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Dan Balz's Take

Pessimistic and Subdued, Ohio Independents Weigh Their Choices


Voting booths and tables are filled with early voters on Oct. 23, 2008 at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio. (Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press)

By Dan Balz
CLEVELAND -- The news Sunday on the campaign trail was, once again, the extraordinary drawing power of Barack Obama. In Denver, an estimated 100,000 people turned out to hear him speak in the shadow of the state capitol. Hours later, at Colorado State University, another 45,000 turned out to see him.

Those crowds speak to the enthusiasm and excitement Obama has generated among many Americans. They dwarf anything John McCain has found along the campaign trail -- although the intensity of McCain's support among the Republican rank-and-file is also evident at his smaller events.

Far from those rallies, in a conference room in a small office park on the east side of Cleveland, a more subdued reaction to campaign 2008 was on display Sunday. The session was a reality check for those who see the campaign only through the window of the candidates and their most committed supporters.

A dozen Ohioans, most of them self-identified political independents (though leaning toward one party or the other) and some still deciding whether to support Obama or McCain, spent two hours talking about the country and the candidates. Their conversation underscored the deep sense of national anxiety that is the backdrop for next week's vote -- and the constrained expectations with which at least some voters await the election of a new president.

The focus group, sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, was moderated by Democratic pollster Peter Hart and was one of a series conducted over the course of this long campaign. It was held in Lake County, a bellwether county in a bellwether state.

Obama and McCain are in tight competition in Ohio. The most recent poll, conducted by a consortium of newspapers and released Sunday, showed Obama leading by three percentage points, 49 percent to 46 percent. Other polls have shown Obama with a much wider lead, but there is a sense here that the state remains highly competitive.

McCain campaigned on Sunday afternoon in the state and held an economic summit meeting in Cleveland Monday morning. Obama arrived to deliver what his advisers called a "closing argument" speech in Canton at midday. But each would have profited from listening in on some of the conversation in Lake County.

The pessimism about the state of the country was evident from the opening moments, when the members of the group were asked to quickly describe how things are going. "Poor," said one. "Down the tubes," said another. "Unstable and inconsistent," said a third. "Chaotic," said a fourth.

While some blamed corporate greed for the current plight, others said everyone bears some responsibility. Only four of the 12 said they believed the next generation would be better off than the current generation.

The youngest, 20-year-old William Medvec, said, "I don't think that I have the same opportunities you guys were presented with. I have two years of college and I'm getting paid $11 an hour. I can barely afford to put gas in my truck. I haven't been to the doctor since I was 18."

Cookie Lo Schiavo said she's always been able to find jobs but added, "My husband has a college education. He's 61 and he's working for $8.50 an hour."

Brandie Adams said she is trying to be optimistic, but told the others that her husband had been laid off last February. He has found a new job, but it is in Maryland. He is there and she remains in Ohio. Her mother-in-law has moved in with Brandie because she cannot afford to live alone. She anticipates that before long her mother-in-law's monthly prescription drug bills will fall to her to pay.

Eight members of the group reported that they had supported President Bush in 2004, with three for John F. Kerry. Medvec was too young to vote in that election. When they were asked how they'll vote this time, five said they were for or leaning toward McCain, five said they were for or leaning toward Obama and two said they remain undecided, although they appeared more likely to end up supporting McCain.

McCain might have had even more support had he not picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. The Alaska governor drew poor reviews in this group. Several described her as "out of her league." Steven Topoly, a maintenance technician, said McCain "should have done better."

Among those who said they aren't sure how they'll vote was Lo Schiavo, who described herself as a lifelong Democrat who has supported Democratic candidates for 40 years. She supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries and likes Obama's running mate, Joe Biden. But she said she can't bring herself to vote for Obama.

Hart pressed her repeatedly as to why. "Something here [she tapped her heart] makes me frightened of voting for Obama," she said. A minute later she said, "I don't have any confidence in him." She described him as "theatrical," a polished speaker but almost too practiced.

Others picked up on that about Obama. A great communicator. "His communication skills are fantastic," said Peter Damaso, a warehouse manager who is supporting McCain. But Mary Lazar, a retired teacher who is undecided, said she finds that Obama doesn't really answer questions. "He doesn't give you a straight answer," she said.

The group was asked to describe their emotions if McCain were to win the election. The reactions varied from concern that it would be a continuation of Bush's policies to cautious optimism, although his age was a concern to some. But his support did not appear based on any clear expectations that he has a plan for the economy.

When they were asked the same about Obama, the two Obama supporters said "change" and "new era." Others said "worried," "uncertain," "nervous." But his support appeared based more on an expectation that he will bring change to the country.

The expressed reservations about Obama were mostly about inexperience but it was difficult not to conclude that some of the views of Obama were affected by his race, although that was mostly just below the surface. When the issue of race was put on the table, several said they believed it would be a factor when people go into the voting booths on Nov. 4.

All that may explain in part why, in a state that is among the hardest hit by economic problems and where Democrats did well two years ago, the presidential race does not yet have a settled outcome and Obama and McCain will battle here to the end.

But no matter who wins, the conversation in Lake County was a reminder of the challenges the next president will face in attempting to unify and galvanize a deeply pessimistic nation.

Posted at 2:10 PM ET on Oct 27, 2008  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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Perhaps the U.S. should look at Chicago before they vote.

In the last six months:
292 killed (murdered) in Chicago;(221 killed in Irag.)

Chicago.... Who Runs it?

Senators: Barack Obama & Dick Durbin
Rep: Jesse Jackson Jr.,
Illinois Gov: Rod Blogojevich,
Illinois House leader Mike Madigan,
Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike),
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of Mayor Richard J. Daley)
.....our leadership in Illinois.....all Democrats.

Of course, they're all blaming each other!
Can't blame Republicans; they're aren't any!
State pension fund $44 Billion in debt, worst in country.
Cook County (Chicago) sales tax 10.25% highest in country. (Look 'em
up if you want).
Chicago school system rated one of the worst in the country.

Posted by: ca67klein | October 28, 2008 1:41 PM

"Dear Mullet,
I have considered myself a Democrat, I am a strong Hillary supporter, and I am voting for McCain. And there are many things about Obama "that bother me": inexperience/real lack of having done ANYTHING except make speeches(sermons), racist pastor/mentor, "finally proud of America" wife, corrupt and sleezy connections (Ayers, Khalidi, Odinga, Rezko, Wright...), his "spread the wealth" socialist/ redistributionist/ reparations mentality, and his dirty campaign. "

With all due respect, I have a very hard time believing this comment is real. You're a strong Hillary supporter?? Each of these complaints applies to Hillary, or Bill, just as much as to Barack!

Obama's not a socialist. He's not a revolutionary. He's actually a pretty conservative guy, as far as Democrats go, and he's smart and thoughtful and well-intentioned. And if he's elected you'll be surprised at how much he'll butt heads with the more liberal members of Congress. It'll be fine.

Posted by: simpleton1 | October 28, 2008 11:03 AM

Right on CWeaver2! Obama scares the hell out of many voters because of:

1. His dubious connection to anti-American characters from Wright, Ayers, Khalidi etc.
There is no way that his thinking will not be influenced or shaped by these connections.
2. His Marxist leanings - His member ship in the Democratic Socialist of America org. and the unconstitutional New Socialist Party who supported and funded his run for the Senate. The "Frank" Obama mentioned in his book has been indentified as Frank Davies, the Prez. of the Communist Party of America.
3. His "redistribution of wealth" philosophy will lead to the highest tax-and-spend budget in the history of the USA.
4. He sure can talk, but evades questions and about how he'd walk the walk!
5. His gross inexperience
6. The fear amongst the populace that if Obama wins, the USA will become the USSA and Americans will have to start calling each other "comrades"!

Posted by: frankinlaw | October 28, 2008 8:18 AM

seemstome - If a person goes to the ER and then defaults on the payment, Who do you think pays? The cost of that ER visit (and the subsequent administrative costs of trying to collect the payment) don't disappear. They get passed on to future patients.

When economic times get harder...more people out of work, less people insured, the payments that are defaulted on to the hospitals increase. The number insured patients decrease. Cost rise to insurance companies, who then pass it on to their clients.

You can't get out of paying for healthcare for the poor. Maybe, you could, but only if you want to wait in an ER for a number of hours with a crushing pain in your chest, while you turn blue, so that a hospital administrator can get ahold of you insurance company to confirm your insurance and your coverage options. Of course that would raise the price of triage administration...and you would pay more. : )

One reason to insuring more people is that preventative care is less expensive than emergency care. Counties providing free prenatal care to uninsured women often find decreases in health costs and infant mortality. Preventative asthma care (a common ER visit) is cheaper than emergency asthma care. etc.

Posted by: MicheleinMichigan | October 28, 2008 8:12 AM

And just how again is it that Obama is going to create more jobs? With all his taxes on the job creators? Maybe he's going to take jobs away from those who have them and give them to those who don't..."spread the jobs around" like the wealth? Read the Wallstreet Journal piece from yesterday about McCain's plan for healthcare. The media and everyone have been so busy patting Obama on the back for "speaking" and avoiding questions that noone looks to confirm or deny anything.

Posted by: cweaver2 | October 28, 2008 6:28 AM

If you don't have health insurance and you're making $8.50 an hour, you'd have to be insane to vote for the GOP. These people don't need "opportunity." They need good jobs and health insurance.

Posted by: nerdoff | October 28, 2008 6:10 AM

If you don't have health insurance and you're making $8.50 an hour, you'd have to be insane to vote for the GOP. These people don't need "opportunity." They need good jobs and health insurance.

Posted by: nerdoff | October 28, 2008 6:10 AM

Dear Mullet,
I have considered myself a Democrat, I am a strong Hillary supporter, and I am voting for McCain. And there are many things about Obama "that bother me": inexperience/real lack of having done ANYTHING except make speeches(sermons), racist pastor/mentor, "finally proud of America" wife, corrupt and sleezy connections (Ayers, Khalidi, Odinga, Rezko, Wright...), his "spread the wealth" socialist/ redistributionist/ reparations mentality, and his dirty campaign. As one of the individuals from Ohio stated, he never really does answer any questions. And the press/media have already annointed him and so they don't hold him accountable for evading. "Joe the plumber" has been vetted more than Obama! He does scare me...and it's NOT because of his race...has NOTHING to do with it...it has to do with the list above and the fact that I think the POTUS should actually have to prove himself and have accomplished something. And I don't think we should have a POTUS who wouldn't even get CIA clearance with his shady connections and background. But, you Obamabots will respond the way you always do...you can never give REAL reasons why this man deserves the office!!! All you say is "hope, change, NOT Bush" and then call us RACISTS for having the audacity to even question your candidate. Hatred for Bush is NO REASON to put an unqualified person in office who doesn't care what Amercia stands for but wants to "change" it to how HE thinks it should be. "Joe the plumber" was right, it is pretty scary when you cannot simply ask a question of your "leaders". But do what you will, call me a racist. Ignore the ineptitude of the empty suit messiah. We will all pay the price...but we won't all be to blame.

Posted by: cweaver2 | October 28, 2008 4:59 AM

"It was held in Lake County, a bellwether county in a bellwether state."

"Etymology: Middle English belle 'bell' + wether 'castrated male sheep'"

- Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English

"a wether or other male sheep that leads the flock, usually bearing a bell."

- Dictionary.com, based on Random House Unabridged Dicionary


So there you have it, folks. Only sheep follow bellwethers.

Posted by: treetopflyer | October 28, 2008 4:12 AM

Some at McCain rally suggest Michelle Obama has a DUI? See video.
http://www.duihelpguide.com

Posted by: pastor123 | October 28, 2008 2:07 AM

It's nearly impossible - and definitely unwise - to take anything of significance from anyone who still hasn't made up his/her mind on this election.

I read this somewhere this week - and it seems particularly apt with respect to the "undecided":


To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart
and, eventually, parks it beside my seat.

"Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter
of excrement with bits of broken glass in it?"

To still be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Posted by: day_trippr | October 28, 2008 1:03 AM

These people have very unfortunate personalities, like a laboratory rat that's starving, with two pieces of cheese of equal weight placed between them. Their little whiskers begin to quiver as they look left, then right, then left, then right... Unable to decide which piece of cheese to go for until they drop over dead from starvation. I can't imagine how annoying they must seem to the people who have to live or work with them. If I had to be around someone like that for a long period of time, at some point I might turn violent.

Posted by: Dolmance | October 28, 2008 12:54 AM

These people have very unfortunate personalities, like a laboratory rat that's starving, with two pieces of cheese of equal weight placed between them. Their little whiskers begin to quiver as they look left, then right, then left, then right... Unable to decide which piece of cheese to go for until they drop over dead from starvation. I can't imagine how annoying they must seem to the people who have to live or work with them. If I had to be around someone like that for a long period of time, at some point I might turn violent.

Posted by: Dolmance | October 28, 2008 12:52 AM

These people have very unfortunate personalities, like a laboratory rat that's starving, with two pieces of cheese of equal weight placed between them. Their little whiskers begin to quiver as they look left, then right, then left, then right... Unable to decide which piece of cheese to go for until they drop over dead from starvation. I can't imagine how annoying they must seem to the people who have to live or work with them. If I had to be around someone like that for a long period of time, at some point I might turn violent.

Posted by: Dolmance | October 28, 2008 12:51 AM

This goes to show that "Small Town Mentality" to say their afraid of Barack, assume what lies they hear might be true, and are completely Racist.For someone to say they have been a Democrat for 40 years, but their afraid of Obama,doesnt"feel" right is just plain and simple racism, be it because he's black, or because they are buying into the whole "hes a muslim" run of lies.
The Republcan party, also known as the GOP, has brought America to the mess we are in, and their policies will not change, we will go further in debt nationally, more than likely find more reasons to stay in the middle east,which just means more Debt for America, but no Return for our expenses.
If we took back 1 week of expenses from the wars in the middle east,for the duration we have been over their, our financial crisis would be over tommorow.
And John McCain will continue the policies, possibly even put us deeper into the middle east,just like the Bush Administration has.
Aint it funny how the Negative funds wall street claims to need to survive allmost exactly matches up to the COST OF THE WAR IN IRAQ!!!
Small town mentality, which Barack summed up with his "GOD AND GUNS " comment is exactly what has gotten America into the mess were in.Those small communities are so micro-focused on themselves in their communities they dont take a look at whats happening in the rest of America.And their opinion does matter,they just need to take a broader look at whats happening in this country, in this hemisphere, in the world to know we are on the path of self destruction, mainly because we arent taking care of ourselves, the AMERICAN PEOPLE.
By John McCains standard, he sounded quite ok to let companies send jobs overseas, to look abroad for cheaper labor, lower taxes.And thats the mentality that is failing to help Americans find decent, good paying jobs that they want to show up to.But the "Capatalist" vision of the GOP is simply Profit before People, and that in itself is killing America.The standard corporate profile is Profit, Grow Profit,increase profit, over and over to no end.If they could make 100 percent profit, they would, and expect you to do it for them.

Posted by: mullett | October 27, 2008 11:57 PM

That's what I want to hear sagereader. Let those sinners who choose to smoke pay for it themselves. Life to the highest bidder I always say. There's no reason for healhcare to be a right for the poor. Let the free market rule.

Posted by: seemstome | October 27, 2008 11:49 PM

rlasorsa-Actually, what the Senator needs to do is exactly what he practiced doing on the Littleman Show.

Saying:

"I SCREWED Up!"

Then, amending it to "I should have REALIZED that it was all about the Economy, but, I'm STUPID!"

"I SHOULD have picked Mitt Romney, a Businessman, Lawyer, Venture Capitalist, Conservative Executive-Instead of my Cheerleader!"

"I'll FIX That Mistake! IMMEDIATELY!"

Then, Barak's World gets Rocked! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 27, 2008 11:47 PM

"A survey of doctors in Britain's National Health Service..."

Blah, blah, blah.

Always some jerk with frickin spam.

Posted by: diodisegno | October 27, 2008 11:03 PM

A survey of doctors in Britain's National Health Service show that a significant percentage of providers want government to cut off benefits to the elderly, the obese, smokers, and others:

Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.
Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.

Fertility treatment and "social" abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.

The findings of a survey conducted by Doctor magazine sparked a fierce row last night, with the British Medical Association and campaign groups describing the recommendations from family and hospital doctors as "out­rageous" and "disgraceful".


On one hand, this makes sense. After all, the taxpayer has to foot the bill for these procedures and these patients. Why should some taxpayers have to subsidize bad behavior? If people choose to smoke, why should non-smoker taxes support the consequences of that habit, especially when it makes non-smokers wait longer for their own health care?

This exposes the fallacy of "free" health care. There is no such thing. Someone has to pay the bills, and it can either be the patients themselves, the insurers, taxpayers, or a combination of the three. No matter what happens, each of these payers will act in some way to ration care, especially regarding cost. The question is which kind of rationing allows for the best access for the individual, and which threatens the greatest intrusion on freedom and personal choice.

In a single-payer system, the government can extort individuals over their personal choices, and even have some rational support for that extortion. In the name of "fairness", they can determine that some people are too old to invest in their care. They can determine that others eat badly and therefore don't deserve to take resources away from people who eat better. At some point, that could translate into preferential treatment for vegetarians or against vegetarians, depending on the whims of the bureaucracy at the moment.

Do you want government to tell you that your mother or father are simply too old to matter anymore? Would you like to have that happen in a system where either the private care choices are out of reach because the government has removed all of the private insurers from the market, or they don't exist, as in Canada? Eventually, state run systems fall back to the bread line model, as they did in the Soviet Union, and someone has to start making choices about who gets the bread.

Posted by: sagereader | October 27, 2008 10:47 PM

Eternal victims, eternal suckers.

These gormless, clueless middle-class Bush/McCain supporters are lucky this time.
Smarter, braver voters than them are going to overrule their bad judgement.

They'll be saved from the shafting their GOP gullibility has so often earned them in the past.

Though of course, we all have yet to fully pay for the consequences of their crappy judgement in 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: bourassa1 | October 27, 2008 10:39 PM

As the McCain Campaign continues their infighting - the big problem is with the candidate himself.
Senator McCain is a Liberal Republican that is a disasterous Presidential Candidate.
How did our Party ever nominate this guy?
This campaign is going to destroy the Republican Party for decades.
Never again should the Republicans NOT nominate a Conservative.
Conservatives like me are extremely angry and frustrated with Senator McCain, his inept staff, the RNC, and other Republican "moderate" candidates.
Many of us have also given thousands of dollars to various Republican Candidates, the RNC, the NRCC, and many other Republican PACs and entities. All we have to show for all of the money that we have donated is a bunch of "week kneed moderate babies" that make up the McCain Campaign and the RNC.
This disaster is not the President's fault nor can the blame be placed on the economy - the blame lies directly with the incompetent McCain campaign and the Senator himself.

Now the Senator must make a decision - is he going to go out like a wimp and do what he probably considers the "classy" thing to do: continue with his ridiculous "populist" message, lose in an electoral college landslide, and give a super majority to a bunch of Socialists and Marxists in Congress?
Or is the Senator going to act like a respected Military man should act: when you are going down, you have to take down as many of your enemies with you as possible! Do something to weaken Obama and the Democrats to the utmost before they take office! Maybe continuous Reverend Wright ads? (Senator McCain should have done this from Day #1!)
Senator McCain must stop this nonsense and go after Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, Clinton, Rengel, Raines, Johnson, and every other Democrat that will continue to ruin this country!

Posted by: rlasorsa | October 27, 2008 10:36 PM

"The focus group, sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania,"

Annenberg? Isn't that the Pinko Commie organization that hired the Terrorist Ayers to be on a board in Chicago?

Posted by: thrh | October 27, 2008 10:35 PM

As the McCain Campaign continues their infighting - the big problem is with the candidate himself.
Senator McCain is a Liberal Republican that is a disasterous Presidential Candidate.
How did our Party ever nominate this guy?
This campaign is going to destroy the Republican Party for decades.
Never again should the Republicans NOT nominate a Conservative.
Conservatives like me are extremely angry and frustrated with Senator McCain, his inept staff, the RNC, and other Republican "moderate" candidates.
Many of us have also given thousands of dollars to various Republican Candidates, the RNC, the NRCC, and many other Republican PACs and entities. All we have to show for all of the money that we have donated is a bunch of "week kneed moderate babies" that make up the McCain Campaign and the RNC.
This disaster is not the President's fault nor can the blame be placed on the economy - the blame lies directly with the incompetent McCain campaign and the Senator himself.

Now the Senator must make a decision - is he going to go out like a wimp and do what he probably considers the "classy" thing to do: continue with his ridiculous "populist" message, lose in an electoral college landslide, and give a super majority to a bunch of Socialists and Marxists in Congress?
Or is the Senator going to act like a respected Military man should act: when you are going down, you have to take down as many of your enemies with you as possible! Do something to weaken Obama and the Democrats to the utmost before they take office! Maybe continuous Reverend Wright ads? (you should have done this Senator McCain must stop this nonsense and go after Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, Clinton, Rengel, Raines, Johnson, and every other Democrat that will continue to ruin this country!

Posted by: rlasorsa | October 27, 2008 10:35 PM

Come on people, wasn't Jesus a great speaker, able to draw people to his side with the likes of the Sermon on the Mount? If he hadn't been one, a Church wouldn't have been born and the US as we know it probabaly wouldn't have happened. A great leader first has to have the ability to inspire people, you can't have the first without the latter.

Posted by: AverageJane | October 27, 2008 10:18 PM

yeah hi, do you believe a state circuit judge should go to prison for attempting to rule that attempted murder by forcible suffocation not only isn't a crime at all in florida, it isn't a tort at all in florida, in fact it's a medical procedure, for which priviledge i'm forced to give the state my whole life savings?

doesn't that sound bad?

this is a real lawsuit, orange co. case # 2003 ca 5314. i am totally unrepresented, haven't been able to find a lawyer in 7 years. the judge is cynthia mackinnon, and if i could fire her i would have fired her four years ago. after all this time i still have no clue whether she is republican or democrat.

Posted by: srz25 | October 27, 2008 9:46 PM

thecannula-

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss our differing positions.

Rooster54-
Sorry, I was at work.
You have a problem with Jack Welch. I see him as a money magnet: wherever he goes, money follows. He pulled GE out of Rhode Island and thousands of middle class workers lost their jobs and are still suffering. So, the officials of Rhode Island are reconsidering their 9% state corporate tax rate- what do you think they should do? Isn't it the same thing WE should do on Nov 4th? Let's cut US corporate tax rates so Jack's successors running multinational corporations don't see the US the way Jack saw Rhode Island...But Rooster, It's Not Personal- It's Just Business...

Obama is now on tape from 2001 confirming that he wants to redistribute wealth and change the supreme court to assist in this task-

John Mccain wants to keep business in America by cutting corporate taxes-

Socialism (Redistributive economy) has failed EVERYWHERE it's been tried- according to the World Health Org., countries with the highest rate of suicide are all socialist- take away incentive and employment goes down, suicide goes up- is that the country for which you will vote?


Posted by: thecannula | October 27, 2008 9:09 PM

"Socialism" is SUCH a bogus charge. Obama, while left-of-center in the AMERICAN political spectrum is closer to being a libertarian (!) than he is to being a socialist on the ENTIRE political spectrum. Believing in a regulated but fundamentally free market system, as Obama does, does not make one a socialist. Thinking that it does make one a "low-information" voter (read: ignorant jerk).

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | October 27, 2008 8:57 PM

At this late date it is difficult to beleive that "thecannula" at 7:50 pm is anything other than a Rove-Republican smear machine. Obama is now the most vetted man on earth. It's not that he won't answer questions, it's that there isn't anything there. How many times has he got to outline the contacts he had with William Ayers? I personally have heard him describe each of the contacts that are described in the Indiana Republican Party's nasty little mailer that they sent last week. The deal is: there's nothing there!

I look forward to having an intelligent, analytical, capable President. But another benefit if Obama is elected will be our knowing that the outright smears and dirty little innuendos circulated by Republican ideologues and their not-so-bright blind followers didn't work, this time. Hooray!

Posted by: CaldwellYoung | October 27, 2008 8:04 PM

capitalism101 wrote:
"I'm voting in PA... not for McCain but against socialism (Obama and the far left). This will be my first time voting and at least 75% of the reason is because I passionately hate the far left media. Mainstream journalists have no credibility or intelligence."
Based on what you wrote, I'd say you need to look in the mirror. No credibility and no intelligence!

If the workers can't make a living wage, they do not buy anything, and all the tax cuts in the world for unearned income won't change that. Who exactly do you think is going to pay for the GOP's profligate spending of the last 7 years? Under McCain, it will be the middle class. So with jobs disappearing at an alarming rate, with college educated individuals either out of work or working at entry level jobs, and with the dollar in the toilet, you are going to vote for someone's whose policies equate to "more of the same" ... Amazing!

Posted by: vmi98mom | October 27, 2008 8:01 PM

Mr. Balz, in many ways you share the Culpability for these people's plights, and lack of understanding of the issues!

THAT, not Partisan based "Spin" Jobs, WAS SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR JOB!

Stagnated Wages?

Golly Gee Mr.Balz, let's just keep HIDING the MILLIONS of Stolen Jobs by Illegally Employed Invaders RIGHT HERE, IN this Country!
The ones who do NOT contribute their fair share of Employment Taxes-Especially the EMPLOYER!, and who compete UNFAIRLY against EVERY Legal Worker!

Unfair competition?

Yes, UNFAIR!

See, $10/Hr to a Non-Payrolled Worker, is $10 Take-home for Them, and Nothing more than $10 for the Employer!

No Taxes, no Book-Keeping, Benefits, Vacation, un-Employment, or even Medical or Over-Time!

At LEAST 10 Million American Jobs in this country taken OUT of our System!

Ten MILLION Legal Workers crowded into jobs other than Landscaping, Auto Service/Repair, CONSTRUCTION, Etc., to then compete by WAGE with all the people who are in other fields!

There is ONLY ONE Entity that can PROTECT the American Worker.

Our Federal Government. The "Enforcer" is supposed to be the PRESIDENT!

Mitt Romney promised me and all of you, HE WOULD!

Senator McCain, Ditch Palin;

Hitch Mitt!

Posted by: SAINT---The | October 27, 2008 7:53 PM

I've been concerned with Obama's committment to Israel after he changed his stance on Jerusalem immediately following Palestinian complaint 1 day after AIPAC-

Gateway Pundit
Friday, October 24, 2008
Confirmed: MSM Holds Video Of Barack Obama Attending Jew-Bash & Toasting a Former PLO Operative... Refuse to Release the Video!

LA Times writer Peter Wallsten wrote about Barack Obama's close association with former Palestinian operative Rashid Khalidi back in April.
Wallsten discussed a dinner held back in 2003 in honor of Khalidi, a critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights.
Barack Obama has denied his close association with Khalidi, too.
According to Wallsten the evening not surprisingly turned into a classic Jew-bash:
"During the dinner a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."
One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."
Barack Obama also praised the former PLO operative during the event.
And, Obama confessed that his family often shared dinner with the Khalidis:
His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases... It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
...The event was videotaped, and a copy of the tape was obtained by The (LA)Times.
Khalidi and the Obamas were great friends in Chicago and often shared meals together.
By the way, Khalidi was also best friends with Bill Ayers.
Wallston was one of the few mainstream media reporters to report on this radical Obama associate.

Wallston said that the article was written after he watched video taken at the Khalidi going away party. When I asked him about the video he said that as far as he was concerned he was through with the story.

I asked him if he was planning on releasing this video of Obama toasting the radical Khalidi at this Jew-bash. He told me he was not releasing the video. He also would not comment on his source for the video. So, there you have it.
The LA Times has video of Obama toasting a former PLO operative at a Jew-bash but will not release the video.
This is outrageous.
Obviously, this video would do great damage to Obama who struggles with Jewish voters due to his circle of close anti-Semitic friends.
Maybe this is the reason it is not being released?
Barack Obama funnelled thousands of dollars of cash to Rashidi's anti-Israel Foundation through his work on the Woods Fund.


Posted by: thecannula | October 27, 2008 7:50 PM

I wouldn't wish the Presidency on my worst enemy.

From day one the next President will more unpopular every day because of events beyond his control, and unless laws are changed to ensure a second term, he will only serve one term because of his failures.

However, given the importance of the job we should be very sure about who we elect.

I am not a McCain fan and don't wish to 'smear' Obama but his refusal to come clean is what should raise major concerns.

Was he a member of an extreme left wing/communist group several years ago?

"Yes".

He says "no" but there are documents and photographs that show he's lying.

He could say "yes, but I've seen the error of my ways .." or whatever, but he chooses to lie instead.

Why?

http://obamafarleft.notlong.com

He has gone to extraordinary lengths to cover up his past and was careful to keep written opinions to an absolute minimum.

http://nopapertrail.notlong.com/

There is proof of his connections to Jihad and the Muslim brotherhood.

http://jihadconnection.notlong.com/

The list could go on and on but the above should be more than enough to cause people to demand clarifications, and it is Obama's supporters that should be the first to demand explanations as they are the ones that intend to vote for him.

Huge numbers of Americans (and people all over the world) now get their information from various sources and Obama may see victory snatched from his grasp in the last week (it has occurred four times in the last fifty years) if he doesn't respond to very worrying and very legitimate questions.

Mike

Posted by: redmike | October 27, 2008 7:02 PM

I'm not surprised that Grampy McCain is getting his butt kicked in this election because I'm still trying to figure out what the McCain campaign message is, other than?:
.
"Don't vote for the scary black guy"
-MCCAIN/PALIN 08!
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnb2IrsU1Cg
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 27, 2008 6:38 PM

Honestly, its hard to feel any empathy for people who continue to vote against their economic interests. If after voting for the GOP twice - in 2000 and 2004 - these people are still contemplating the GOP, they deserve their miserable existence. Unfortunately, their pigheadedness and ignorance will take the rest of us down with them as well.

Posted by: jaysit | October 27, 2008 6:36 PM


.


"Eight members of the group reported that they had supported President Bush in 2004, with three for John F. Kerry. Medvec was too young to vote in that election. When they were asked how they'll vote this time, five said they were for or leaning toward McCain, five said they were for or leaning toward Obama and two said they remain undecided, although they appeared more likely to end up supporting McCain."

It never ceases to amaze me. These are the very people that right-wing policies have sucker-punched over the last 30 years.

There's a reason why a CEO in 1968 only made 30 times what the average employee made, and not 500 times.

Yet these people don't see it.

You wonder, is it all the junk food they consume, or is there some kind of hypnosis ray at the local WalMart, for them to think in such a way.

You only make $11/hr? Serves you right.
They keep voting for people who tell them, to their face, that they loves them some CEOs who ship jobs overseas, and they still keep voting for them. "hey at least I get ta keep $1.50 from my tax cut!." Meanwhile they have to spend thousands of dollars for the littlest operation.

And on top of being ignorant, they're bigots as well

"Hart pressed her repeatedly as to why. 'Something here [she tapped her heart] makes me frightened of voting for Obama,' she said. A minute later she said, 'I don't have any confidence in him.' She described him as 'theatrical,' a polished speaker but almost too practiced."

Like he was trained to run for president, you know...by da terrists!

He don't say y'all or nothin. Like a real black person do.


Let them eat Big Macs!

.

Posted by: el_barto | October 27, 2008 6:13 PM


.


"Eight members of the group reported that they had supported President Bush in 2004, with three for John F. Kerry. Medvec was too young to vote in that election. When they were asked how they'll vote this time, five said they were for or leaning toward McCain, five said they were for or leaning toward Obama and two said they remain undecided, although they appeared more likely to end up supporting McCain."

It never ceases to amaze me. These are the very people that right-wing policies have sucker-punched over the last 30 years.

There's a reason why a CEO in 1968 only made 30 times what the average employee made, and not 500 times.

Yet these people don't see it.

You wonder, is it all the junk food they consume, or is there some kind of hypnosis ray at the local WalMart, for them to think in such a way.

You only make $11/hr? Serves you right.
They keep voting for people who tell them, to their face, that they loves them some CEOs who ship jobs overseas, and they still keep voting for them. "hey at least I get ta keep $1.50 from my tax cut!." Meanwhile they have to spend thousands of dollars for the littlest operation.

And on top of being ignorant, they're bigots as well

"Hart pressed her repeatedly as to why. 'Something here [she tapped her heart] makes me frightened of voting for Obama,' she said. A minute later she said, 'I don't have any confidence in him.' She described him as 'theatrical,' a polished speaker but almost too practiced."

Like he was trained to run for president, you know...by da terrists!

He don't say y'all or nothin. Like a real black person do.


Let them eat Big Macs!

.

Posted by: el_barto | October 27, 2008 6:13 PM


.


"Eight members of the group reported that they had supported President Bush in 2004, with three for John F. Kerry. Medvec was too young to vote in that election. When they were asked how they'll vote this time, five said they were for or leaning toward McCain, five said they were for or leaning toward Obama and two said they remain undecided, although they appeared more likely to end up supporting McCain."

It never ceases to amaze me. These are the very people that right-wing policies have sucker-punched over the last 30 years.

There's a reason why a CEO in 1968 only made 30 times what the average employee made, and not 500 times.

Yet these people don't see it.

You wonder, is it all the junk food they consume, or is there some kind of hypnosis ray at the local WalMart, for them to think in such a way.

You only make $11/hr? Serves you right.
They keep voting for people who tell them, to their face, that they loves them some CEOs who ship jobs overseas, and they still keep voting for them. "hey at least I get ta keep $1.50 from my tax cut!." Meanwhile they have to spend thousands of dollars for the littlest operation.

And on top of being ignorant, they're bigots as well

"Hart pressed her repeatedly as to why. 'Something here [she tapped her heart] makes me frightened of voting for Obama,' she said. A minute later she said, 'I don't have any confidence in him.' She described him as 'theatrical,' a polished speaker but almost too practiced."

Like he was trained to run for president, you know...by da terrists!

He don't say y'all or nothin. Like a real black person do.


Let them eat Big Macs!

.

Posted by: el_barto | October 27, 2008 6:13 PM

McCain's appearance on Meet the Press with Brokaw was pathetic. He was caught on so many lies I almost started feeling sorry for McCain. He makes George Bush look like an elite President.

Posted by: ryanr007 | October 27, 2008 6:13 PM

McCain's appearance on Meet the Press with Brokaw was pathetic. He was caught on so many lies I almost started feeling sorry for McCain. He makes George Bush look like an elite President.

Posted by: ryanr007 | October 27, 2008 6:07 PM

I just read the article on undecide voters in Ohio who fear Socialism....Socialism? Most people in Ohio may not know what that is. Do you have social security, how about Medicare? and do you drive on Interstate highways? How about the corporate bailout on wall street?( not socialism?) No, the Republicans want to put fear in people about nonsense words... HOW ABOUT JOBS LOST IN OHIO SINCE 2000 when the biggest liar was assigned the throne by the Supreme Court... and How about good old Ohio putting him in again in 2004,, are you happy now Ohio? Most of your business is gone and will never return and you children must look to leave to find any kind of work. Why do we fear an educated man, ...Remember FDR, THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF..don't entrust your judgement to those who enhance fear... and lies, where is that good old midwest values? and buckeye brains? Vote please, but look at all of the facts first.

Posted by: danpa327 | October 27, 2008 6:06 PM

I just read the article on undecide voters in Ohio who fear Socialism....Socialism? Most people in Ohio may not know what that is. Do you have social security, how about Medicare? and do you drive on Interstate highways? How about the corporate bailout on wall street?( not socialism?) No, the Republicans want to put fear in people about nonsense words... HOW ABOUT JOBS LOST IN OHIO SINCE 2000 when the biggest liar was assigned the throne by the Supreme Court... and How about good old Ohio putting him in again in 2004,, are you happy now Ohio? Most of your business is gone and will never return and you children must look to leave to find any kind of work. Why do we fear an educated man, ...Remember FDR, THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF..don't entrust your judgement to those who enhance fear... and lies, where is that good old midwest values? and buckeye brains? Vote please, but look at all of the facts first.

Posted by: danpa327 | October 27, 2008 6:06 PM

To capitalism101:

Perhaps, in economics 101, you will learn about socialism, and perhaps then you will come to understand that taking the top tax bracket from 36% to 39% does not even begin to tread there. Perhaps in "Capitalism 102" you will learn that businesses have never done well when middle class incomes stagnate. It's the reason why over the last 80 years, the stock market has done significantly better when Democrats were in office. Perhaps, someday, you will get out of college and work for a living, and discover that the current health care system, in full control of the "free market", is destroying peoples' lives. Perhaps then, when someday you face reality, you will understand how incredibly vacuous the trickle down economic theory really is. I know. I once bought that Republican baloney. Rest assured, that ideology won't survive six months after graduation.

Posted by: kbb1 | October 27, 2008 5:59 PM

Socialism... level the playing field, tax the rich, spread the wealth to the lazy, free handouts, welfare, universal health care, powerful unions that destroy corporate America. Socialism kills the desire to work hard a get ahead. Tax companies and they move offshore to a better system. Raise taxes too high and tax revenues actually go down (i.e. - less people will work if taxes are 50, 60, 70, 100%). It's not a linear relationship!

I'm voting in PA... not for McCain but against socialism (Obama and the far left). This will be my first time voting and at least 75% of the reason is because I passionately hate the far left media. Mainstream journalists have no credibility or intelligence.

Posted by: capitalism101 | October 27, 2008 5:36 PM

Flavio- you are correct!

Posted by: silverspring25 | October 27, 2008 5:02 PM

hclark1 ...

"Democrats for McCain & Palin"

(i.e., our CNN make-it-up-as-we-denigrate dizzy duo?)

Wonder what HRC would say to a "democrat" voting Republican to spite whom? to revenge what? to improve which legislation? to get even with whom? to lower the average wage further? to deregulate the universal laws of Physics?

Makes sense to have Palin US President, eagerly waiting.

Would her monthly presidential vacation be wolf-hunting with automatic rapid fire from government helicopters near Wasilla, Alaska.

Posted by: hchiba | October 27, 2008 4:48 PM

" Although one of the interviewees was a loyal Hillary supporter but won't vote for Obama because she is "frightened". I ask her to close her eyes and really listen to his message of unity and his plans for a better America. We absolutely can't afford another four years of this mess."

Remember these famous word's

" The only thing you have to fear, is fear itself"

Take the extra step, a new pathway, a new tomorrow, a new future.

Man would have never been to the moon if the thought of fear had distracted them, be not afraid, and reach for the stars.

Posted by: kentaylor1 | October 27, 2008 4:14 PM

" Although one of the interviewees was a loyal Hillary supporter but won't vote for Obama because she is "frightened". I ask her to close her eyes and really listen to his message of unity and his plans for a better America. We absolutely can't afford another four years of this mess."

Remember these famous word's

" The only thing you have to fear, is fear itself"

Take the extra step, a new pathway, a new tomorrow, a new future.

Man would have never been to the moon if the though of fear had distracted them, be not afraid, and reach for the stars.

Posted by: kentaylor1 | October 27, 2008 4:12 PM

It will be interesting and fun to watch the GOP shrink to a few nativist haters, a couple of religious nuts, and the Kathryn Jean-Lopez's of the world in the next few years.


As long as the Rethuglican party continues to offer huge outsized tax breaks for the filthy rich and nothing for everyone else, the extremist nuts will be the only one's left carrying the GOPer banner after 2008.


I think it is going to be a while before we hear about the big tent Republican party.


Ladies and Germs...I give you your 2009 Republican party:


All hail the GOPer "pup tent party"!
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5mdIPNB8t8
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 27, 2008 4:04 PM

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 27, 2008 4:01 PM

After reading this piece, I feel sad and exasperated that even though the respondents' situations have mostly deteriorated, the majority would be voting for the same failed policies that got our great country into this mess, domestically and internationally.

Although one of the interviewees was a loyal Hillary supporter but won't vote for Obama because she is "frightened". I ask her to close her eyes and really listen to his message of unity and his plans for a better America. We absolutely can't afford another four years of this mess.

Posted by: hopeful2 | October 27, 2008 3:57 PM

With McCain/Palin America's heading ever more for "banana republic" status, sandwiched between Canada & Mexiko.

Keep the greatest wealth in the selfish hands of the very few - oh, great Republican logic.

A "banana republic" has two social classes, the very rich and everyone else, the poor, the all its working slaves. That's the kind of economy that Bush, Cheney, McCain & Palin, Rove, Rimbaugh, Gingreech, Rice, Wolfwowitz, Rumsfeld and all of the GOP have in mind.

Palin goes NYC shopping to the tune of 150$T in ridiculously looking clothes (in one month) and you in the other class work at MacDo's for 11$ an hour.

Vote McCain/Palin, the sooner America's voters serve the GOP wish, the sooner America reaches full "banana republic" status.

Posted by: hchiba | October 27, 2008 2:51 PM

"Democrats for McCain Myth"

There is no such thing as a Democrat for McCain unless:

1. You were "one of those" Republicans who followed the call of your right-wing-extremist leaders and changed your party affiliation in the primaries to vote against Obama by voting for Hillary.

2. You're racist (and might not even know it)

3. You're not conscious.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 27, 2008 2:31 PM

Socialism? Marxist? ACORN?

The Right is so out of touch with reality that they can't even grasp what's really important to the rest of the country.

That interview with Joe Biden with the Marxist question is a perfect example. Fox Spews pushed that story to the hilt in the end they really demonstrated that the Right looks like a bunch of crazy people.

Start thinking for yourselves before you ruin our country even more.

VOTE Obama Nov 4

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 27, 2008 2:29 PM

Down in the polls, John McCain's Divide & Flailâ„¢ strategy is to call Barack Obama's tax cut for 95% of Americans "socialism."


Well, McCain must have once been a socialist, because it turns out that for years he supported higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for lower taxes on the middle-class.


The YouTube don't lie, McCain:
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8EyGpOU3qM
.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 27, 2008 2:17 PM

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