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The Political Take: McCain's Shrinking Map and Palin's New Wardrobe

The Fix and Newsweek managing editor Dan Klaidman got together -- in the virtual world -- this morning to offer our thoughts on the week that was and the week to come in the presidential race.

Among the topics: John McCain's shrinking electoral map with Pennsylvania the lone "blue" state that he is heavily targeting, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's shopping spree, and the consequences of Democratic rule of Congress and the White House in a country that still tilts center-right ideologically.

It's the Political Take! Check it out below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 22, 2008; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Jindal Makes a Political Power Play


ladyjane1 - Bravo! Your writing is major league and oh so accurate.

Posted by: leapin | October 23, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Over the past 30 years Pew and Gallup have conducted polls focused on issues only. Those polls clearly and consistently demonstrate that America is a center-left country, often by ratios as high as 2:1.

Polls have also asked Americans their political label. In those polls the "Conservative" label gets about 33% preference while "Liberal" only gets 20%. What is interesting is the internals in those polls. People are self-labeling themselves far more conservatively than where they actually stand on issues.

What these polls find is that the right is far better at "Branding" than the left. Americans have liberal values, but because the Right, the Corporate world and the GOP have done such a masterful of marginalizing and demeaning the "Liberal" label, many do not want to associate themselves with that name.

Just as the "Pepsi Challenge" demonstrated that most people preferred the taste of Pepsi, but Coke dominated in sales; what we see in America is not the BS "center-right" from Newsweek and here from Cillizza, but rather that one side has a fully developed marketing organization, while the other has the support of the people who still reject their brand!

Posted by: LeRiverend | October 23, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse



This country is lucky to have a guy like McCain still in the race and ready to lead the nation. McCain has the skills to take on the lobbyists and right the economy on a longterm basis.

The media is out of its mind this year.

McCain is correct - he is not Bush - the democrats have pushed a deception onto the American people - everytime I think of deception and lies now I think of Obama smiling from ear to ear during the debate to hide making any expression that he has been caught deceiving and lying.

Bush smeared McCain in South Carolina, the two do NOT get along.

When is it possible for the democrats to tell the truth? By the way THIS IS THE THIRD BUSH TERM. Bush 1 was from 1989-1993 and his son is on his second term. McCain deserves his turn to run this country properly and the media is going to be amazed at how solid a President McCain will be.




Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 23, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I think it is time we stopped Palin bashing. Easy as it is, it gives her power amongst the Radical Conservative base. "Real Americans" will not be voting for her and McCain. They will not win in November. The next step is to make sure they (namely Palin) does not come back. The way to do this is to stop talking about her. I realize I have to talk about her to say this, but that's it. I'm done. I wash my hands of this beast. You all should do the same. Let the Radical Conservatives beat the broken drum.

Posted by: Grant_x | October 23, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

A new AP-Gfk poll shows the presidential race much closer than other recent polls. Sen. Barack Obama just barely edges Sen. John McCain, 44% to 43%, among likely voters.

However, when you look at total respondents to the survey, Obama's lead grows to ten points, 47% to 37%

Posted by: sprayman46 | October 23, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

yea you forgot to mention slimy crooked thug but its okay i dont care americans have always found ways to deal with issues like this .........and we always will

Posted by: jszcoffey | October 22, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I find a lot of this amusing...I am a moderate Republican, who like many other will be voting for Sen. Obama. I am a Christian whose pastor teaches that the most important commandment is "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Hello to my freak-show fellow Republicans!!!

Guess who has moved us a lot closer to Socialism -- we (Republicans) did in the past month or so.

My taxes have GONE UP FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS!!! I would be happy to share my returns, I have nothing to hide.

Heads up people -- just like we cannot afford our own personal credit binges to buy things (like Porsches and such another poster mentioned), we cannot afford our wars.

As a former military analyst, I can read off the list of empires gutted by spending on wars they could not afford: The British Empire, the French (we got the Louisiana Purchase cheap from the French to help them pay down their war debt), the Ottoman Empire, the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, etc.

Anyone see a trend here? Do you have a brain?

Perhaps we need to rethink who we are and what we stand for...I am not a racist, so I cannot vote for a ticket including Gov. Palin.

Posted by: jwallace1 | October 22, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse


Get used to it....that BLACK librul socialist communist trotskyite anarchist nihilist terrorist friend of terrorists muslim islamo rascist celebrity elitist hater of america disciple of Rev Wright reader of Malcolm X Harvard grad named HUSSEIN is gonna be President of the United States of America.

Oh Happy Day! (did I forget anything?)


Posted by: toritto | October 22, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Barack Obama is truly a man ahead of his time. He has seemingly tapped into a wellspring of discontent as powerful as it is misguided. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” sounds attractive but only as as long as one has a steady supply of Peters ready,willing, and able to be bludgeoned by suffocating government. How long such people will be willing to put up with such an arrangement is anyone’s guess. It is far easier to ride on the wagon than pull it especially when those riding have the gall to suggest the pullers aren’t doing their “fair share.”
What happens when everyone wants a free ride, aka when the “Pauls” outnumber the “Peters?”
“Change you can believe in,” that’s what.

Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama’s entire political philosophy is based on the premise that America is essentially flawed. Not essentially good with some tweaking needed, but a net minus as a nation. That this essential contempt for America resonates with the likes of Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Hollywood celebrities, and the mainstream media is nothing new. Hating one’s country even as it has made you rich and/or famous is what much elitist behavior is all about.
The rise of Barack Obama suggests that this contempt is no longer limited to the ivory towers of academe, Manhattan or San Francisco cocktail parties, the mainstream media, the aging hippies, the radicals, the misfits and the neer-do-wells. It suggests that we may have reached a watershed moment in American history: those who disdain this country may finally outnumber those who love it. Those who complain may outnumber those who achieve. Those who take may outnumber those who give.

Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

For a long time, Americans have tolerated the incessant whine from a portion of their fellow citizens whose innumerable complaints can be reduced to a single idea: life is not fair. Question: why would any rational American want to put these people in charge of the country? You can dress up the rhetoric of Barack Obama any way you want, but in the final analysis it is all about government imposing “fairness” upon us–by any means necessary.
The ascendancy of Americans who believe somebody “owes” them something without regard to mitigating factors such as hard work, ambition and personal responsibility is breath-taking. Yet it is hardly surprising. Years of sub-standard education have produced Americans whose misunderstanding of reality is profound. They truly believe that none of the problems they face are of their own making. They truly believe equality of opportunity and equality of results are one and the same. They truly believe self-esteem has no relationship to accomplishment.
In other words, it doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you want. And if you don’t get what you want, it’s because America is a rotten country.

Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I know that I am helpless to stop this juggernaut towards disaster. Perhaps it is America’s turn to experience first hand what we in Israel experienced: the consequences of electing a leadership which does not have the best interests of the country in mind; which has an agenda that has nothing to do with those interests. Sometimes people have to make horrible mistakes in order to learn that they are horrible mistakes. In Israel, this included over 25,000 terrorist attacks. Children dying in the streets. Being afraid to walk to the bus stop or even enter a store……

Americans have had a wonderful life in a wonderful country. Everybody in the world wants to live in America. Now, Americans want ‘change.’ They are about to get it.

May G-d watch over them. Maybe this is how G-d intends to get them all to make Aliyah? I wonder how they’ll feel when they are sitting here with the rest of us, Obama in the White House, and Iran with a atom bomb.

Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

The Presidential election of the most liberal and inexperienced politician in America, a man with strong Muslim ties and a strong Muslim background; a man who IS linked to domestic terrorism through Bill Ayers, and to numerous pro-Islamic and anti-American advisors - all of whom side with Israel’s Leftist enemies (including some Israelis) as well as to anti-American, anti-Semites like Reverend Wright; a man whose supporters are among the same people who brought down the American economy with their ‘liberalism’ in money-lending, is just about a fait accompli. I have no idea what has happened to the America I knew. I have no idea what happened to the American Jewish community’s support for Israel, how it h as been washed away by deceptive self-interest and propaganda lies. But when I think what is in store for the America which is doing this to herself, and the American Jewish community who thinks by selling out Israel it will somehow achieve “change” that will benefit it, my heart aches.


Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

What we got, of course, was hell on earth. Thousands were killed, thousands more were injured as Arafat unleashed unbridled terrorist attacks, using the guns our government had given him to kill Israelis, many of them women and children; using the free access into Israel to blow up pizza parlors and discos and bar mitzvah celebrations.

And then came my turn, sitting in the Park Hotel with my family, including my child and political opponent, who was all in favor of Oslo, when the building blew up.


Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

What we got, of course, was hell on earth. Thousands were killed, thousands more were injured as Arafat unleashed unbridled terrorist attacks, using the guns our government had given him to kill Israelis, many of them women and children; using the free access into Israel to blow up pizza parlors and discos and bar mitzvah celebrations.

And then came my turn, sitting in the Park Hotel with my family, including my child and political opponent, who was all in favor of Oslo, when the building blew up.

When I came out of that alive with my husband and children, I swore never to be intimidated again. I swore that next time when no-nothings asserted political beliefs that were blatantly wrong, and would lead to disaster, I would oppose them openly, come what may. I would also never again suspend my disbelief that other people knew better, including high level academics, intellectuals, and other elites. Including my closest family members. I would keep my common sense.

Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Sitting here in Jerusalem reading the poll numbers, I have a feeling of déjà vu. There was a time in Israel when the Oslo Accords and the sincerity of Yasser Arafat were, believe it or not, controversial subjects. More than that, anyone who was against Oslo, who believed Arafat was a terrorist and a liar, and that land for peace was a deception that would lead to terror and war, was vilified. What didn’t they call us realists? War-mongers. Partners with Yigal Amir. There was no debate, just hysteria and vilification. I have to say that even my own family felt we should ‘give peace a chance’ and watched the handshake on the White House lawn (which I refused to watch and which made me ill) with hope. I was informed that since I wasn’t going to be serving in the army, I had no right to suggest that signing this peace agreement was a bad thing.

You know what? It intimidated me. I started to think: how could it be that everyone was so happy and enthusiastic, and I was miserable and depressed? How could they see doves and handshakes when all I could see was terrorist bombs and dead bodies?

So I tried to see the world through their glasses. I tried to be hopeful too. And when it came time to vote, I even voted for a Peace Now candidate, not because I thought there would be peace, but because I thought that it was better for the country to at least put into practice it’s wrong ideas, and to experience first hand how badly it was all going to work out. That there was no other way to have unity, because if they didn’t get that chance, they would never shut up, and would always blame the opposition for not giving them a chance. I stopped speaking out. I went along.

Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by jtfdotorg on October 18, 2008

Here is a warning from writer Naomi Ragen and Keith Davies of what awaits us in an Obama presidency.

Below is a letter from the writer, Naomi Ragen, which nails the issues we face on Nov 4th. While the economic issues take center stage, the problem of Islamic theology which causes terror will be much more of an issue over the next four years than the economy. If we as a nation believe in freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness we must elect leaders who stand for those values. If we elect Obama, our freedoms and way of life will be destroyed, if not forever, then at least for some considerable time to come. Germany elected Hitler and the economy improved but a much bigger evil was created. I will choose economic difficulty any day over the opening of our borders, to infiltration of our law enforcement and military by an Islamic 5th column, to a fairness doctrine restr icting free speech of people who have conservative views, and the selling out of Israel on false peace with a Jewish community both here and in Israel lost for leadership and strength. We Jews have been persecuted for 3000 years, why does every Jewish generation seem to always hope that all of sudden the world has changed its views on Jews?

Keith Davies, Walid Shoebat Foundaton


Posted by: ladyjane1 | October 22, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Terrible jacket Chris, makes the eyes hurt. Other than that keep up the good work.

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | October 22, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"There is a good chance that if we elect him, we will one day ask: what were we thinking?"

Most likely, the economy will dramatically improve and the Republicans will do what they try to do with Clinton. They will come up with some convoluted reasoning saying that the economy is just Bush's policies finally coming into effect five years after the fact.

Kind of like how the Republicans are blaming the current stock market problems on Clinton.

It's staggering how little Republicans seem to understand about the economy.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 22, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Fashion Fans for Obama/Biden '08

Favorite Budget Fashion Story: Michelle Obama in H&M Dress

Diesel 'Liquid Space' Holographic Fashion Show

Posted by: cooday | October 22, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Now, since then, Obama has turned in three debate performances that probably reassure a lot of voters, and so his lead is probably more solid than his lead on September 2. And we're basically comparing post-convention bumps; September 2 should have been one of Obama's best days, and September 8 should have been one of McCain's best days.

But that 9 percent swing does suggest that things can change in a hurry..."

Yes, but those bumps are pretty volatile. Looking at the convention bumps back when the conventions had a lot more space in between shows those leads vanish even without the other convention. Basically, you stuck the natural decay of the DNC on top of the bump of the RNC and you got a big swing over a short period of time.

But even the RNC bump would vanish as all bumps do. Once the next big event occured (Lehman), the RNC was all but forgotten.

Add that to the fact that Obama's field operations really got into gear starting in the beginning of September and the fact that Obama himself started actually campaigning (he took a vacation prior to the conventions) and the debate performances convinced a lot of people he would be a competent president.

Yes, the races tighten, but that's just something that happens in every presidential race. Kerry-Bush tightened four years ago, but Bush held onto his lead. It's just natural as the undecideds hop off the fence.

And don't forget that as we speak, people are voting and locking in their choices. This makes McCain's challenge even tougher as Obama has built up HUGE leads (like in the 30s) in some of the battleground states such as Ohio. Yes, there are plenty of votes left to be cast, but this is just another headache McCain doesn't need. A Jeremiah Wright ad isn't going to do anything to the people who have already pulled their levers.

Also, Obama is doing quite a bit better in the tipping point states than he is overall. McCain needs Virginia, but he is going to need to do a lot more than overcome his national deficit. (today is a start. Obama drew "only" a +2 today)

Can McCain pull this off? Sure. Anything can happen. gives McCain like a 6.3% chance of winning.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 22, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Nice to know that while some things change (i.e., President Obama), some things always stay the same. Like ol' King o’Zouk (or as I fondly think of him, Kouk), hanging around The Fix for years, always with the same supreme self-confidence and unrivaled record of never once accurately predicting an electoral contest. Even then he talked about his new Porsche and Hot Super-Model wife (of course, forgot to mention both were pictures torn from magazines and taped to the wall of his basement bedroom).

Back in 2006 as a swaggering stenographer for Karl Rove, Kouk kept repeating until election day, the prediction that all the polls were wrong and the Rs would keep the Senate and pick up seats in the House. I remember his statement that if he was wrong he’d humbly eat crow and politely apologize to everyone else. To his credit, he was back online the next day, and apologized, courteously and meekly. It was a good three weeks until the ‘ol Kouk was back, now insulting Hillary Clinton and pushing Rudy Giuliani.

He was then known for insulting McCain and stating there was no doubt Giuliani would be the next President. He stayed in full Clinton insult mode as long as she was leading, then suddenly switched to a Hillary supporter and directed his insults to Obama. He stuck with Giuliani until the Florida humiliation, than gave up on the R primary and switched full time to anti-Obama talking points parroted from talk radio, anonymous emails, and fringe websites (by the way, wouldn’t it save time if they just numbered them? Then Kouk could just write “NObama, TP#4! #6! And double #12!!” without again forcing everyone to wade through his repetitive dreck).

I’m fighting overconfidence, but there’s little that could be a more certain indicator of an Obama win than the ‘ol Kouk confidence of an Obama loss. So Kouk, are you going to make the same promise you made in October 2006? I look forward to the three weeks of quiet and relative sanity.

As I’ve said here before, I thought all three final candidates had the potential to be decent Presidents but, as a middle-aged, retired military, decidedly non-cultish white guy, I’ve favored Obama ever since it became obvious Joe Biden wouldn't be an option (Biden/Obama was my early favored ticket). Although his positions are certainly more liberal than mine, my judgment is that Obama has a rational pragmatism (the ability to change his mind based on new information) that would allow him to consider other points of view, and an innate intelligence and moral core that would guide sound decisions.

So everyone, don’t be satisfied with what you're told...please make up your mind based not on someone else's distortions, but on YOUR OWN understanding of the ability, intelligence, knowledge, views, positions, temperament, judgment, and moral strength of the candidates.

Posted by: malis | October 22, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

In a twisted sort of way I almost want McCain to win this election because four more years worth of failed Bush/McCain policies would for all intents and purposes be the end of the Republican party as we know it today. They would become the 4th party gadflies that they deserve to be.

The only question is, would this country survive it?

You people out there who live in economic downtrodden states like Ohio, West Virgina and Pa etc, if you are stupid enough to vote for McCain you will deserve every single bit of economic hardship that a McCain presidency will give you.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Zouk writes - "I know next to nothing about Palin, but I do like her anyway."

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. The only way you can know next to nothing about her is to close your eyes, cover your ears, and scream really loud whenever she's on TV.

I know that Zouk would never do anything so childish, and has more sophisticated ways of filtering out the bad news, but as a metaphor, it sums up well what the GOP base's reaction has been to Palin (that, or point fingers at Biden).

Posted by: bondjedi | October 22, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

MCCAIN IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA'S ECONOMIC TROUBLES! McCain in April 08 declared that there had been "great progress economically" during the Bush years. On more than one occasion, he diagnosed Americans' concerns over the dismal U.S. economy as "psychological." (Phil Gramm, McCain's close friend and economic adviser supposedly excommunicated over his "whiners" remarks, is back with the McCain campaign full time again.) McCain, a man who owns eight homes nationwide, in March lectured Americans facing foreclosure that they ought to be "doing what is necessary -- working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets -- to make their payments on time." And when all else fails, McCain told the people of the economically devastated regions in Martin County, Kentucky and Youngstown, Ohio, there's always eBay. McCain doesn't understand our tanking economy because it doesn't affect him.

The $100 Million Man
Courtesy of his wife Cindy's beer distribution fortune (one her late father apparently chose not to share with her half-sister Kathleen), the McCains are worth well over $100 million. (In the two-page tax summary she eventually released to the public, Cindy McCain reported another $6 million in 2006.) As Salon reported back in 2000, the second Mrs. McCain's millions were essential in launching her husband's political career. Unsurprisingly, the Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, who four years ago called Theresa Heinz-Kerry a "sugar mommy," has been silent on the topic of Cindy McCain.

The Joys of (Eight) Home Ownership
While fellow adulterer John Edwards was pilloried for his mansion, John McCain's eight homes around the country have received little notice or criticism. His properties include a 10 acre lake-side Sedona estate, euphemistically called a "cabin" by the McCain campaign, and a home featured in Architectural Digest. The one featuring "remote control window coverings" was recently put up for sale. Still, their formidable resources did not prevent the McCains from failing to pay taxes on a tony La Jolla, California condo used by Cindy's aged aunt.

The Anheuser-Busch Windfall
While John McCain played a critical role in facilitating DHL's takeover of Airborne (and with it, the looming loss of 8,000 jobs in Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy McCain is set to earn a staggering multi-million dollar pay-day from the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian beverage giant, In Bev. As the Wall Street Journal reported in July, Mrs. McCain runs the third largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in the nation, and owns between $2.5 and $5 million in the company's stock.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

the cannulla writes
"what will we do when the payroll tax cap is Removed on the profits of our businesses, which get passed through to our personal returns?"

What are you talking about? I'm not following. Specifically, what removal of a payroll tax cap?

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Drain you-
What an Ironic Name for someone supporting "Tax Credits", which are payments to people whose taxes Obama can't CUT because they simply pay no Federal Income Tax (lower 30-35%)...from where does that money come? Lot's of places but to a large degree from owners of small businesses....what will we do when the payroll tax cap is Removed on the profits of our businesses, which get passed through to our personal returns? No choice but try to do more with less (layoffs)-
Drain me?- Well, drain you too!

Posted by: thecannula | October 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse


"At a Seattle, Wash., fundraiser Sunday, Biden said, "Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America ... Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.""

So, A vote for Obama is a vote for danger, Joe: Is that what you're telling us?- Thanks for the Warning! I'll stick with Foreign Policy Credentials at the Top of my Ticket.

Posted by: thecannula | October 22, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Down in the polls, McCain's Divide & Flail™ 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:

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Field Dressed: Inside Sarah Palin's Excellent Shopping Adventure:

Posted by: janawalter87 | October 22, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

have a productive discussion.

Posted by: bsimon1 |

On this blog, lately?

surely you jest.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"Maddening isn't it. why does it bother you when I do it?"

It doesn't bother me, I'm merely pointing out to our newer contributors & readers that you're rather inconsistent & looking to yank chains more than have a productive discussion.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

"what ever happened to Michelle?"

I can't speak to her daily schedule, but she was up here, in MN, last week. The reports I saw said she was well-received.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I concur about the wardrobe. she should wear one of those homer simpson Moo-moo items like Michelle Obama wears. you know, a 19.99 job out of K-mart.

what ever happened to Michelle? After her statements about how she despises Amerika, she seemed to have gone underground to an undisclosed location?

Is she hanging there with Rezco, Ayers, Wright and all the other "ex-friends" of THE ONE?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Which is it? Is Obama a total unknown or a trivially predictable quantity?

Posted by: bsimon1

Maddening isn't it. why does it bother you when I do it but not when THE ONE does it?

"I could no more disown him than my own brother"

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

On slight error in your post there Zouk. It should read
... all that stuff you haters of American used to love about him ...
I hate to be confused with somebody else.

--" I will not forgive for McCain/Feingold, etc. all that stuff you Libs used to love about him, I didn't.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse "--

Posted by: DonJasper | October 22, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"I know next to nothing about Palin, but I do like her anyway."

That says a lot right there.

Maybe you got caught up in the winks.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: popasmoke | October 22, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, I can't believe I'm saying it, but you're actually less consistent than John McCain right now.

At 3:15 you wrote
"No one knows what Obama really thinks, much less what he will actually do"

Then at 3:37 you contradict yourself:
"On the contrary, I think pretty much everyone knows what Obama will do"

That's a faster turnaround time than McCain's "our economy is fundamentally strong" to "We face an economic crisis"

Which is it? Is Obama a total unknown or a trivially predictable quantity?

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

2 facts of history:

1. there has never been a conservative revolution.

2. there has never been a liberal fascist state.

Posted by: wpost4112 | October 22, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's see: Sarah Palin is having the State of Alaska pick up the tab for travel expenses for her children.

She's having the RNC pick up the tab on 150,000 worth of clothing. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign." Pleeaasse.

Charitable _purpose_? and not organization.

This is the face of the New Republican Party in 2012? High maintenance? Hey Chris - you want her in 2012, be my guest.

"Well sur the RNC is a little short on money these days - but each dollar spent on me is bargain."

I've been having trouble getting my wife to STOP referring to the Palin's as 'White Trash' before now. And Wife hasn't even heard about this Palin adventure (yet). Well maybe if Brain Williams and John Stewart and SNL and NPR all don't mention it - then I've still got a chance.

Posted by: DonJasper | October 22, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Side Show Palin is a Freeloader.

$150,000 shopping sprees (at all the best "elitist" shops, no less), on the Republican National Committee tab.

$21,012 worth of free flights for her daughters, charged to the state.

All this, when she already makes $125,000 a year as governor and pockets an extra $22,883 in energy extraction royalties.

Sarah Palin is a chisler supreme.

All of which makes the fact that she charged $16,951 in expenses charged to the state, including 312 per diem allowances for staying in her own home just that much more amazing.

A dual income family, with Sarah earning $125K. Free travel (even for the family), and now free clothes, hair and makeup. They can actually go out in her backyard and shoot a moose, keeping her family in free mooseburger for a year. And still she feels the need to cheat. Shoot that moose for free and still charge the state $60 per burger. And she claims she deserves every bit of it.

Now that's what I call a perverse sense of entitlement.

"Sounds like socialism to me," to borrow a phrase.

Just another fake "bootstrapper" Republican. What a shocker.

Meanwhile, we all have to endure the indignity of Palin turning the campaign for the Vice Presidency into some kind of FOX reality TV makeover show, where they take some ridiculously not-ready-for-prime-time pol and dress her up, push her out on the stage, and see if they can turn her into a VP in 10 weeks.

What the heck, right? It's just being second in line to the nuclear launch codes. No big thing. We could even do a whole copromotional deal with moose sandwiches at Subway.

Thanks, Republicans. You sure do love your country n' stuff.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

simple fact that you, one of McCain's more skillful sycophants, have nothing positive to say about McCain says more than I know how to express.

Posted by: lonquest

It is no secret that I don't care much for McCain. I will not forgive for McCain/Feingold, etc. all that stuff you Libs used to love about him, I didn't. I know next to nothing about Palin, but I do like her anyway.
But it is clear that despite all this, he is still better than Obama, who I know almost nothing positive about whatsoever.

and I have tried.

I like Biden but find him to be a complete fool.

I never liked Bush much either but chose him over the wildly liberal Kerry and gore. I do think Bush has requited himself well and has kept us safe for 7 years and managed the economy well until PeLousy took over. It is unfortunate his personality did not allow him to ever defend himself against all the slander. I did not care for the spending but he ran as a liberal and was elected on that.

moderm politics has become a spin machine with marketing much more important than issues or any thing else. Sad perhaps but accurate. Possibly very dangerous.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse


I've now seen several of these videos... please learn to speak up or get a video editor who knows how to work the sound levels in a mixing board.

Posted by: burkemic99 | October 22, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary, I think pretty much everyone knows what Obama will do:

Raise taxes
spend like crazy
surrender overseas
meet with enemies
invade allies
grow government to jack-in-the-beanstalk size
rubber stamp PeLousy
hollow out military
wreck economy
lose jobs
ruin trade
force unions on everyone
pay teachers, ignore students
kill health care and research
cover for vice - idiot
squelch free speech
fund ACORN et al with tax money
line pockets with fannie contributions
micro-manage economy into ditch
conceal corruption

Not that this will harm me personally to any great degree. I may have to lay off some employees, forego a new Porsche, postpone the new yacht, work an extra three years, back to domestic wine, 4 star hotels, etc.

but the rest of the unsuspecting population will suffer immensely. their taxes and expenses will rise. the forms they fill out will multiply. the waiting on hold for a government agent will agitate. the schools will not educate their kids. their choices in health care and medicine will be curtailed. their relative fear in public will rise. their supply of contrary information will dwindle. etc. Just the guys he promised to help will suffer the most. typical clueless LIB

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Zouk, zouk, zouk,

You say Obama lacks experience, but what can you say McCain has learned from all the time he's had? He still doesn't understand economics, diplomacy, or leadership. He wastes all his time talking about Obama instead of what his agenda means, much less how he would attempt to accomplish it. He consistently attaches himself to the most negative aspects of any opportunity to make news, and, at age 72, he still has temper tantrums.

Palin's obviously corrupt, mendacious, superficial, and empty of constructive ideas. She's not even loyal to McCain, she's throwing him under the bus to set up her own campaign prospects for '12. Who is the real Sarah Palin?

Obama's strategy and positions are consistent; McCain hasn't got a position, the best he can come up with is slogans like "Obama wants to raise your taxes," or "Today, we are all Georgians." (I am, incidentally, not a Georgian, never was one.)

Maybe if McCain could take a position, you could make a case for him. I'm certain you'd try, if you had anything to work with. The simple fact that you, one of McCain's more skillful sycophants, have nothing positive to say about McCain says more than I know how to express.

Posted by: lonquest | October 22, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

From TPM's Josh Marshall: "Okay, here's some special bonus robo-clothes shopper snark. Jeff Larson is not only John McCain's chief robocaller and Sen. Palin's $150k clothes shopper, he's also the guy who's giving that sweetheart rental deal on his apartment in DC." --Josh Marshall

Posted by: osullivanc1 | October 22, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, LOSE THE CORDUROY JACKET!! creates nasty nasty Moire patterns on compressed web video... just watch your own embedded video for a few secs! Your jacket is more animated than you are.

P.S. you look worried throughout this piece. Self confidence got you down? Grey corduroy isn't a confidence builder. (just adding weight to my point above ;) )

Posted by: bricedue | October 22, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Zouk zits:
If elected, Obama will be the least experienced president since Jimmy Carter.

Actually, it's since Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: wpost4112 | October 22, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Where I said 'David Broder' I meant 'David Brooks'.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"If elected, Obama will be the least experienced president since Jimmy Carter. No one knows what Obama really thinks, much less what he will actually do"

How frustrating it must be to see a majority of Americans choosing to roll the dice with the new guy, rather than going with the 'known' quantity. We've slowly watched the moderate posters here gravitate towards Obama, having become frustrated with McCain's bellicose foreign policy rhetoric, reckless selection of a running mate and clear lack of understanding or leadership on the economic crisis. Even once-reliable conservative columnists have jumped off the McCain bandwagon, including longtime Republican supporters like George Will, Chris Buckley, Kathleen Parker, David Broder, and more. Its really no surprise that the remaining supporters of Sen McCain are lashing out like children who aren't getting their way.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

McCain Is Proud Of His Brochure Linking Obama To Islamic Terrorism.

On Monday, a Missouri-based television reporter asked McCain whether he was proud of a smear-laden mailer sent out by the RNC on his campaign's behalf.

McCain's reply: "Absolutely."

It all comes down to the economy. Despite his attempted "reboot", John McCain is still as determined as ever to smear Barack Obama with the most scurrilous garbage imaginable -- all because he has no clue what to do about creating new jobs.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It is like the second coming of the 1976 Jimmy Carter -- the one who would unite North and South, black and white, and provide us a government as good as we were; it was the second coming of the man who knew Niebuhr! By last week, Brooks was speaking of FDR and Reagan.

If elected, Obama will be the least experienced president since Jimmy Carter. No one knows what Obama really thinks, much less what he will actually do, since he had one set of policies in the primaries and another during the general election, and his rhetoric is as unspecific as Carter's was (except Obama did say in the debates - twice - that he intended to go through the federal budget "line by line").

He has released no records from college or law school, nor his law firm client list, nor the files relating to his legislative experience in Illinois. He has acknowledged a history of drug use and the fact that he currently smokes, but he refuses to release any medical records. He has spent most of his still-unfinished first term in the Senate running for president, which his supporters argue is the executive experience that qualifies him for the presidency.

His own running mate has told us Obama could have made a better vice-presidential choice, and has warned us that Obama's inexperience will result in multiple international crises in his first six months. But Obama wrote an excellent autobiography, has an organized unconscious, and knows Niebuhr.

There is a good chance that if we elect him, we will one day ask: what were we thinking?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

McCain is flailing...or is it unraveling? After watching this video of McCain it looks like he's doing both of these things at the same time.


Posted by: DrainYou | October 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

zouk, thank you for amusing, as always.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary, I would say that according to polling trends, it is Obama's prospects that are shrinking:

why so many liberal readers get furious when I highlight polling data showing that Obama's not running away with the race...

"Why are they angry? Because their whole strategy relies on a demoralized GOP. Remember the scare they had in September?" Obi-Wan asked. "All that coronation stuff at the Democratic convention dissolved as McCain seized and held a good lead. They know how fragile things are. They need to keep the media talking about a massive GOP defeat, because all it might take is a few stories to the contrary and all of a sudden, it is mid-September again, when the rising McCain tide was lifting all boats."

I went back to look at that "scare in September."

On September 2 — when the polls were reflecting the Biden pick and the Democratic convention, but probably not yet the Palin pick of three days earlier — the RealClearPolitics average was at 49.2 percent for Obama to 42.8 percent for McCain — a 6.4 percent lead for Obama.

On September 8, five days after Palin's convention speech, the RCP average put McCain at 48.3 percent to Obama at 45.4 percent — a McCain lead of 2.9 percent.

That amounts to a swing of 9.3 percent in six days.

Now, since then, Obama has turned in three debate performances that probably reassure a lot of voters, and so his lead is probably more solid than his lead on September 2. And we're basically comparing post-convention bumps; September 2 should have been one of Obama's best days, and September 8 should have been one of McCain's best days.

But that 9 percent swing does suggest that things can change in a hurry...

AP, not too long ago:

The presidential race tightened after the final debate, with John McCain gaining among whites and people earning less than $50,000, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that shows McCain and Barack Obama essentially running even among likely voters in the election homestretch.

The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain's "Joe the plumber" analogy struck a chord.

Three weeks ago, an AP-GfK survey found that Obama had surged to a seven-point lead over McCain, lifted by voters who thought the Democrat was better suited to lead the nation through its sudden economic crisis.

Oh, oh Libs, your world is falling apart.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 22, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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