2:30 p.m. ET: John McCain got $84 million in public financing in early September, and Barack Obama started the month with $77 million and the likelihood that he would raise well over $100 million more between now and November. The RNC and DNC (especially the RNC) have millions more.
You know what all that money buys? Lots and lots of ads. A nauseating, too-many-to-keep-track-of number of ads. Just today, we've heard that McCain loves Bermuda and its deep-pocketed donors, that Obama's been "mum" on the financial crisis, that Obama wants Latino voters to hear his take on the "economia" and, of course, that McCain has foreign cars.
Poll averages show a whopping 14 states with margins of 5 points or less, so perhaps small-bore ad campaigns like these really will make the difference, or perhaps smaller swing-state issues like clean coal will prove decisive. Maybe Palin's meetings with foreign leaders, and the lack of coverage thereof, will matter. Or perhaps Joe Biden's criticism of an Obama ad will (Drudge certainly likes the story).
But it still seems more likely that the coming presidential debates and the response to the economic crisis -- on which Obama is speaking right now and McCain will presumably address at his first-in-40-days press conference this afternoon -- will decide who wins in November. If we can just get through all these ads.
11 a.m. ET: Happening now ... Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke have taken time out from their world-saving duties to appear on Capitol Hill. What's even harder than rescuing the global economy? Trying to look interested at the witness table while senators make their opening statements. Both men appear to be making frequent and effective use of the "nod thoughtfully, and pretend to write something down on your notes" strategy.
Their basic message: Congress has to move fast. And speed may be the best way to get the package through before opposition coalesces. Rasmussen says a one-day poll taken Monday put public opposition to the plan at 44 percent, up from 37 percent the day before.
Elsewhere on the Hill. Vice President Cheney, Josh Bolten and Ed Gillespie are lobbying recalcitrant Republicans to back the administration's bailout package. Note that Cheney hasn't been playing this Hill ambassador role nearly as much lately as he did earlier in Bush's tenure.
And in Michigan, where McCain visits today, Obama is up with a new ad hitting the GOP nominee for owning, gasp, "THREE FOREIGN CARS." How are things there in Michigan? Obama's got a 4-point lead, according to the Quinnipiac/washingtonpost.com/WSJ survey, which resembles the 5-point spread in the RealClearPolitics average.
8 a.m. ET: We're several hours and two cups of coffee into the morning, and no fixture of the American economic landscape has collapsed or been purchased by the government today. Not yet, anyway. Yes, we're looking at you, Detroit.
John McCain and Barack Obama have both endorsed loans for the struggling auto industry, but have they learned their lessons from the past week? Does either man have a plan in the can in case a major carmaker does fail? Let's hope not to find out.
As for the current batch of crises, both candidates have now 1) expressed misgivings about the Bush administration plan; 2) sketched out proposals of their own; and 3) been linked, via proxy, to the mortgage mess by the other side. It should all add up to a wash, except for the fact that Obama is playing on his home turf, as the intense focus on the economy plays to Democratic strength and hurts the GOP's efforts to drive the narrative (at least until Friday's first debate, on national security and foreign policy).
Of course, all is not lost for McCain. Sarah Palin drew an Obama-sized crowd to an event in an Orlando suburb yesterday. No word on whether she appeared in front of a faux-Greek temple (or, more appropriately, a Disney castle). Palin's at the U.N. today meeting with seemingly every world leader, except Ahmadinejad, while McCain will be in Ohio and Michigan. Obama and Joe Biden have a quiet Tuesday planned.
Lastly, remember Ron Paul? The man who ran a surprisingly potent (and well-funded) bid for the GOP presidential nomination has endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin for president. Have any pollsters yet identified a state or states where third-party candidates will tip the race in one direction or another? Tell The Takeaway what you know in the comments section below.
September 23, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Go to full archive for The Rundown »
Please email us to report offensive comments.
The comments to this entry are closed.