12:30 p.m. ET: Did someone send out a memo saying that Monday of the week before the election was "Advice Day"? It certainly seems that way, as the series of tubes have been jam-packed today with all manner of suggestions for both John McCain and Barack Obama on how to win, how to lose and how to govern.
Bill Kristol has a heap of advice for his friend McCain, primarily recommending that the GOP nominee drop the economy talk and focus on national security and the "commander in chief" theme. (Advice for Kristol: Maybe you should have written this column a couple of months ago. Obama has of late whittled away at McCain's advantage on the CinC question, and on the overall question of whether the Democrat has enough experience to serve as president. Also, the economy is a lot more important to voters right now than national security.)
And as long as The Rundown is dispensing his own advice, here's another free nugget: Hey McCain and Sarah Palin, stop talking about the clothes story. It doesn't matter at this point whose property it is, or how much of it has been returned. None of this helps you. At all.
Richard Haass has some thoughts for the next president on the scary world that awaits them, along with this comforting prediction: "There will be days when you will wonder why you worked so hard to get this job." Peter Wehner advises the GOP not to lose its bearings after an expected bloodbath on Election Day. His basic message: Don't get down on conservatism, even if a lot of conservatives lose next Tuesday.
And Eugene McCarthy has some advice for all voters, via Leon Wieseltier: "You vote for the man," not the philosophy or the policy proposals. Does this mean we should stop paying attention to the ad about McCain's health care plan, or the one about Obama raising taxes? Sound advice, indeed.
8 a.m. ET: Barely a week until Election Day, and the list of remaining unanswered questions is changing, but not getting any smaller.
We don't really know who will win the presidential race, but we do now know who the consensus favorite is. It may be a landslide for Barack Obama, and even some of John McCain's closest allies are acknowledging where things stand.
We may know that Obama is in a strong position, but what does that mean downballot? If Republicans read for 8 more days that McCain is going to lose, will they show up anyway next Tuesday to vote for a GOP senator or governor? On a rough playing field and trailing in fundraising, Republicans can't afford to lose voter enthusiasm. If they do, unexpectedly embattled senators like Mitch McConnell and Saxby Chambliss might suffer the same fate as McCain on Election Day (though at least McCain would still have a job).
That concern over depressed momentum in Senate races is why David Frum suggests for the GOP that "every available dollar that can be shifted to a senatorial campaign must be shifted to a senatorial campaign" and that Republicans focus more on the theme that one-party government is inherently dangerous.
Here's something else we don't know: Will the Republican ticket dissolve into a squabbling mess before next Tuesday, or will it stay united and close on a positive note? Lots of chatter this weekend about McCain's camp and Sarah Palin's camp turning on each other. (The CNN chyron on a Palin story this morning: "Going Rogue?") Are these just a few, unrepresentative anonymous quotes? The natural frustrations of a losing campaign? Or evidence of a genuine split and Palin's first efforts to distance herself from the 2008 campaign to position herself for 2012? We may have to wait four more years before we know the answer to that one.
October 27, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
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