those field offices.

    Back when Kerry was running, a Republican acquaintance of mine pointed out a key fact – that the polls can’t (by design) predict the ground game’s effectiveness when it’s changed.

    We can guess that the LV models for Obama are a little low simply because he’s put so much time, money and effort into the ground game that moves RV to LV. I expect it’ll vary from state to state, but am personally penciling a minimum 2% increase in D turnout. Some states – like Virginia – may see a lot more than that, but I’ll stick with the conservative estimate for now.

    If McCain leads Obama by an average of more than 3% (three week trailing average) by the third debate, I’ll consider the chance of him winning – at 2-3% its a squeaker but I think Obama will pull it out, 4% it’s tight with McCain getting the nod.

    But like you said, nothing till the debates really give everyone a good look at both candidates while they’re paying attention.

  17. 17
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Sad that so many people can be fooled over and over with the same old dirty bag of tricks.

    We get the government we deserve.

  18. 18

    […] John Cole provides the appropriate snark and asks the question…is this bad news for McCain? Then again, the question I have is that if Obama only leading nationally by a few points all summer was considered bad news for Obama, then clearly McCain taking the lead must be construed as bad news for John McCain. Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN, and that when Obama was only leading by 5 it was bad news for Obama, and this is now CATASTROPHIC NEWS and the CAMPAIGN IS IN DISARRAY and they NEED A SHAKE-UP! […]

  19. 19
    Observer says:

    It’s still too early to accurately gauge anything except pundit angst. The majority of voters who are really up for grabs won’t be distracted from their day to day lives until the six weeks leading up to the actual election.

    McCain is still skating with name recognition and a lack of exposure for his post-2001 devolutions.

  20. 20

    Kirk Says:

    I mostly agree. I’d also like to add something I found interesting.

    Obama has been outraising McCain at the funding troughs. Both candidates have been spending a fair chunk of the money raised, but McCain has bought significantly more advertising than Obama. Have you wondered where the money’s going instead of advertising?

    Ground game is the answer. Field offices, and training and expansion and people for those field offices…

    Digby has a good post on what you’re talking about.

  21. 21
    Delia says:

    I assume that somebody on Obama’s staff is reading TPM. Josh and his crew have had the most perceptive comments on where the dem campaign is losing its traction and what it should do to get back on track. I hope they’re paying attention.

  22. 22
    gbear says:

    McCain can go negative so successfully because conservatives own the media companies. It’s going to be a much dicier proposition if Obama takes that route because there’s a much higher likelyhood he’ll get bashed for it. It really is a setup where people like the swiftboaters get taken seriously but if Move On or the ACLU get feisty about something then suddenly there’s a censure motion going thru congress. Obama really doesn’t get to lash out as blindly and stupidly as McCain has.

  23. 23
    Texas Dem says:

    Face it, folks. We bet on the wrong horse. Obama is already falling behind in key swing states (e.g., Colorado and Ohio) and the smear campaign is really only getting started. After the conventions it will go into high gear. Also, that Saddleback fiaso gave us a good preview of how the debates will go. Obama gave us his professorial answers while John McCain gave people the sharp, crisp soundbites they were looking for. The only question at this point is whether Obama will lose a close election (Kerry, Gore) or get blown away (Dukakis). Regarding VP picks, although Obama needs HRC quite badly at this point, I’d be very surprised if HRC even wants the vice presidencial nomination. Obama is almost certainly going to lose this election. Why tie yourself to a losing ticket? If she sits this one out she and her supporters will get to say “I told you so” and can thoroughly discredit Obama (which was probably her plan all along), leaving her as the probable front runner for 2012. And before you say, “I’ll never vote for that woman,” consider that you may feel differently after a few years of John McCain. Disastrous presidencies (and that’s what we’re in for) have a way of bringing people around. My guess is that in a few years most of us will be begging HRC to save us from John and his merry band of neocons.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    Face it, folks. We bet on the wrong horse.

    hmmm. i’m concerned, but not that concerned.

  25. 25

    People bitched about how Obama didn’t hit hard enough in the primaries but his ground game was phenomenal. After the conventions he had McCain by the golf balls because McCain will be tied to the spending he agreed to with regard to public funding while Obama will have a real war chest to saturate the place with. Yes things are tight right now but the election is not being held today it’s still a couple months off and this isn’t a race, it’s a marathon.

    Further Obama is playing this just as he did the primaries. It’s not about national polling it’s about the electoral college for him, just like it was about the delegate count in the primaries.

    I could be wrong, wouldn’t be the first time, but Obama hasn’t really let me down yet (save for FISA which he can fix as president).

  26. 26
    liberal says:

    Joe wrote,

    It’s been written about before, but how many people that say they are voting for Obama are going to find it real hard to vote for a non-white person with a foreign-sounding name once they get in the booth?

    538.com guy claims that this effect (IIRC “the Bradley effect”) isn’t as true as it used to be.

  27. 27
    Plumb Bob says:

    Then again, the question I have is that if Obama only leading nationally by a few points all summer was considered bad news for Obama, then clearly McCain taking the lead must be construed as bad news for John McCain. Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN

    For a logician, reading this site is as painful as a musician watching 4-year-olds beat each other with Stradivarius violins and Getzen trumpets. You can’t possibly misunderstand the issue so badly as this.

    A wildly popular candidate who raises twice as much money as his opponent, whose party is out-polling the opposition party by double digits for the first time in decades, who holds clear locks on both houses of Congress, running while a wildly unpopular President of the opposing party holds office, ought to be ahead by double digits at this point in the race, as Democrats frequently are when they’re going to win. If the candidates were just about anybody other than who they are, the Democrat would be leading the Republican by double digits.

    In this situation, for the Democrat to be just a hair ahead of the Republican is very bad news for the Democrat, and for the Democrat to be behind the Republican is near certain death. Expectations are everything.

    But I didn’t really have to explain that, did I? You were just posturing for the fans, right?

  28. 28
    liberal says:

    Texas Dem wrote,

    Face it, folks. We bet on the wrong horse.

    A little early to be saying that. And you have no idea how Hillary would have been doing if she’d clinched the nomination.

    And before you say, “I’ll never vote for that woman,” consider that you may feel differently after a few years of John McCain.

    Sure—if I had been able to look into a crystal ball and saw H winning the general and O losing it, I’d have voted for H in the primaries and given her $$. But I don’t have a crystal ball, and neither do you.

    My guess is that in a few years most of us will be begging HRC to save us from John and his merry band of neocons.

    God forbid—the Clintons are one of the things that’s wrong with the Dem Party. Not that I think Barack is one of the things that’s right—he’s too mushy centrist. But the Clintons…

  29. 29
    Delia says:

    Face it, folks. We bet on the wrong horse.

    Yeah, I’m concerned. If we’d all voted for Hillary this never would’ve happened. Because she and St. Maverick are such good pals and went drinking together and all, and both had battle experience (he’s a POW, you know; and she captured Tuzla). So anyhow, if we’d all voted for Hillary, St. John would NEVER, EVER have gone negative on her the way he’s done on Obama. Wow, what a mistake we made there. The goopers never go negative on a candidate unless there’s a really good reason to do so. Like they’re running against them.

  30. 30
    John Cole says:

    For a logician, reading this site is as painful as a musician watching 4-year-olds beat each other with Stradivarius violins and Getzen trumpets. You can’t possibly misunderstand the issue so badly as this.

    You can’t possibly misunderstand sarcasm so badly as this.

  31. 31
    liberal says:

    …Plumb Bob… wrote,

    …ought to be ahead by double digits at this point in the race…

    You have any empirical (historical) info to back up those claims from past races (pre-convention polling)?

  32. 32
    liberal says:

    From Plumb Bob’s blog:

    My assessment of the 1990s is that the American people were given a test. We elected the most obviously corrupt, most cynical, most capricious, most clearly dishonest ruler a nation has ever produced.

    Yes, because lying about a blowjob is far, far worse than lying about why you’re taking the nation to war.

  33. 33
    lojasmo says:

    Ah. The other shoe has dropped. Thanks Texas dem. You win the award for the most words/most vapid ratio.

    And no. I won’t be voting for Clinton in 2012. I will be voting for Obama’s second term. It is VERY likely that, as I have always said, I will NEVER vote for Clinton.

  34. 34
    Tlaloc says:

    Then again, the question I have is that if Obama only leading nationally by a few points all summer was considered bad news for Obama, then clearly McCain taking the lead must be construed as bad news for John McCain. Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN, and that when Obama was only leading by 5 it was bad news for Obama, and this is now CATASTROPHIC NEWS and the CAMPAIGN IS IN DISARRAY and they NEED A SHAKE-UP!

    Despite pretending otherwise you are damn well smart enough to understand that in a race where the dem candidate has a huge number of institutional advantages and the GOP candidate has a lot of issues to overcome, that being within the margin of error ahead isn’t great news. Particularly when that’s in the summer when Dems tend to poll much better (as opposed to closer to the actual election).

    Obama is underperfoming “generic Democrat.” That’s bad. Whether you want to ignore it and pretend people who don’t is stupid is, of course, your choice. But I think most of us know you’re smart enough not to believe that shit you’re spewing.

    …And, no, Obama should not choose Hillary as VP. Choosing a woman wouldn’t hurt, but there are other options who’d get him easily as much as Hillary would on the ticket at this point.

  35. 35
    Damien says:

    …Plumb Bob… wrote,

    …ought to be ahead by double digits at this point in the race…

    If Obama had a double digit lead at this point the election would be a complete blowout landslide and McCain might as well pack up now to save himself the embarrassment.

    Do you have any idea how significant a 10+ lead would be? How many electoral college votes that translates into?

  36. 36
    Xanthippas says:

    A wildly popular candidate who raises twice as much money as his opponent, whose party is out-polling the opposition party by double digits for the first time in decades, who holds clear locks on both houses of Congress, running while a wildly unpopular President of the opposing party holds office, ought to in my mind because I have no empirical data to support this be ahead by double digits at this point in the race, as Democrats frequently are when they’re going to win.

    Fixed.

  37. 37
    liberal says:

    Tlaloc wrote,

    Despite pretending otherwise you are damn well smart enough to understand that in a race where the dem candidate has a huge number of institutional advantages and the GOP candidate has a lot of issues to overcome, that being within the margin of error ahead isn’t great news.

    Huge number of institutional advantages? Not really. How do you think the people who own this country, and in particular the mass media, are going to vote?

    Not to mention that it’s much easier to run a tactically effective political race when your party is the party of thugs.

    Be that as it may, Obama does need to fight fire with fire and start stooping to McCain’s level.

  38. 38
    cleek says:

    After the conventions he had McCain by the golf balls because McCain will be tied to the spending he agreed to with regard to public funding while Obama will have a real war chest to saturate the place with.

    the RNC itself isn’t tied to any spending limits, though. and all those donations that McCain could take, will just go to the RNC instead.

  39. 39
    rawshark says:

    A wildly popular candidate who raises twice as much money as his opponent, whose party is out-polling the opposition party by double digits for the first time in decades, who holds clear locks on both houses of Congress, running while a wildly unpopular President of the opposing party holds office, ought to be ahead by double digits at this point in the race,

    ….except that he’s black and his middle name is Hussein and we’re a racist country. Your judicious study of the past means nothing, we’re creating new realities here.

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    Despite pretending otherwise you are damn well smart enough to understand that in a race where the dem candidate has a huge number of institutional advantages and the GOP candidate has a lot of issues to overcome, that being within the margin of error ahead isn’t great news.

    I eagerly await the list of “institutional advantages” that the black guy named Hussein has over the multiple termed Senator with a war hero narrative, the media in his back pocket, and a well financed and well oiled smear machine chugging along.

    All of you want me to panic because OMG the race is tight. Not only have I repeatedly said that nothing matters until after the conventions, but I refuse to play along with the narrative you and plumbbob want to create, which is that anything short of Obama leading by double digits is disaster. That is what I was mocking- the notion that when he was ahead, it was bad news for him, now he is behind and guess what… the same folks are telling me it is bad news for him.

    Pure, unadulterated silliness. In the real world, you have to win 270 electoral votes to win, not beat some crazy spread created by the concern trolls and the media.

  41. 41
    rawshark says:

    that being within the margin of error ahead isn’t great news

    It’s not news at all.

  42. 42
    4jkb4ia says:

    Have not read poblano, but I will be optimistic because McCain is only ahead when there are no toss-ups. The strong Obama states are stronger for Obama than the McCain states for McCain. And McCain is only ahead in Missouri by 4, when you could not miss any of his ads recently.

  43. 43
    Tlaloc says:

    Huge number of institutional advantages? Not really.

    Please. Dems have way more money, far better party ID, the republicans have the most unpopular president in history finishing out his second term, we’re in a rough economic patch which means populist politics play well (although the republicans will of course try to counter with tax cuts), There’s a hugely unpopular war that is directly tied to the GOP, The GOP candidate is widely reviled by about half of his own party, Even the way the primary shook out favored Obama (because he got a couple months of free coverage in the news while McCain couldn’t get page 23 status).

    The Dems have every advantage this time around. There’s no question but that they will pick up seats in both houses of Congress. And yet they appear to be in serious danger of losing the presidency.

    That’s world class incompetence.

    This was Obama’s race to lose, and he seems to be testing that theory.

  44. 44
    4jkb4ia says:

    McCain ahead by 6 in Indiana! Yowch!

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    Keep in mind that the two campaigns are playing entirely different strategies right now.

    McCain is trying to boost his standing inside the polling model hoping that it will shift the media narrative more strongly in his direction. He needs that because CNN will pimp him for free.

    Obama is focusing mainly on breaking the polling model by registering Democrats and getting them to vote in higher numbers than the pollsters expect. For one, it’s a cheaper approach if you have a lot of volunteers – which he has. Those volunteers also work to counter the media advertising – and a more personal message works a lot better.

    GOTV was a big part of the 2000 and 2004 wins where churches served as the free GOTV labor. Bush won many states because the polling models seriously underestimated certain demographics. Obama is looking to do the same – and it’s a good move for him because he can deliver demographics that historically have been hard to reach.

    Obama can hit the airwaves hard later – but now he’s focusing on getting people to pay attention. I think we all agree that at least 80% of voters vote along party lines – regardless of the candidate. That’s what the polling models reflect – and it’s really that middle 20% or so of undecideds and voters that don’t strongly identify with a party that are up for grabs in the polls. Any vote that you can add from outside the LV model helps in two ways:

    1) it’s a free vote. You really don’t need to keep winning them.
    2) They automatically help bring other voters into the fold through casual acquaintances.

    McCain is trying to undercut this by attacking on the air and making Obama look ungenuine. McCain doesn’t appear to have a ground game at all. Anyone can throw together a media campaign at the last minute, but ground games take a lot of time and effort – and now is when that is happening. McCain knows that he’s screwed on the ground game which is why he’s taking such strong positions on abortion and gays – he’s trying to get the populations that carried Bush to carry him – and he knows he doesn’t really have them. Yeah, they’ll vote for him, but they are more likely to not vote at all – as they did before 2000.

    The narratives change a fair bit once the VPs are named and the conventions finish. The branding will change, the message will change. Dumping a ton of money into messaging and branding before this happens isn’t hugely productive. Let McCain burn through his money now – it won’t have a lasting effect. Instead, Obama will have 10s of thousands of volunteers trained and ready to go.

  46. 46
    4jkb4ia says:

    No, it is not world class incompetence. It is McCain having been around longer and having already defined himself to the press. Presidential campaigns are about individuals defining themselves to the country more than they are about generic party labels because you have so many very low-information voters participating.

  47. 47
    Brachiator says:

    Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am a firm believer that the national polling really does not matter until after the second convention.

    I’m not sure that any pre-election polling means very much to anyone except the insiders running the campaign, where it gives an idea about where to focus their efforts. Otherwise, it’s a lot of theoretical rah rah for pundits, wonks and cheerleaders, but no substitute for an actual election.

    Several possible explanations come to mind…

    Note here that the obvious thing to do would be for reporters to actually go out and, you know, talk to voters, instead of trying to do “analysis” by straining their foreheads, reading tea leaves, and guessing.

    Texas Dem Says:

    Face it, folks. We bet on the wrong horse.

    As others have noted, I don’t think this is the case, and I am not particularly worried about the choice that the Democratic Party has made.

    Also, that Saddleback fiaso gave us a good preview of how the debates will go.

    The only thing significant about the Saddleback Church forum was that it should clue people in to the fact that McCain will not be easily trounced in a debate. Again, I’m not particularly worried.

    Regarding VP picks, although Obama needs HRC quite badly at this point, I’d be very surprised if HRC even wants the vice presidencial nomination.

    The problem here is that except for her national name recognition, Hillary Clinton does not bring much to the party, and her husband is an absolute liability. A cynic might suggest that Obama consider naming her to be VP just to get some electoral help, and then totally ignore her.

    Her core supporters are almost as old, bitter and out-of-touch as are McCain’s. If she thinks that she can ride to rescue in 2012, when she will be even less known to younger voters than she is now, then she is politically tone deaf, dumb and blind.

    Hillary had a chance to seize the moment and failed epically. The attitude of her nuttier supporters that they can hold their breath, stop time, and ensure that the Sun Queen be voted the first woman president ever, is pathetic.

    Despite all the pearl clutching, I expect Obama to win in November. And even more, I see that his candidacy may inspire men and women in the future to step up and take advantage of the changes in campaign tactics and fund raising that Obama has mastered.

    In this regard, both McCain and the Clintons are dinosaurs. They may be able to make some noise for a while, but their time has passed, whether they realize it or not.

  48. 48
    strawmanmunny says:

    Sorry, but I don’t think Obama has a chance, and I don’t think he ever really had a chance to begin with. It’s been written about before, but how many people that say they are voting for Obama are going to find it real hard to vote for a non-white person with a foreign-sounding name once they get in the booth? I would love to be proved wrong, but I don’t expect much from the people of this country anymore. Throw some negative ads with not-so-subtle, race-baiting images in them, and voila!, the electorate starts to shrink from voting for Obama. Sad that so many people can be fooled over and over with the same old dirty bag of tricks.

    I totally agree. I still have hope that Obama will pull this out, but it was NEVER going to be easy. The risk of nominating Obama might be higher than with Clinton, but the reward if he wins will also be much higher.

    I keep thinking I will awake one day and find out that American citizens will not fall for the same hate and vitriol that seems to win election after election. After Repubs bitched about Clinton’s ways and Dems have bitched about Bush’s, it just seems that WINNING an election is what is important to the “team”, not whether he is the better candidate.

    I know I get tired of the doomsayers about this country, but I am slowly and surely(don’t call me Shirley) starting to believe them. Rome is burning and eveyone is just yelling about who to blame.

    This country is like most of our citizens, fat,arrogant and so sure that their way is the only way and that opposition must be destroyed, not debated. Andrew Begavich nailed it in his interview with Bill Moyers, this countries problem is that it sees the faults in every other country but willfully disregards the problems in their own. To do so would be unpatriotic. As the old saying goes, Pride goeth before the fall.

  49. 49
    4jkb4ia says:

    I wish I had written what Martin did, but I am worried that the media game will spread lies about Obama because the reporters will not bother to fact-check anything.

  50. 50
    Tlaloc says:

    I eagerly await the list of “institutional advantages” that the black guy named Hussein has over the multiple termed Senator with a war hero narrative, the media in his back pocket, and a well financed and well oiled smear machine chugging along.

    Given above and your comments about the media being in McCain’s pocket as well as the “well funded” smear machine are both false. Yes, the GOP has a smear machine but it is not all that well funded this year (particularly in comparison to the Dem’s smear machine). Nor has the media been all that great to McCain. They pretty much ignored him all through the Dem primary fight and then followed like trained dogs on Obama’s inexplicable german trip.

    The Media is being the Media.

    All of you want me to panic because OMG the race is tight

    No, actually I’d just like you to stop with the asinine Obama cheerleading and try to be vaguely realistic. Obama is having problems. It doesn’t mean he’s finished. But your “Rah-rah” act is pretty grating since, as before, we know you aren’t a total retard.

    That is what I was mocking- the notion that when he was ahead, it was bad news for him, now he is behind and guess what… the same folks are telling me it is bad news for him.

    You take two racers. You break racer #2’s leg and you give racer #1 a 100 yard head start. At the first turn Racer #2 is only 10 yards behind.

    Yeah 1 is winning but he’s doing a piss poor job of it under the circumstances. Then at the second turn it looks like the two are pretty much dead even.

    And you want to mock people who point oput that that means the WHOLE race has gone badly for guy #1. That’s just as stupid as the republicans harping on the tire gauge thing. As Obama would say “it’s like you’re proud of being ignorant.”

  51. 51
    John Cole says:

    No, actually I’d just like you to stop with the asinine Obama cheerleading and try to be vaguely realistic. Obama is having problems. It doesn’t mean he’s finished. But your “Rah-rah” act is pretty grating since, as before, we know you aren’t a total retard.

    Link to one post where I have rah-rah’d anything. I have assiduously avoided the polls, have repeatedly stated they do not matter until after the convention, and have spent the rest of the time mocking the prevailing narratives that you seem to not only endorse, but live by.

    This is going to be a tight election. Period. The nation is, as a whole, divided. However, because I refuse to buy into your narrative that things are going badly right now, I am being unrealistic. This is August. There are ups and downs. Obama’s fund-raising is going well.

    You are being crazy, and pretending I am doing nothing but cheerleading because I refuse to buy into your basic premise is silliness.

  52. 52
    liberal says:

    Tlaloc wrote,

    The Dems have every advantage this time around.

    Oh, BS. McCain is running as a superhawk during a time when people have apprehensions about the security of the nation. Please cite any evidence from history, anytime in the last three millenia and anywhere on the globe, when running on a jingoistic platform wasn’t usually (if not 100% of the time) an advantage.

    And on the economy: it’s an economic fact that drilling in US coastal waters will do essentially nothing for gas prices, even after that oil starts flowing, because oil is traded on world markets and the increase in domestic production will be small relative to the size of the world market. Yet by shilling for the oil companies, McCain gets dollars from the oil companies, and can appeal to the large fraction of Americans who are too stupid to understand oil economics.

    It’s the institutional advantage of being a thug, in a party of thugs.

    There’s a hugely unpopular war that is directly tied to the GOP…

    Yes, it’s very unpopular. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to run on a platform saying we should wind down the war quickly. (Not that I think that Obama’s actually doing that—a little too mushy centrist.) I’d like any evidence from history that it’s easy-going for a campaigning politician to wind down involvement in a foreign war.

  53. 53
    rawshark says:

    although the republicans will of course try to counter with tax cuts

    For who?

    Also, that Saddleback fiaso gave us a good preview of how the debates will go. Obama gave us his professorial answers while John McCain gave people the sharp, crisp soundbites they were looking for.

    That is how Reagan beat Carter.

    The Media is being the Media.

    Yes. They are backing the supply-sider as always. It works best for them given that they’re high paid and all.

  54. 54
    liberal says:

    Tlaloc wrote,

    Yes, the GOP has a smear machine but it is not all that well funded this year (particularly in comparison to the Dem’s smear machine).

    LOL!

    What Democratic smear machine?

    Would that we had one…

  55. 55
    Tax Analyst says:

    Well, I’m not thrilled by these recent polls, but they come at a time when McCain & his minions have been controlling the narrative…and what a nasty little piece of work that has been so far. Obama has not yet returned fire, but I understanding he is unveiling some right about now. McCain has been gaining strictly by pushing negative BS…which obviously works to a large degree, but he hasn’t been targeted or pinned down yet on HIS negatives, of which there appear to be PLENTY. I’m expecting that at a certain point his people are not going to be able to deflect every point by throwing “POW” in front of it.

    Maybe this polling will be enough to jar some of the recalcitrant Hillary supporters into sanity…unless they really think John McCain will be a boon to their pet issues. The Convention would be a good time to show some unity, but I may be expecting too much common sense from this group.

    Guess we’ll see…

  56. 56
    liberal says:

    rawshark wrote,

    That is how Reagan beat Carter.

    Main reason Carter lost was the economy.

    In terms of pithy responses, etc, you could also cite the fact that the Reagan camp stole Carter’s debate book.

    Party of thugs…

  57. 57
    liberal says:

    strawmanmunny wrote,

    The risk of nominating Obama might be higher than with Clinton, but the reward if he wins will also be much higher.

    I think there might be a reward, but not a large one. If you look at their Senate voting records, Obama is pretty much the same as Hillary.

    I know there’s more to the Presidency than ideology, but…

  58. 58
    John Cole says:

    I forgot who I was arguing with. From TLALOC’s greatest hits:

    Yes, she did. We’re stuck with Obama now. Thanks ever so much for

    a) giving the republicans an actual shot to win in a year when they should be burnt toast.
    b) making sure that even if they lose they win because our supposed progressive president does what he’s told to by the republicans.

    That was on July 9th, which according to the RCP data that Tlaloc now wants us to bet everything on, Obama only had a 5 point lead.

    I can’t control the way you think, but if Obama with a 5 point lead was opportunity for a freak-out, I can understand why you are shitting bricks today. I say again, it is not me being unrealistic about this stuff. IF we come out of the conventions, and Obama is not leading by a few points, I will worry.

    Until then, not so much.

  59. 59
    NR says:

    The most worrying things from all these polls aren’t the topline numbers. Rather, look at the candidates’ favorability ratings. Obama’s negatives are way up, typically over 40%, while his favorables are down to below 50%. Meanwhile, McCain is sitting there at over 60% favorable, not budging at all.

    And gee, who would have thought? Who could possibly imagine that Obama’s favorables would drop under the constant assault he’s been taking? Who could have guessed that Obama continually praising McCain as a war hero would keep his favorables high?

    Do you have any idea how much of a wimp Obama looks like when his opponent calls him a traitor and he responds by saying that his opponent is a man of honor and an American hero?

    Obama needs to quit being so deferential to McCain. The High Road Fairy is not going to show up on November 4th and leave votes under his pillow. He needs to start hitting McCain hard – lord knows the guy has given us enough ammo. The Democratic convention needs to be a sustained, effective attack on McCain, just like the Republican convention was on Kerry in 2004, and like it will be this year on Obama.

    If the Obama team doesn’t wake up, and fast, they are going to lose this election.

  60. 60
    Plumb Bob says:

    You can’t possibly misunderstand sarcasm so badly as this.

    I just couldn’t believe, and still can’t believe, what you were being sarcastic about. You offered two alternatives, both in a sarcastic tone; either the reversal of positions must be bad news for McCain, or the metric in use is that all possible situations are good for McCain. The capitalized words indicate that your heaviest sarcasm rests on the second leg.

    This is what made my coffee spew, because the most sarcastic line is actually the correct analysis: this really is catastrophic news for Obama, and he really does need to shake something up.

    After this, your attempt to defend yourself is just lame. You’d really be better off just admitting that you wrote a clunker, laughing at yourself, and moving on.

  61. 61

    I’m going with none of the above. The fact that Michael Phelps consumes 12000 calories per day when he is in his rigorous training cycle is as important to the outcome of the election as is any poll or tea leaf reading.

    Most of what Obama is doing is below the national radar screen. The establishment media is just now picking up that Obama has been hitting back at McCain with some pretty damning TV ads. But then they are the old school folks and they don’t do as well in the modern 365/24/7 news cycle.

    I think I mentioned yesterday that Obama has been pounding away at McCain here in NM for over a week now. Those ads started locally just before his feel good national ads began during the Olympics coverage. The view of the election is very location dependent at the moment.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    This is what made my coffee spew, because the most sarcastic line is actually the correct analysis: this really is catastrophic news for Obama, and he really does need to shake something up.

    No, it isn’t. If you simply do not buy into the premise that the race means anything right now, the day to day snapshots are irrelevant. And since I apparently have to repeat myself 100 times, even for logicians, if after the conventions Obama is trailing, I would worry.

    Now, not so much. They are working on the ground game, they are raising money and setting up GOTV, they are planning and preparing for a convention, and none of this stuff is going to be reflected in a daily national poll. I simply don’t buy into the premise you are pushing.

    One final thing- I think people really are underestimating the importance of party affiliation. Over the years, the best predictor of how people vote has always been their party affiliation, and that is through the roof for Democrats this year.

    Simply put, I just refuse to panic over temporary blips before the convention.

  63. 63
    Delia says:

    Plumb Bob — whose website features a cartoon ranting about Obama’s birth certificate. And this man claims to be a logician. Oh well. I guess you can start with an absolutely insane premise and construct all your reasoning from that point, but all you get is more and deeper insanity. As we see here.

  64. 64
    y7 says:

    I’m saying “none of the above.”

    When does, “Obama is a crappy candidate with no experience who has been caught in myriad reversals (bordering on if not out-right lies), who cannot compose a coherent sentence without a teleprompter and who says “as I have always said” even when contradicting previous statements or policies posted on his website, and who cannot complete any sentence, telepromped or not, without “uh,” “um,” “you know,” who has a business relationship with a domestic terrorist and a personal relationship with a black liberation theology preacher and blatant racist make the list? When? Anytime?

    Why is it always Republicans’ fault that Democrats choose loser candidates? Put away the schoolyard crushes and answer the above question truthfully and you will realize that the DNC established the Super Delegates to prevent a candidate like Obama from receiving the nomination.

    It is a bitter pill. It is better to shallow it now. Remember how when Kerry lost, all of sudden everyone saw what a terrible candidate he really was? Democrats based there love of Kerry on how he “looked” presidential. Obama “looks” post-racial, post-partisan. When will you start making decision on the substance of a man rather than his appearance?

    It is too late for this cycle. Maybe next time.

    McCain08

  65. 65
    John Cole says:

    After this, your attempt to defend yourself is just lame. You’d really be better off just admitting that you wrote a clunker, laughing at yourself, and moving on.

    BTW- do you always hold yourself in such high regard? You come in tossing out your barb about your mystical logician powers, completely unaware that there is an ongoing conversation here, and we (meaning those of us who are here every day) knew exactly the point I was making, then you insist that only your interpretation of events is valid and that unless and until we adopt your narrative, we are wrong wrong wrong, and then you end with the patented “I am so right, you should just fess up and have a chuckle at yourself.”

    Seriously, get over yourself.

  66. 66
    NR says:

    Most of what Obama is doing is below the national radar screen.

    Then that’s a really stupid strategy. The most important purpose of negative ads is to influence the national conversation, to build a national narrative about your opponent. To do this, you need to get the national media to talk about your ads, to play them over and over and analyze what they mean.

    The McCain camp has been doing this very effectively. We all remember the Britney Spears & Paris Hilton ad – sure, lots of us laughed at it, but guess what? It worked. The “celebrity” narrative has done a lot of damage to Obama.

    Obama needs to build the same kind of narrative about McCain. Local ads aren’t going to get it done.

  67. 67
    zoe from pittsburgh says:

    Obama needs to keep his push-back tough and occasionally funny as mockery is a great tool. While he’s taken a bit of a beating it’s early, pretty slight and nothing approaching swiftboat-level damage. At this point I think he’s holding his own. What he seems to be missing is surrogates, which will all come out during and after the DNC’s convention.

    What does need to happen is that McCain needs to exposed as a liar– although he doesn’t just lie about Obama’s record or ideas (which is to be expected and not really that powerful) but McCain REGULARLY LIES ABOUT HIMSELF AND HIS OWN RECORD. He lied to the faces of old vets at the VFW meeting the other day about his support for the new GI bill. He might be a vet but he has no honor or dignity when it comes to telling the truth.

    Seriously, McCain’s bald-faced lies are a gift waiting to be unwrapped. It’s the best kind of “In Their Own Words” ad possible– McCain vs. McCain.

    Who is the real McCain? There isn’t a real McCain. McCain is a maverick in the exact same way that Bush is a good ol’ Texas cowboy– it’s all a Big Fat Lie. A vote for McCain is a vote for Bush, only he’s a lot older and more arrogant and thinks war is a joking matter. (bomb, bomb, bomb Iran)

  68. 68
    Tlaloc says:

    Cole:

    Link to one post where I have rah-rah’d anything.

    THIS VERY POST WAS CHERLEADING! For fuck’s sake.

    However, because I refuse to buy into your narrative that things are going badly right now, I am being unrealistic.

    Because you refuse to acknowledge DATA you are being unrealistic. The mocking of precedent and learned analysis doesn’t help either.

    liberal:

    Please cite any evidence from history, anytime in the last three millenia and anywhere on the globe, when running on a jingoistic platform wasn’t usually (if not 100% of the time) an advantage.

    Are you high? Bush has Jingoism tattooed on the inside of his eyelids and his favorablitiy is in the toilet. That’s not just historical data but current circumstances! That’s the environment where this campaign is being played out.

    Rawshark:

    For who?

    The rich, duh. But that’s how they’ll try to claim it for everone as usual and try to buy votes. That’s beyond predictable and simply tedious.

    Yes. They are backing the supply-sider as always.

    No, they are chasing what ever glittery thing catches their attention. That was Obama during the end of the primary and his jaunt to Germany. The media is in the bag for nobody, all they want is to sell papaers. That Obama, despite being young and charismatic and the historical first of a black candidate for president, hasn’t had them utterly eating out of his hand doesn’t bode well for him.

    liberal:

    What Democratic smear machine?

    “100 years” sound familiar? That was a smear. Not a particularly egregious one by anymeans but a smear none the less (they took his words excerpted a part to get rid of context and then proceeded to bash him with the apparent instead of actual meaning). No different than the republicans with the tire gauge thing.

    Yes, the Dems do in fact have smear artists.

  69. 69
    rawshark says:

    liberal Says:

    rawshark wrote,

    That is how Reagan beat Carter.

    Main reason Carter lost was the economy.

    I was 8 at the time so I’m going off what others said but one thing I have heard, maybe it’s just a paraphrasing of the whole debate but it was something like this:

    Moderator: Mr Carter, what would you do to solve the Middle East Crisis?
    Carter: There are no simple answers to complex questions……..
    Moderator: Mr Reagan, same question.
    Reagan: I believe in America and it’s ability to get’er done.
    Moderator: Go Ronny, it’s your birthday, we’re gonna party like it’s your birthday.

  70. 70
    Gus says:

    Only a callow youth would say that Clinton is more corrupt, capricious, etc. than Richard Nixon. And only a callow youth would be so full of his meager intellectual powers. Fuckin’ punk kids.

  71. 71
    Ed in NJ says:

    Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that any other Democrat would be leading by 10+ pts. over McCain. But in reality, any other Republican would be losing by 10+ to Obama. The McCain as maverick myth prevails because not enough voters are paying attention.

    After the convention, the real story will unfold. The Dems will be united and excited, and the undecideds will see the same old, lame Republican platform and realize that the maverick has left the building. Then the numbers will start to resemble the generic R vs. D numbers.

  72. 72
    John Cole says:

    THIS VERY POST WAS CHERLEADING! For fuck’s sake.

    Yes, I see clearly how stating, as I have for months, that I don’t care about the polls until after the conventions and then mocking the notion that Obama absolutely has to be winning by ten points right now is blatant cheerleading.

    Why, I can barely type, what with the pom-poms getting in the way.

  73. 73
    NR says:

    After the convention, the real story will unfold. The Dems will be united and excited, and the undecideds will see the same old, lame Republican platform and realize that the maverick has left the building.

    If undecideds paid any attention at all to party platforms, we’d be at the end of President Gore’s second term right now.

  74. 74
    cyntax says:

    Meh. I see presidential elections as endurance events not sprints, and we’re nowhere near the finish.

    As I think at least one poster mentioned above, there’s some interesting analysis over at 538 about campaign spending and the impact of Obama’s GOTV organization (also of course, poll analysis).

    None of that isn’t to say that I wouldn’t like to see Obama up in the polls right now, but I think we’re in a bit of a hurry up and wait zone right now.

  75. 75
    JasonF says:

    Not to change the subject, but I’ve been watching the Rumble in the Jungle, and I have to say that four rounds into it, Foreman is looking really good. He’s throwing most of the punches, and while Ali occasionally connects with a jab or two, it’s really been Foreman’s fight for most of this thing.

    Yep, I feel confident in predicting that there is no possible way Ali can pull this one off.

  76. 76

    Why, I can barely type, what with the pom-poms getting in the way.

    Please NO VIDEO. It was enough awesome to see MM in a cheerleading outfit. (Although you probably do have better looking legs… That’s not really a compliment, is it?)

  77. 77
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    *goes to Gallup*
    *checks graphs*

    Let’s see: McCain still has yet to cross the 45% threshold, a number he hasn’t seen since Obama cinched the nomination. He did manage to correct his favorability freefall, but 62% isn’t that close to the high 60s he had peaked at.

    Nope, still not concerned. Which I guess makes me a ‘rah-rah’ guy too. i.e. Someone who isn’t critical of everything Obama does. Nach McCain, uns!

  78. 78
    bostondreams says:

    y7 Says:
    It is too late for this cycle. Maybe next time.

    McCain08

    What an incredibly inane comment. Let’s talk about the character of McCain, a fraud and hypocrite if ever there was one.
    -Corruption: The Keating Five
    -Immoral: Left his first wife for money
    -Hypocrisy 1: the millionaire accuses Obama of being elitist
    -Hypocrisy 2: claims not to want to talk about being a POW..then claims all attacks against him are wrong because he was a POW
    -Misogynistic: called his wife a c*** and a trollop
    -Liar: Claimed to be the reason for the newest GI Bill
    -Two-faced: he was against tax cuts before he was for them, supported the flying of the rebel flag before he was against it
    -Ignorant: Cant’ find Iraq, Pakistan or Afghanistan on a map, apparently; believes Chzechoslovakia still exists; has no understanding of history or world politics (ie: the Russian invansion of Georgie is the first crisis since the end of the Cold War)
    -Whining: challenges Obama to go abroad, whines when he does.

    Really, McCain may be a war hero, but he is a pathetic asshole too.

  79. 79
    rawshark says:

    No, they are chasing what ever glittery thing catches their attention.

    yes they chase the day to day glitter but overall, in the long run, they prefer the candidate that supports policies that benefit the well off, which they are, in most cases. (I love commas!)

    “100 years” sound familiar? That was a smear. Not a particularly egregious one by anymeans but a smear none the less (they took his words excerpted a part to get rid of context and then proceeded to bash him with the apparent instead of actual meaning). No different than the republicans with the tire gauge thing.

    Much much different. No one who doesn’t read blogs even knows about the 100 years thing. Everyone who listens to radio knows about the tire gauge thing. Never mind context. the audience difference is enough. The dems at best have a smear machine in theory.

  80. 80
    rawshark says:

    When will you start making decision on the substance of a man rather than his appearance?

    It is too late for this cycle. Maybe next time.

    McCain08

    Republican projection in action. Brought to you by the campaign that wants you to elect the not-black guy.

  81. 81
    John Cole says:

    Much much different. No one who doesn’t read blogs even knows about the 100 years thing. Everyone who listens to radio knows about the tire gauge thing. Never mind context. the audience difference is enough. The dems at best have a smear machine in theory.

    What. You can’t possibly mean that! Clearly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the NRO, the Weekly Standard, Regenery press, hundreds of other wingnut radio stations and Hannity and Ann Coulter and email chains and the Tennessee GOP and too many other wheels to even mention are EXACTLY the same as…

    John Aravosis and some jackass anonymous poster at DKOS who writes under the name PROUD2BPROGRESSIVE.

  82. 82

    Heh. I’m with John. But on the many topics floating around-

    If it’s the economy (as it was with Carter), the non-incumbent party wins.

    If it’s the ability to go “There you go again!” (Reagan/Carter), Obama is way more capable of coming up with a great line, at the right time. Can’t throw those away ahead of time.

    If it’s entirely and only about the ability to go low road and talk loads of dirt, Obama cannot do that. Not as a black man he can’t. He’s right not to do it. I doubt any white candidate would avoid the temptation, but Obama can’t go there. This does also mean he gets to be perceived as rising above it, ‘presidentially’, to the extent that we still want our presidents to be presidential.

    If it’s about the ground game, everything I hear has Obama epically pwning McCain. We’re not supposed to be hearing about that, it is best done in secrecy, like the McCain swiftboater people.

    Right now, I don’t trust ANYBODY or anything I am reading about the ‘race’. I honestly believe the press are bought and have been controlled by the administration for many years and it’s a lot to expect that will change overnight. Also, the voting systems themselves are absolutely treacherous and controlled by McCain forces through the relevant companies (formerly known as Diebold, remember them?) but there are limits to how effective that can be.

    I expect another absolute orgy of thuggery and criminality, but I do NOT expect it is guaranteed to be successful. And of course I also expect the thugs and their supporters to concern troll up a storm, lie like their boss, and claim it is really ever so close a race. What I don’t know is exactly who they are paying off for plausible evidence of this, whose arms are being twisted, or exactly what’s going on behind the scenes.

    So I am a leeeeetle skeptical of any of these concerned reports on how poor Obama is really doomed and cannot win, so don’t be surprised if Diebold um er THE PEOPLE say he didn’t win, ok?

    What did you THINK I expected you guys to say, ‘woopsy, we suck, ok you win’? When we say the Republican organization is thuggery and engaging in criminal behavior, we are not exactly speaking metaphorically.

  83. 83
    Delia says:

    bostondreams Says:

    y7 Says:
    It is too late for this cycle. Maybe next time.

    McCain08

    What an incredibly inane comment. Let’s talk about the character of McCain, a fraud and hypocrite if ever there was one.
    -Corruption: The Keating Five
    -Immoral: Left his first wife for money
    -Hypocrisy 1: the millionaire accuses Obama of being elitist
    -Hypocrisy 2: claims not to want to talk about being a POW..then claims all attacks against him are wrong because he was a POW
    -Misogynistic: called his wife a c*** and a trollop, [etc.]

    Let’s expand on the immoral misogynistic bit. Laura W. on the other thread has pieced together evidence that he hasn’t stopped beating his wife:

    Laura W Says:

    You know, their relationship has been on my muddled mind since yesterday when I saw two clips of them together, perhaps from yesterday. She’s got her right arm in the sling, and they are disembarking a plane. She’s grabbing onto the rail with her left hand and to my eyes (and I watched this very carefully twice), he is doing nothing at all to assist or ensure her safety. The next scene is in a diner and he is already seated at the table while she tries to pull her chair up behind her as she seats herself, with one hand. Is she dead to him or what? How classless can the man be? (that can be rhetorical.)

    That led me to recalling W’s beaten-to-death comment about “marrying up”. Much like McCain’s “drunken sailor spending” and “bear DNA” scream-when-I-hear-them, rote quips. Of course for him to use the marrying up line would imply that he married up from his first wife, so surely that’s the catch there.

    Trollop and c**t episodes aside, every time I look at Cindy I just know that to some degree she is on the receiving end of a good amount of emotional and verbal abuse from her hot-tempered, mean-mouthed old Maverick. I’m going back to dwelling on the Obama’s relationship now. It doesn’t piss me off. And call me old fashioned or gullible, but I used to get a little mushy inside when Barack would hold Hill’s chair at the debates. At least he was conscious enough to realize that the little gesture of graciousness was called for, for christ sake.

  84. 84
    nightjar says:

    Tlalac comes by every now and then to share his concern trollery and PUMA muscle (the tiny bit that exists). He is stroking the honor of his Sun Queen with all sorts Redoux of any wingnut talking point he can muster. Means nothing, even less than polls in the heart of Dog Days. All Obama has to do is shove down the American gullet, the prospect of electing John MCcain as tantamount to re-electing GWB. That’s heartburn even the most racially anxious Anglo-Saxon will want to avoid.

  85. 85
    Joe says:

    strawmanmunny wrote: Andrew Begavich nailed it in his interview with Bill Moyers, this countries problem is that it sees the faults in every other country but willfully disregards the problems in their own. To do so would be unpatriotic. As the old saying goes, Pride goeth before the fall.

    I saw that Moyers show also, and went out and bought Bacevich’s “The Limits of Power…”. The book is a most depressing read because it very concisely details how the imperial presidency of the last 60 years has derailed American foreign policy. It’s a short book, about 180 pages, but it is a dense one – practically every paragraph is packed with ideas and historical evidence that can be the launching point for even more interesting discussions and research.

    After reading the book, my opinion of dubya has changed somewhat. I still think he has been a disaster for the country, but he’s merely continuing the practices of every president since Kennedy. Unfortunately for Bush, he is so damned stupid and/or arrogant or so driven by messianic dreams of authority, that he doesn’t do a very good job of masking his actions with high sounding language – with Bush we clearly see the Man Behind the Curtain and we end up paying attention though we are ordered not to. Highly recommend the book.

  86. 86
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    What Democratic smear machine?

    Would that we had one…

    Yeah, I know that you are disappointed that Hillary is out of commission now.

    John, you just had to say I eagerly await the vapid posts from a certain Hillary diehard that this is proof Obama must choose Hillary as his VP. Now the f’ing pro-Hillary/anti-Obama fruitcakes and their ratfuckers have come back out of the woodwork just to see if they get to be the one who gets to ring that bell. You ever thought about becoming an ‘Orkin Man’? You sure flushed the roaches out of the foundation here like a professional!

    It’s the summer silly season, and McCain has been the headliner. Things will heat up after the conventions and until then getting the vapors over anything like this is a waste of time. But we all know how much the dead enders and ratfuckers love to waste time, right? After all, when you don’t have a life to speak of, what else is there for a dead ender or ratfucker to do?

    Rant on you raving roaches! I know you have nothing better to do, and enticing you nutbags to waste your time posting here can only help Obama by keeping you preoccupied.

    :D

  87. 87
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    My first line should have read:

    Yeah, I know that you are disappointed that Hillary is out of commission now. ;)

    That ;) being left out might give the wrong impression. ;)

  88. 88
    Anita says:

    I still think that the Obama Campaign knows what it’s doing. Let him be the underdog for a while. Let the convention ensue and the ground game continue. He’s already come out tougher and the MSM has noticed. As he’s fond of saying, “Not THIS time!”, I think some of you may be pleasantly surprised.

  89. 89
    Tsulagi says:

    I am a firm believer that the national polling really does not matter until after the second convention.

    I’d go with that. Polling about two weeks after both conventions and post-bounces should show what the candidates are really working with. About the time lower-info voters start paying attention.

    Obama better be prepared to fight or get prepared because this is not going to be a blowout for him even though the conditions should be ripe for one. After the conventions McCain through 527s, state R-parties, etc. will be attacking Obama much harder than now with the sleazier stuff, and if called on it, McCain will publicly bemoan the current state of politics as if he is the pure candidate/war hero who would bring bedrock American values back. He may be having his senior moments, but when lucid, McCain wants this bad; he’s going to fight.

    If Obama goes with the Dem commandments that now seem to be virtually part of their DNA, wrinkly dude wins. You know, those brilliant Dem strategery commandments of “You pick your battles” (but fight none), and “Keep your powder dry” (while not noticing it long ago blew away). And if someone cleanly attempts to knock McCain off his pedestal, Obama might at least resist the Dem reflexive action of criticizing his own defender when the other guys whine he must do so.

  90. 90
    Ed in NJ says:

    NR Says:

    After the convention, the real story will unfold. The Dems will be united and excited, and the undecideds will see the same old, lame Republican platform and realize that the maverick has left the building.

    If undecideds paid any attention at all to party platforms, we’d be at the end of President Gore’s second term right now.

    Perhaps I should have added the debates also to my argument. My point is still that most people don’t know what McCain stands for. When the spotlight turns to actual policy positions at the conventions and debates, which it will despite the MSMs best efforts, many will see that McCain is the same old Bush GOPer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe Obama has squandered opportunities to define McCain as Bush III while allowing himself to be defined as inexperienced and unpatriotic, and he has been playing defense too much, but anyone who thinks this is over is being silly.

  91. 91

    One additional item why this polling is good news for Obama. His fundraising has been pretty darn good. When did he have that biggest of big months? When folks thought the race was close and he might get knocked out. Look for a $100 million month.

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning… LTC Kilogre

  92. 92
    Bill N says:

    All this BS about Hilary finishing strong, that
    that they should have dumped Obama for Hilary. Guess
    what; in this country leaders are elected by the people.
    Whomever gets the most votes is supposed to win. That’s
    called majority rule. Just because the republicans
    don’t believe in that concept, let’s not all go down that
    road. The Democrats should all get behind their standard
    bearer whomever it is and see that we don’t ever get another Republican elected to office. They have shown their colors very planely.

  93. 93
    Tom says:

    By far, the best one was the Rumble in the Jungle. Ali boom a yay. Ali boom a yay. Can you still hear that?

  94. 94
    Tom says:

    Add to that…rope a dope….float like a butterfly…sting like a bee. Oh, how we miss Cassius Clay…and Howard Co…sell.

  95. 95
    liberal says:

    Ed in NJ wrote,

    When the spotlight turns to actual policy positions at the conventions and debates, which it will despite the MSMs best efforts, many will see that McCain is the same old Bush GOPer.

    Depends on what kind of questions the media idiots ask at the debates.

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the media.

  96. 96
    liberal says:

    Conservatively Liberal wrote,

    Yeah, I know that you are disappointed that Hillary is out of commission now.

    Wha?

    I voted for Obama over Hillary in the MD primary. Wife and I gave $1000 to Obama during primary season, and another $1000 a few days ago.

    I’m just saying that negative campaigning is an effective tactic, and “pacts” not to do so are Prisoner Dilemmas. Best response when the other guy defects is to defect in turn—tit for tat.

    And in a Prisoner Dilemma, you can count on the Rethuglican to “defect” (viz, sing).

  97. 97
    liberal says:

    rawshark wrote,

    Moderator: Mr Carter, what would you do to solve the Middle East Crisis?
    Carter: There are no simple answers to complex questions……..
    Moderator: Mr Reagan, same question.
    Reagan: I believe in America and it’s ability to get’er done.
    Moderator: Go Ronny, it’s your birthday, we’re gonna party like it’s your birthday.

    The Onion had a piece on this, I think it was in their book Our Dumb Century. Carter’s main debate position: “Let’s Talk Better Mileage.” Reagan’s: “Kill the bastards, kill the bastards.”

  98. 98
    liberal says:

    Tlaloc wrote,

    Are you high? Bush has Jingoism tattooed on the inside of his eyelids and his favorablitiy is in the toilet.

    You’re an idiot; you prove my point exactly.

    In 2004, it was clear that Bush had entirely fabricated the pretext for the invasion of Iraq. But the Rethuglicans managed to win by wrapping themselves in the flag anyway.

    That Bush is extremely unpopular now in 2008 just means that the jingoism thing doesn’t work forever, and that Americans finally woke up and realized that their president is a monster.

  99. 99
    liberal says:

    zoe from pittsburgh wrote,

    A vote for McCain is a vote for Bush, only he’s a lot older and more arrogant and thinks war is a joking matter.

    I thought McCain was a greater danger to the country in the 2000 election cycle than Bush.

    Here in 2008, I still think so.

  100. 100
    neal says:

    Obama may hate the USA almost as much as he loves infanticide…

    A close call!

  101. 101
    Tlaloc says:

    You’re an idiot; you prove my point exactly.

    Your point: jingoism is always a political winner!
    My counter evidence: Bush has the lowest presidential favor rating in history despite being probably the biggest warmongering asshole.
    Your rebuttal: I WIN!

    Uh, okay. I thought you could string together logical propositions into a coherent argument. My bad.

    In 2004, it was clear that Bush had entirely fabricated the pretext for the invasion of Iraq. But the Rethuglicans managed to win by wrapping themselves in the flag anyway.

    Ah I guess I shouldn;t have underestimateds the capacity of Obama cultists to believe what they want to believe. No, it was not obvious to *everyone* in 2004 that Iraq was based on bullshit, only to the 2-3% of us who pay attention. And half of that number were bush dead enders who didn’t give a fuck anyway. Bush won 2004 because his mendacity wasn’t yet so obvious that even the typical voter noticed. And Kerry was an idiot and a douchebag rolled into one big loser package.

    Hence Bush won when he really shouldn’t have.

    Now here is the one lesson you, or not you but someone capable of approaching the world in a manner that involves reason, might take away from this:
    Dems can lose elections they have every advantage in winning if they are dumb.

    Obama is being dumb, and he’s slowly losing. You might think about taking off the cheerleader outfit with kneepads long enough to think about that.

  102. 102
    nightjar says:

    Your point: jingoism is always a political winner!
    My counter evidence: Bush has the lowest presidential favor rating in history despite being probably the biggest warmongering asshole.

    Your confusing campaigning with governing. Bush doesn’t have low approval numbers because he won the election with jingoism knucklhead. It’s because of what came after. The fact that those who fell for his bullshit the first 5 years of his presidency, has nothing to do with Bush being a warmongering asshole and everything to do with American voters (a large number of them) voracious appetite for shallow soundbites of nonsense. It well could be they’ve lost that appetite from 8 years of Bush, but I seriously doubt it. All prez elections are in part about the bestest jingo to seduce the most votes. It is what comes after that Americans pay closer attention to, and make their judgments of thumbs up, or down, for any given prez.

  103. 103
    Tlaloc says:

    Bush doesn’t have low approval numbers because he won the election with jingoism knucklhead.

    Duh, but it still disproves the idea that jingoism is some mystical always-win political strategy. It can and does fail under the right circumstances, and AGAIN those circumstances where it has just happened to prove to fail are coincidentally RIGHT NOW, i.e. the same circumstances that the current election play out under.

  104. 104
    nightjar says:

    Duh, but it still disproves the idea that jingoism is some mystical always-win political strategy. It can and does fail under the right circumstances, and AGAIN those circumstances where it has just happened to prove to fail are coincidentally RIGHT NOW, i.e. the same circumstances that the current election play out under.

    BIG MUPer YAWN!

  105. 105
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Wha?

    liberal, I posted the corrected sentence in the post immediately following what you quoted. I know that you are an Obama supporter, thus the necessity for the ;) I forgot to add. It was snark. :)

    Sorry for the misunderstanding!

    BIG MUPer YAWN!

    No shit. Tlaloc’s arguments have about as much substance as a fart, but that’s an improvement over the turds that they usually drop here.

  106. 106
    Obamamistake says:

    Obama is possibly the least qualified individual to ever run for the POTUS position, period. He does NOT have any relevant experience. The fact that he is in this current position is hard to believe in the first place. As we get closer and closer to the big day – people will side more and more with the “safer” option – and that sure ain’t Obama.

    Many Republicans don’t even like McCain. But, many of them, including myself and Millions and Millions of other Americans will be voting AGAINST Obama.

    1. No experience
    2. racist church
    3. Foreign Policy neophyte
    4. Rezko
    5. Flip flopping on issues in recent weeks.
    6. Won’t make a firm stand on certain issues

    All these issues make him difficult to trust…
    If the Dems had chosen Hillary – she would have probably blown McCain out of the water. Now that the media is not kissing Obama’s butt anymore – he’s gonna keep slipping in the polls.

  107. 107
    TenguPhule says:

    He does NOT have any relevant experience.

    Are we talking about George Bush, John MccCain or Ronald Reagan?

  108. 108
    Xanthippas says:

    If the Dems had chosen Hillary – she would have probably blown McCain out of the water.

    Even after Obama wins this election, there will still be Hillary supporters whining that Hillary would’ve won by MORE.

  109. 109
    TenguPhule says:

    1. No experience
    2. racist church
    3. Foreign Policy neophyte
    5. Flip flopping on issues in recent weeks. all the time
    6. Won’t make a firm stand on certain issues

    I agree, that describes Fuckstain McCain to a T.

  110. 110
    nightjar says:

    Many Republicans don’t even like McCain. But, many of them, including myself and Millions and Millions of other Americans will be voting AGAINST Obama.

    Some kind of weak ass trolling this is. It’s always heartwarming to hear that wingnuts are only voting for their own candidate whom they can’t stand, just because they also can’t stand the democrat. If Mccain happens to pull off a victory, he’ll start of with 25% approval, and we can all (including wingnuts) bang our collective heads against the fucking wall for another 4 years.

  111. 111
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Obama is possibly the least qualified individual to ever run for the POTUS position, period.

    This coming from the party who would condemn Jesus as a librul if he were alive today.

  112. 112

    Just a thought—- with the news reporting if the polls show Obama is not doing well just before the convention, he will have no option but to pick Clinton–question–do you think those being polled are saying they are for McCain, in hopes this will make him feel has has to pick her for his VP?

    Wouldn’t it just blow everyones mind if way back he told her she would be his VP pick and they’d knocked the socks right off everyone, by keeping this a secret all this time???

  113. 113
    Jinchi says:

    Obama’s losing ground to McCain!

    Likewise Reagan “lost ground” to Carter between July and August 1980. Carter lost ground to Ford between July and August 1976. Ditto Kennedy/Nixon 1960, Clinton/Bush 1992, Bush/Gore 2000 …..

    Of course, McCain is banking on a repeat of Bush/Dukakis 1988.

    August is just a weird month for presidential polling.

  114. 114

    […] And yet, like John Cole and my friend Skippy, I think there’s more ado about this than there ought to be. Things have been doing fairly well for McCain — even though (or precisely because) he’s been running an ugly campaign that revels in ignorance, faux populist pandering, and abject stupidity (consider the tire-inflation brouhaha and the “celebrity” smearing of Obama) — but, like John, “I am a firm believer that the national polling really does not matter until after the second convention. When both candidates have chosen their VP and held their conventions, then I think we will really get a good idea of how the candidates are stacking up.” Plus, as we all know, it’s about the Electoral College, not the national popular vote. ********** […]

  115. 115
    zoe from pittsburgh says:

    What does McCain’s decades of experience inside the beltway add up to?

    You mean things like:

    -His LOVE of lobbyists, so much that nearly his entire campaign is run by them
    -Pretending he’s a “maverick” while voting with Bush the VAST majorit of the time?
    -Keating 5
    -Still thinks war in Iraq was a GOOD idea
    -Disavows the Religious Right when it’s politically expedient then turns around and embraces them the first chance he gets
    -Overall comfort with the corrupt status quo and keeping things EXACTLY like they are?

    I’ll take someone a little green, thoughtful, educated and INTELLIGENT over Mr. Bomb-Bomb-Bomb-Iran ANY day of the week. DC is broken and an entrenched, wealthy insider like McCain is NOT going to fix it.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] And yet, like John Cole and my friend Skippy, I think there’s more ado about this than there ought to be. Things have been doing fairly well for McCain — even though (or precisely because) he’s been running an ugly campaign that revels in ignorance, faux populist pandering, and abject stupidity (consider the tire-inflation brouhaha and the “celebrity” smearing of Obama) — but, like John, “I am a firm believer that the national polling really does not matter until after the second convention. When both candidates have chosen their VP and held their conventions, then I think we will really get a good idea of how the candidates are stacking up.” Plus, as we all know, it’s about the Electoral College, not the national popular vote. ********** […]

  2. […] John Cole provides the appropriate snark and asks the question…is this bad news for McCain? Then again, the question I have is that if Obama only leading nationally by a few points all summer was considered bad news for Obama, then clearly McCain taking the lead must be construed as bad news for John McCain. Or am I just not really understanding the premise that EVERYTHING IS GOOD NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN, and that when Obama was only leading by 5 it was bad news for Obama, and this is now CATASTROPHIC NEWS and the CAMPAIGN IS IN DISARRAY and they NEED A SHAKE-UP! […]

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