Open Thread

A Bumpy Couple of Days on the Campaign Trail

Jesse Jackson lobbed some criticism at Barack Obama resulting in the The New York Times citing the incident as ‘a real generational shift in power and leadership underway within African-American politics‘. In effect, Jesse’s criticism seems to be strengthening Obama’s position in that he is not being embraced by the hard line black political core. While the Jackson/Obama drama had all of the ingredients for a two-day news cycle, John McCain managed to take the talking points when he switched the identity of football teams when recounting his experience during torture in Vietnam, and in doing so raising some interesting questions in the media. On top of this his top economic advisor and National Co-Chair refers to Americans as a bunch of whiners for complaining about an economy that is only in a mental recession. But that’s only scratching the surface of John’s bad week.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow provides a summation of the week that was.

In parallel, the planned Obama speech at the Brandenburg Gate is getting only background attention in the US homeland, and a lot more attention over in Germany. First of all we heard the news that the Bush Administration were throwing a wet blanket on the idea, and since then we have seen a number of differing opinions across Germany’s media reflecting a fight between their respective right and left wings of government.

In the meantime VP speculation has been ripe over at the TPM with news about Hagel and Reed joining Obama on the upcoming Iraq visit, and rumors that Hillary Clinton was under consideration for vice president (although apparently Bill may be a problem).

You have to admit, this is almost as good as The West Wing, Season 7.

332 replies on “A Bumpy Couple of Days on the Campaign Trail”

But Blindopt, the usual weirdness is not getting any less: US treasuries are up, and so is gold…go figure!

I’m off to bed, night all.

I’m sure in a few weeks this whole thing will be just another nightmare on Wall Street and we’ll come to accept it had to be, but for now, it’s doing my head in! LOL

Mornin’ all,

Woke to cats fighting under my window……and people grizzle about roosters waking them up?

No hose within reach…….arghhhhh!

Coffee and PB2008US for solace.

And what a read it is…I now find myself reading every post, such high standard.
A mere ‘student’ ,one-finger-typing,fiscally ignorant(in fact ignorant on so many fronts) ,this little camper really appreciates the insight and stimulation.

Paddling like hell ,though, trying to keep up with it all 🙂

But back to our favourite topic….

How quickly priorities change.

Interesting observations by Jonathan Raban of US voters’ mood:
Iraq,terrorism,9/11 off the radar…..

Note elsewhere that BO is planning to increase troops to Afghanistan while withdrawing from Iraq.
What is it they say about not picking a fight unless you have a good chance of winning? The quicksand that is Afghanistan…..when will they ever learn.

My (unrealistic,idealistic) hope is that the fiscal squeeze will be so painful that there will be a real contraction and subsequent withdrawal………but am not holding my breath!

Morning megan!

Something on the horizon for Friday – Al Gore will lay out “an unprecedented challenge” on energy and climate change and will set a national goal for a “clean energy future.”.

The speech will offer a new way of thinking about our energy production and consumption and a new sense of what is possible when we choose to work together. It will propose a means of tapping America’s innovative skills to build a more secure energy future.

A swag of good Rasmussen polls for Obama (bar one):

Michigan: Obama +8
Iowa: Obama +10
Minnesota: Obama +17
South Dakota: McCain +4
Louisiana: McCain +19 (that’s the bad one for Obama)

Other interesting polls:

Colorado (PPP): Obama +4
New York (Siena): Obama +13

I’ll try to scrounge around for some Congressional polls now…

Morning Girls-
like you Megan as awful as his economic shut down is I hope the longer term effect may be to put the money where it builds rather than kills. We’ll see.
And Catrina- about time huh?
Talk about shutting the gate after the horse has bolted!

OK, congressional polls (a mixed bag):

Colorado Senate (PPP): Udall (D) +9
OH – 16 (currently GOP) (Tarrance Group): Schuring (R) + 6
TN – 7 (currently GOP) (Ethridge): Blackburn (R) + 11

The Colorado senate poll is good for the Democrats, although they probably want Udall to pull further ahead so the DSCC can concentrate their ad spend on states like Oregon, Alaska, Mississippi and Minnesota.

OH-16 is a good poll for the Republicans – it’s an open seat that most people anticipate the Dems to pick up. The fact that the Republican candidate is ahead means the Dems still have a lot of work to do in this seat.

TN – 7 is a good poll for the Democrats. Blackburn won 66% of the vote in 2006, but now she’s polling only 48% to her opponent’s 37%, which is lower than the magical 50% needed for incumbents to be considered safe in their seats. So it looks like another House seat is in play…

McCain, complete and utter netwit.

JOHN McCain has admitted he never uses email and has to be shown websites, as he is only just learning to get online.

If elected, Senator McCain, who turns 72 this year, would be the oldest candidate to enter the White House.

And in facing Barack Obama, 25 years his junior and making the internet a key campaign tool, he is risking claims that he is stuck in the past.

Women and men of POBUS, g’day:)

Megan, that’s a superb essay by Johnathan Raban. Always a joy when a writer of great skill and vision draws back a little with the social microscope. Have a mate who slips me his used Guardian Weeklies and it consistantly publishes some of the best writing of the state of that troubled Union.

two ten jen: didn’t do it for me either even though the artist’s aim and context was immediately apparent. Bob Cesca on Huffy’s homepage reclons it missed the mark by not targeting the hatemongers like BillO and Rush Limbaugh who dish the dross on high rotation. Great visual satire, as occasionally seen in some of the cartoons I post, is like a finely crafted Dresden figurine of tempered steel. Under or over cook it and it’s Schlockville kitsch, no matter how brilliant the grapho’s technique.

Interpreting The National Polls.

Voters are paying attention to the big picture, but they’re not paying attention to the details just yet. Methodological differences account for random fluctuations, as do random fluctuations.

Much more useful this year would be polls of the 18 or so competitive states. When last polled, Obama was beating or tying McCain in places like Indiana, Georgia and North Carolina. If, over the next few weeks, we see that he continues to perform above Democratic presidential levels there, then we can pretty much disregard the national surveys until the fall. The polls don’t account for the force multiplier effect that Obama’s campaign will almost certainly bring to bear with its millions of volunteers and thousands of paid staffers.

Since the latter part of the 20th Century no other Black person has captured the imagination of the world like former South African president Nelson Mandela.
In fact Mandela is the only Black person living and commanding such enormous respect across the racial and political divide the world over. Born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918, he spent 27 years in prison at Robben Island, becoming the most famous prisoner in the world.

Now the world seems to be poised for yet another great Black leader in the making. He is Barrack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate who, many believe, looks set to become the first Black president of the most powerful nation in the world — the United States of America.

Morning bludgers

Thanks for the link megan @ 204. Very interesting. I guess it confirms the adage, too, about all politics being local – or in the writer’s view, so local politics is purely personal. I suppose he’s right too. Very interesting.

Is this the right wing plot to nock off Obama at the convention?

African Lion Reportedly Roaming in Colorado.

Deputies and wildlife officers were looking Monday for an African lion reported by a resident to be loose in a rural part of El Paso County.

Sheriff’s Lt. Lari Sevene said the lion was reported at about 8 a.m. in the eastern part of the county. The resident told deputies the cat had a red mane and a big tail.

To back up my assertion note who’s reporting it.,2933,382201,00.html


204 megan Once Obama is in power, the Arab nations who originally had no involvement in Iraq in particular, may become much more involved. On an article I saw, the local response to their brothers from other neighbouring countries helping out, was a complete change of attitude. This would speed up the withdrawl of troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush got all his friends offside. No co operation from most M-E countries. Obama will hopefully change that.

” Chris B…….another great Black leader in the making. He is Barrack Obama…..”

People have their hopes up, for sure. Hope is an interesting thing in itself and people’s capacity for it is very touching. Hope is necessarily about the future, so to experience hope and to act on it is to move beyond the past and present. This is Obama’s greatest ability: by inspiring hope, he beckons America to create a better future…. all but irresistable.

“Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve been had?”
Johnny Rotten, after the Sex Pistols’ last show.
(Mind you, some of their early work and performances were bleedin’ spectacular.)

Mon July 14:;_ylt=AkD2i_.lMeIo8uoQ7hGWjCjd.sgF
Mon July14:;_ylt=Alqk2mSWmx_u533L6tvl.WdN_b4F
Mon July14:;_ylt=ArfP5fx7C6q0K4dQkUr4dJZT_b4F
Sat July12:;_ylt=ApcZIOQ5kyMTkl4d0El6tNoVvTYC

Chris B @ 216,

I think it’s a bit early to call Obama the next great black leader of this world. After all, he still hasn’t been elected to President yet and he has only had 4 years of service in the US Senate. Mandela, before he took power, had been head of the ANC for years and had spent 27 long years as a political prisoner…

The New Yorker cover is the story right now– and it’s a story that will play out predictably and not influence how anyone votes in November. (As an aside, there needs to be polling into the levels of misinformation about O’s religion and personal history among key demographics and in key states, not just in the electorate as a whole.) But the story should be the article itself.

The artist’s impression of the article is, as Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight has noted, ‘Guy already running for President in his mid-40s is very ambitious and an aggressive networker and, at crucial times, self-promoter. No shock there’. But I think a full reading gives a really interesting and nuanced picture of a guy with two pretty bifurcated aspects to his personality. On the one hand he’s a tactically predictable political operator who will use all of his attributes (including his race) to get ahead, and at the same time he has an unusual degree of genuine self-reflection for a politician, e.g. he’s able to pull back and say in an almost naive way, ‘wow– it’s like I’m a lightning-rod for what a lot of Americans have been thinking about race’.

Kinda like, in a very different context, Kurt Cobain was an absolutely driven and aggressively self-advancing singer-songwriter, and on the other he stuck firm to punk ideals and in his own mind never deviated from them for an instant.

Obama’s constant (nearly endless) self-description as ‘flawed’ would appeal to both aspects of his personality. For the politician, it inoculates against the electoral suicide of being seen as a god-complex or cult figure, and for the man I have little doubt it’s meant genuinely.

Despite too-early celebratory posts on here, Rasmussen have released a national poll making it a dead heat (down from +1 Obama in their last poll). The other national poll (Gallup) has Obama steady at +3. Given that history indicates there is probably a small but hard-to-pinpoint incumbent-party (but not incumbent candidate) swing to come in McCain’s favour, it’d be silly to say anything other than: he’s still well and truly in this.

Obama’s win percentage is down at Fivethirtyeight from a high of 70% to 68.8%. Not a big dip, but enough to indicate that the post-nomination bounce is done and we’re now in the hard-slog boring part of the campaign until we see how the conventions play out.

Obama’s still the clear favourite– and recent polling indicating that Michigan is an increasingly unlikely switcheroo makes McC’s electoral college job that much harder. But people who ignore credible national polling do so at their peril. If McCain can manufacture a 1-2% national popular vote lead, history suggests that the electoral college must follow. And he’s still got a long time, and not a huge amount of ground to make up, to achieve that.

Chris B @ 220,

You would expect that John McCain would also change the current situation regarding America’s relations with M-E countries. Things can only improve after the Bush presidency in that regard…

SimonH @ 227,

The most recent Rasmussen Tracking Poll has Obama +1 nationally. Gallup Tracking has him up by 3. But yes, in the past week or so, there has been a shift away from Obama (or towards McCain) for whatever reason. It wasn’t that long ago that Obama was leading in the tracking polls by 5 or 6 points.

Also, it is worth noting, that on Fivethirtyeight, the shift in the tracking polls has led to shifts in the individual state voting predictions. A week ago, Virginia and Indiana were both marginal Obama states – now both (particularly Indiana) are McCain states. That’s not because any new polls have been released in either state – it’s just that the predictions are adjusting to match the overall national trends…;_ylt=At98AGw940IcWyeypPygq5nX.sgF

Sat July 12:;_ylt=AglEWyBx9N0bQwXHbVNwL0rXj5Z4

Politically dysfunction meets Grammatical brain damage.
Simon, otoh, Intrade has The Kid at the best odds in ages 66.8; with McBombster at 31.0. cf. RCP homepage.
From memory, Rassmussen are hardly “world’s best practice” pollsters juging by some of their prognostications during the Dem primaries.

Are you interested in a two bottles of decent plonk to one wager on the POTUS outcome between these two candidates?

SimonH at 227: “Despite too-early celebratory posts on here, ……. it’d be silly to say anything other than: he’s(McCain) still well and truly in this.”

Rubbish, piffle, and fiddlesticks I say to thee Simon. You wanna little interest orwot, sir?

227 SimonH All the major issues are still very heavily in favour of Obama note: # 215 # 177 # 176 and #165.

#165 is particularly about phone polls.

McCain has only 2 issues he can make out of about 20, that is his experience and drilling oil off the coast and that has its pluses and minuses.

The campaign proper is yet to begin.

Also money, is one of the most important things. Obama has six times what McCain has.

Bill Clinton will tell you “It’s the economy stupid” and if anyone hasn’t noticed it is falling apart. If the Democrats don’t win this election in a landslide they ought to be taken out and horse whipped.

Poll Suggests Deep-Red South Dakota May Be In Play.

Wow. A new Rasmussen poll suggests that Barack Obama could be putting in play the very red state of South Dakota, which hasn’t voted Democratic for president since the 1964 Lyndon Johnson landslide.

And this:

Several polls within 24 hours paint a dramatic if contradictory portrait of the state of the race for the Presidency between the presumptive party nominees — indicating that the novelty has worn off for Democratic Senator Barack Obama who at worst is falling faster than the stock market (well, perhaps not THAT fast) and at best making lukewarm headway in increasing his support.

The polls underscore the danger of reporting one poll as Gospel, because as soon as one poll comes out, another emerges that contradicts the first one.

The disparities are stark. Newsweek’s new poll has Obama going from a 15 percent lead over McCain to just 3. CNN finds Obama ahead by eight. Gallup’s Daily tracking finds Obama has widened his lead slightly over McCain and is now ahead by six points.

Chris B @ 232,

Money may be important, but it’s not the key to success in politics (even in the US). After all, Mitt Romney raised substantially more money than McCain in the GOP primaries and still lost. Ron Paul raised millions but barely registered in the polls in most states. And thinking back to 2004, Howard Dean raised the most money amongst the Democrats – but John Kerry got the nomination…

234 Swing Lowe The Democrats have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to money, it’s nice to see it the other way around for a change.

ChrisB @ 231 and 165: All of the phone polls stuff is I think a storm in a teacup as comments on have indicated. That is to say, if the pollsters can’t reach some demographics, they can identify their numbers and so can weight polls of those they have reached, who have a similar demographic profile. This is a fraught exercise (esp if the numbers of relevant demographics you’re reaching is very small), but is as likely to overestimate as underestimate the ‘Obama mobile phone bounce’.

On a larger scale, a similar issue is being confronted as to whether the pollsters just report the raw numbers or weight as against numbers of registered voters in the state (i.e. to compensate for the fact that their random phoning picked up ‘too many’ Dems or GOP registered voters).

Political nerds (like myself) might like ‘issues’ (which do indeed generally favour the Dems, with the exception of national security which will keep favouring the GOP despite the unpopularity of Iraq) but reliable research indicates that a very large proportion of voters vote on image, feelings et al rather than pointy-headed ‘issues’. Even in a voluntary-voting country. Which is one reason why it’s wide open as each candidate still has to sell their story to undecided and low-info voters.

Oh, and on your 6, 174, 176 et al: I am yet to see any evidence to suggest that Obama will win Florida. (Sure, he’ll win individual counties handily, but so what?) And I don’t believe that he will.

Catrina @ 230: Thanks for putting me onto the link, which is a corker. Don’t know how I missed it to this point.

Of course, intrade (betting data) and 538 (polling data) will track each other in general terms (somewhat loosely)– and even though Simon Jackman and others have definite opinions on the subject, it’s a mug’s game trying to work out which is leading which. And make that mug-to-the-power-of-lots when trying to work out whether an aggregate of individual state figures, or general national figures, are more reliable indicators of outcome.

If Obama cannot win Florida under the present economic circumstances, he doesn’t deserve to win the election. The economic issues always win, hip pocket nerve.

237 SimonH This is what the Repugs are up against.

Jerry Howard, 63, is a Republican who has never voted for a Democrat. Nor had he ever given money to Democrats — until he wrote a $28,500 check to the Democratic National Committee.

Howard, a retired owner of a hotel design company, said, “I was shocked they were going to have a fundraiser in Orange County, the heart of Republican country.” It’s not that Howard dislikes McCain. But he said he was “astonished” at the state of the economy, and places much of the blame on Republicans. He is not certain he will vote for Obama. But encouraged by his wife, Deborah, he is leaning that way.,0,5551006.story

(242 -re PB : it’s back on line – and the all of the lads are in fine from , and trawling here it would appear.)

An ABC News/Washington Post poll has bad news for Obama. On the question of whether Obama would be a good commander-in-chief, just 48% said yes, whilst another 48% said no. For McCain, 72% said yes, whilst only 25% said no.

45% of respondents said that they trusted Obama more on Iraq whilst 47% of respondents said that they trusted McCain more on Iraq.

50% of respondents said that they preferred Obama’s timetable for withdrawal of troops in Iraq, whilst 49% said that they did not prefer it.

Here’s the link:


Aren’t they lovely Jen.

I’m especially taken by the way they’re happy to comment on us while tucked up under Williams protective wing yet they won’t show themselves here where they would have to fend for themselves.

246 Swing Lowe That perception would be very easy to change. Especially with his temper. I expect someone, probably to run with ot.

I know dogb.
Sweet really – they duck in and run back to tell all the others- at least we are happy to talk OZ politics on its own site.

So much cheery news on Bloomberg today….


“The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index lost 2.2 percent to 129.53 at 1:40 p.m. Tokyo time. All of its 10 industry groups fell, with financial stocks accounting for 42 percent of the drop. Twelve stocks declined for each one that rose on the benchmark gauge.

“Freddie and Fannie are basically quasi-sovereigns and many Asian governments and banks hold their debt,” said Leslie Phang, the Singapore-based head of investments at the private-clients unit of Schroders Plc, which oversees about $260 billion globally. “Nobody expected them to blow up and it’s shaken the foundations….”

Falling Property

“U.K. mortgage approvals fell to the lowest in at least nine years in May, and the nation faces a house-price drop which is “probably very sharp,” Bank of England policy maker Kate Barker said in a newspaper interview published yesterday. Accelerating inflation has prevented the central bank from cuttinginterest rates from the current 5 percent to avoid a recession.

“With demand so low, would-be buyers are negotiating from a position of strength,” Jeremy Leaf, a spokesman for RICS, said in a statement. “However, transaction levels remain incredibly low, with many buyers cut out of the process by tight lending conditions.”

Banks are curbing lending following the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market….”


The mutual backslapping society is a sight to behold that’s for sure. It would be funny if it weren’t so infantile and sad.

I’m just waiting for William to realise that the new site has done nothing for him. The real trouble makers are still there and will always find something to be unpleasant about. See GG’s recent posts about religion for a good example – I think he even managed to offend r/Ron!

Chris B @ 248,

I fear that ads/campaigns attacking McCain’s supposed private temper/short-fuse will work about as effectively as the Liberals’/media’s campaign against Rudd’s supposed private temper/short-fuse – as in, not at all.

People don’t really care if McCain (or anyone) has a private temper – only if people see his temper exploding in public will it become a significant campaign issue. McCain isn’t that stupid to allow it to come out in public – only Mark Latham could be that stupid…


I doubt the dems will directly attack McCain’s volatility. I agree that it’s not a particuarly hard target.

But you can bet Obama is thinking of ways to get a reaction out of him in the debates.

He is is a grumpy old man. Bug him enough and he’ll go postal.

I have mostly not felt tempted to blunder around Mr Bowe’s inn. Everything is much more amiable here.

There’s good news for Democrats in the US Senate race as well. Mark Udall leads Bob Schaffer 47-38 in the race to replace Wayne Allard. “Colorado is trending Democratic,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “A key thing to watch this fall will be what percentage of the state’s electorate
Hispanics comprise. The higher that number is, the more likely it will be that Barack Obama is victorious.”


If McCain goes postal in the debate, it’ll be the greatest meltdown/debate moment since “Where’s the beef?”

I seriously doubt McCain would allow himself to go that postal (especially considering he’s been through 2 presidential primary campaigns and countless senate campaigns)…

259 BO

There’s still some good folk there but I tempted to say that the S/N ratio has actually decreased since Catrina made up this little oasis.

I reckon it woiuld only take one of McCain’s reputed outbursts to complete do him in. People are scared about the future on pretty much every level – environmental, financial and global terror etc, so one show that the old bugger can not be trusted to keep it together when things hot up would send a pretty scary message to the voters, not to mention the rest of us.
He’ll be biting his tongue constantly at the minute to try and keep himself in check ,but no doubt the media will start to needle him – they would be busting to get him on film losing it. The journo’s are going to have so much fun with him….

261 SL

Perhaps. I think there’s already been a moment or two where he’s been close. Particularly when his war service was questioned.

On the other hand Obi would have to tread very carefully indeed to go there.

Obi won’t do it. The entire media corp will do it for him( apart from Fox of course).

I’m sorry, but you’re all deluding yourselves if you think someone with the political experience of John McCain is going to lose it/go postal in a Presidential Election Campaign.

Going postal/losing your temper in public is seriously amateur hour stuff – the stuff that you see in local council elections or amongst cannon fodder candidates in state elections. As I said before, someone who is on his second presidential campaign and has had several (successful) campaigns in the Senate is not going to go postal/lose his temper in public…

Seems such a charming chap 🙂

Don’t know if this has been linked in the past re McCain’s temper, but Cliff Schecter’s book,”The Real McCain”, includes the following excerpt –

“Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days. ”

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appears to have a slight lead over Republican John McCain in a poll of likely Missouri voters.

Obama received the support of 48 percent of those polled, compared with 43 percent for McCain and 9 percent who were undecided.

Obama seems to be doing much better in individual state polls than the overall national polls.

Actually SL I’m still not convinced. It wouldn’t take a total blow up to ruin his chances. I mean Latham was sunk by a handshake for fk’s sake.

All it would really need is for Obi to get a bit uppity and we might get a slightly red face, a bit of a raised voice, the occasional pointed finger.

Could happen?

dogb @ 271,

Apart from Latham (who was a complete and utter waste of space), can you remember a national election (in the US or here) in recent memory where a party leader has lost his temper or even “half-lost” his temper in public?

These people (particularly US politicians) are pure professionals (unlike Latham, who was the epitomy of amateur hour) – if McCain has a “handshake” moment during this campaign, I’ll donate $50 to the William Bowe Pollbludger Donation Fund…

Actually, on a similar thought, I think it is more likely that Obama will come across looking condescending/arrogant to McCain in the debates (aka Al Gore in 3rd debate v Bush in 2000) than McCain having a “Latham handshake” moment during the campaign…

Chris B 234

South Dakota isnt really as red as many believe.
If you look at the 1992 and 1996 presidential results Bill came pretty close. In fact it seems to be alot bluer than North Dakota in which Obama is doing way better, go figure. I have no idea why, so if anyone has some theories im happy to listen. It might also explain why Hillary won South Dakota against the trend. Also has elected a few democrat senators in the past and has 1 at present. Also democrats have the at large congressional district.

Latham was sunk by more than a handshake.
I agree McCain doesn’t have to go totally ballisitic to lose some points, although SL , any public figure who is stupid enough to call his wife a c*nt in public hasn’t shown much capacity for restraint IMHO!

Chris B @ 277,

There’s also a chance that the Rasmussen poll in SD may be a rogue one – after all, the last poll in SD (admittedly taken in April) had McCain up by 17.

That said, you’d expect SD to get a few more polls now, given the Rasmussen results…

273 Swing Lowe-
i suspect Obma ewill come across a s looking intelligebnt and resoned ratbher than cndescendidng. it’s hardly hi sfault that he is lightyears ahead of teh REpug candidte in ability to speak in public and hold an audience. McCain is bloody hopeless – it’s embarrassing to watch. Can’t believe thaty have ended up with someone as inept.
Although GWB was POTUS for eight looooong years…. so the benchmark is absolutely minimal.

I’m going to try that again…

” I suspect that Obama will come across as looking intelligent and reasoned rather than condescending. It’s hardly his fault that he is lightyears ahead of the Repug candidatein ability to speak in public and hold an audience….”

(you can work out the rest!)

jen @ 279,

In the Gore v Bush debate I was talking about, it was virtually unanimously held that Gore won the debate on the issues. However, most people thought that Bush gave a far better impression of himself to voters SOLELY because Gore kept on sighing and shaking his head in response to Bush’s answers. It gave Bush a bounce in the polls in October that Gore was ultimately unable to fully turn around by election day.

So – the moral of the story is – the issue isn’t how good a speaker Obama is in the debates, nor is it how poor a speaker McCain is. The issue is whether Obama, in displaying his ‘intellectual superiority’ over McCain during the debates, will come across to the TV viewers as arrogant/condescending as opposed to intelligent and reasoned. After all, there is a fine line between demonstrating intellectual superiority and displaying arrogance…

SL at 268:
“I’m sorry, but you’re all deluding yourselves if you think someone with the political experience of John McCain is going to lose it/go postal in a Presidential Election Campaign…… As I said before, someone who is on his second presidential campaign and has had several (successful) campaigns in the Senate is not going to go postal/lose his temper in public…”

Yeah right, Swingers, once again you are perfecftly correct, old son.
It’s such a relief to have you straighten us Bludgers out like this. Without your finely calibrated wisdom we’d all keep deluding ourselves on a daily basis.

Swingers, there’s no need to come the raw prawn. We’re all rather cililized here. I respectfully suggest that you carefully read your words that I quoted at in #282 and all will be revealed.

Swing Lowe-
I think Americans must be pretty tired of bumbling idiot as POTUS and it appears to be attracting them in droves to hear a man speak with elequence and intelligence. Can’t see why that appears to be arrogant, as opposed to simply better.

Hello all!
If Obama really is competitive in South Dakota, this thing will be a frigging huge loss for McCain.
Obama’s leads in Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin are widening!
I wonder if the controversy over the New Yorker magazine cover will have any bearing on the polls?

The state x state polls really do look good for Obama, but the national polls are not nearly as positive. Zogby seems to be about the most bullish for Obama, especially in the West & South West and Atlantic Coast. So far, he projects McCain at 160 EV, Obama at 273 and 105 as too close to call. Obama is equal with or ahead of McCain in nearly all these close contests:

I guess – without knowing much about this – that the nationwide pollsters weight their samples for age/gender/ethnicity/income/party affiliation. It would not take much misallocation of the sample data to really skew the results. Where is possum when you need him?

Catrina I am ready!

239 Chris B The kid may have to spend some of his money and purchase Diebold to win some states.

The markets are voting no-confidence in Bush, the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. This is grave news for John McCain, but possibly even worse news for the rest of us….

The USD is seriously breaking down tonight against other major currencies in early Eurpoean trade after sliding today in Asian markets. The battler has been well above 98 cents in recent minutes while oil and gold are higher and US Treasuries are lower. European equities have also opened lower along with US equity futures. Asian markets fell heavily everywhere.

In other news….

Barclays, the U.K.’s second-biggest bank, slipped 3.2 percent to 261 pence. Societe Generale, the French lender stung by a record trading loss, lost 2.3 percent to 50.28 euros.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said U.K. house-price declines in June stayed close to the most widespread since the group started measuring the property market in 1978, pushing the country closer to a recession.

Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest bank by market value, dropped 5 percent to 929 yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., the second-biggest, lost 5.9 percent to 786,000 yen.

Allied Irish Banks Plc, the country’s largest bank by market value, dropped 4.1 percent to 7.292 euros. Credit Suisse Group AG cut its price estimate on the stock 37 percent to 9.5 euros.

House prices in Ireland are “likely to fall further due to tightened credit availability,” Abigail Webb wrote in a note to investors today. “The housing market will remain the most important driver of both the economy and bank share prices.”

Oh Harry – it is so depressing!
I am hoping there is treatment available.
Does content have any bearing on the lower case /uppercase moniker?
Maybe i’ll pop up to Sydney andjoin the throngs of little sweeties being recruited to keep the world’s wealthiest institution alive,and I may be saved from my appalling – and clearly degenerative – typing disabliity.
Then again i’d probably just get struck down.

Al Franken has just jumped to a 2 point advantage over Norm Coleman in Minnesota Senate in the latest Rasmussen.

As they say in O’s native Hawaii

Like Wow – Wipeout

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