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Meanwhile in the States…


 

McCain/Palin seems to have crested. Debates still ahead…


 

Meanwhile in the States…

  1. I — as one of your solidly Republican readers — have no way to spin this one.

    It doesn’t look good for my guy.

    The debates are still to come, yes. So we’ll see.

    But maybe this is when the tightrope walk that was John McCain’s run against historical trends (the two term rule, the models using economic growth and approval ratings to predict popular vote, and so on) comes crashing down to earth.

    If it happens, it happens.

  2. Well, heopefully these latest polls will will have a calming effect on the main stream media types. I was getting concerned some of them would start jumping off tall buildings at the looming prospect of a McCain/Palin win.

    Still, this one is way to close to call.

  3. It is stunning to me that any patriotic American of above-average intelligence – that would be you, Ben – could favour the guy who (seemingly) mixes up “Zapatero” (Spanish PM) with the “Zapatistas” (Chiapas guerilla group), or conceivably with some unknown Latin American strongman – in an interview with the Spanish-speaking media!

    I just cannot understand how you can favour that kind of senescence. Does it really not matter who carries the Republican flag?

    I guess I’m trolling, but it’s an honest troll. It’s a troll from the heart.

  4. Jack- or whether Al-Qaeda works with Iran or not, or whether the fundamentals of the economy looked strong this week, or whether the Anbar Awakening began before or after the surge…

  5. Jack —

    I’d be more inclined to give credence to that argument were he not running against someone who has claimed, at various times, that there were more than fifty-seven states in the union, that he might be president for the next decade, that he’d make sure to meet with the President of Canada, that more than ten thousand were killed in Kansas by a tornado that killed 12 people, and that he was responsible for passing legislation on a Senate committee on which he actually never served.

    Politicians misspeak, exaggerate, and sometimes just get things plain wrong. It happens when you’re spending twelve hours a day, seven days a week on the campaign trail for the better part of two years.

  6. Ben: Come on! The interviewer actually prompted him multiple times, saying the last time “Okay, but I’m talking about Europe – the president of Spain, would you meet with him?” How could it possibly be a simple mistake confusing Zapatero and the Zapatistas?

  7. I am excited that it’s this close. I didn’t think McCain had a hope in hell a few weeks ago before Palin announcement and now we have a proper race to the finish. It’s all going to come down to who wins Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. I think McCain will win election by less than 10 electoral college votes.

    Jack M

    It is inconceivable to me that patriotic Americans would support a man who didn’t know what AIG stood for yesterday but knowing obscure foreign leaders and marxist rebels is clearly more important.

  8. velveeta –

    As someone who in middle school with back-to-back science and history tests mixed up “Plantae” and “Platea” for possibly the most amusing Persian Wars essay my history teacher had to read that year, I can forgive it. (Though I still remember that embarrassing moment fifteen years later!)

    Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t know who the new Russian president was, when asked during their last debate on MSNBC. (A marginally more important point, IMHO.)

    I’ll keep on trading you guys silly gaffe for silly gaffe if you like, but you’re not going to be changing my vote.

  9. I loved John McCain’s vaunted foreign policy experience yesterday – that he didn’t know who Zapatero was, that he didn’t know that Spain was not in Latin America, nor that Spain was an ally and part of NATO.

    He went on to affirm US support for Prussia in its war with Czechoslovakia, and promised to work through the League of Nations to seek the resolution of the conflict in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

    Fortunately, Sen. McCain can rely on the vast foreign policy expertise of his running mate, who can see Russia from her house and once made a refueling stop in Ireland.

  10. “I’ll keep on trading you guys silly gaffe for silly gaffe if you like, but you’re not going to be changing my vote.”

    Changing your vote? WTF? What makes you think I’m trying to change your vote?

    You know, this is great, because I doubt that in my lifetime we’ll see another candidacy as hilarious as McCain/Palin. Savour the moment, ladies and gentlemen.

  11. “Changing your vote? WTF? What makes you think I’m trying to change your vote?”

    As you hadn’t posted on this thread before I wrote that, WTF makes you think I was talking to you?

    I was responding to Jack in good faith — “a troll from the heart”, he said. He wanted an answer, I gave him one.

    Obama looks like he’s winning, now. It isn’t over just yet, but it’s always better to be up than down.

    Over & out.

  12. Well, I guess self-analysis is not a Republican’s strong suit. Saying that the other guy is stupid is not much of an answer. Say John McCain were just running unopposed. You would be happy with his winning even then?

  13. Sorry, should have said thanks, too. I do appreciate the perspective, Ben.

  14. Obama supporters (of which I’m one): before you get too upbeat , you might want to read this piece by Andrew Hacker. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21771 Key quote: “The Obama campaign would do well to print signs to post prominently in all its offices: ALWAYS SUBTRACT SEVEN PERCENT!” Polls, even exit polls, overestimate the actual vote for a black candidate. There’s some white folks who will never vote for a black but are too “polite” to say so. I don’t know how many of the pollsters or poll aggregators take this into account. If any of you have info re how US pollsters try to control for this so-called “Bradley effect”, I’d be much obliged.

  15. Okay, one last point from me on this thread —

    Jack said, “Saying that the other guy is stupid is not much of an answer. Say John McCain were just running unopposed. You would be happy with his winning even then?”

    No, and yes. (You’ve (innocently) misinterpreted what I said.)

    McCain’s not stupid, Obama’s not stupid. They both say stupid things from time to time, which is inevitable given a long campaign and much talking.

    I’d be happy with McCain winning because I prefer the direction he’d take the country in. I presume Obama’s supporters would be happy with their man winning because they prefer the direction he’d take the country in, in spite of the rather silly things he says now and then.

    Which has much in common with — just about every political campaign in the last century.

  16. I wonder if a “gaffe” like this – more like a tuning-out, I think – isn’t the effect of the gruelling pace of the 18-month campaign on a 72-year-old. I.e. less reflective of what he’d be like in the Oval Office with a good night’s sleep and a lot fewer airmiles. I’m amazed that Obama can stand it, and he’s in the prime of life.

  17. He went on to affirm US support for Prussia in its war with Czechoslovakia…

    This would be hilarious if it weren’t for the fact that McCain has referenced Czechoslovakia on a number of occasions over the last few months in such a way that it sounds like he’s not aware it no longer exists…

  18. Nicely and respectfully argued, Ben.

  19. Interesting to see Palin’s not favorable percentage is much higher than Biden’s. A downward trend that was noted over at 538 as well.

  20. “Interesting to see Palin’s not favorable percentage is much higher than Biden’s.”

    Actually BC not all that interesting considering the main stream media frenzy against her. She still has time to turn things around though and cut through the media trashing. For some reason,they can’t stand her.

    And yet as one pundit put it: “Hillary Clinton’s husband was president of the United States. Sarah Palin’s works the night shift in an oil field. Who is the feminist hero? Bien sûr.”

    I thought that was well put.

  21. McCain wasn’t going to be able to sustain that post convention bounce forever, so it’s not surprising that he has returned to earth somewhat. Still, here he is, six weeks to Election Day, in a tie with Obama and in good shape in all the battleground States. If you had asked the GOP six months ago how they would feel about being tied with Obama on September 18, they would have been thrilled.

    The debates may shift events, but there is every chance they don’t. They will probably both put in solid, cautious performances, simply reinforcing the support they have.

    The better question is whether or not the Bradley/Wilder effect may kick in for Obama. The media sure doesn’t seem to want to talk about it, but in fairness there was no evidence of it hurting Obama during the primaries. Might it surface for the general election? We will find out. What we do know, though, is that Obama is relying on new and younger voters to put him over the top, voting groups who do not turn out nearly as reliably as the groups supporting McCain.

    Surely to God no one is relying on exit polls to predict a close race in ’08. There was a time when exit polls were reliable, but they clearly aren’t anymore, not after the 2004 debacle with Kerry. For a few hours in the late afternoon and early evening of Election night 2004, John Kerry thought he was the President-elect, based largely on exit polls that turned out be significantly off base.

  22. Sorry Jarrid, poor excuse. Many mainstream American voters are uncomfortable about Palin.

  23. Does anyone know if the person’s full legal name appears on the U.S. presidential ballot, or just their first name and an initial or just their first name? Because I think that could make the difference in a close race as well. For example:

    Obama, Barack [ ]

    or

    Obama, Barack H. [ ]

    or

    Obama, Barack Hussein [ ]

  24. “Many mainstream American voters are uncomfortable about Palin.”

    Where did they get their information to form their opinion BC?

  25. Thirty years in Washington and still Joe Biden has half-again as many people who don’t have an opinion about him as they do about Sarah Palin.

    I know how it has happened, but it still gives my head a shake.

  26. Anyhow, let’s see how Palin does against Biden in the debate. If she holds her own or wins, then it’s back to the drawing board for Team Obama.

  27. Jared,

    The answer probably varies based on state law.

    In Washington (the state), the candidate can identify themselves by any name they chose.

  28. “Anyhow, let’s see how Palin does against Biden in the debate. If she holds her own or wins, then it’s back to the drawing board for Team Obama.”

    AS long as the debate is about moose burgers and shooting innocent animals from an airplane, Palin’s got a great chance to win.

    Hopefully, McCain won’t coach her about foreign policy…god forbid she should be asked where Spain is located.

  29. “Sorry Jarrid, poor excuse. Many mainstream American voters are uncomfortable about Palin.”

    Of course they are. The initial sheen has worn off, and people are realizing that this woman is a dangerously underqualified extremist who lies – she lies about anything and everything, and despite being caught in it again and again she keeps lying.

    How great Joe Lieberman must seem now to the GOP.

  30. Everything (apart from the gender-related items)being said about Palin was said about Reagan. Too unsophisticated, too simplistic, too right wing…etc…etc…

    With Reagan, the left couldn’t believe what hit them until it was inevitable.

    Here’s hoping.

  31. Very true Claude. Different times then though. Here’s hoping (for a Lefty that is).

  32. Claude

    Reagan and Palin were both sports announcers after they graduated college, I often put great significance in coincidences like this, and it’s why Palin is going to go on and do great things.

    I, too, am hoping for Palin victory though I am not so keen on McCain.

  33. I dunno about the Reagan / Palin comparison. Reagan was perfectly comfortable being a sockpuppet; it was practically his métier. Are we sure Palin would be willing to be guided by grisly Republican eminences? That she wouldn’t try flying the plane herself?

  34. They’re definitely similar in one aspect – they both drove up huge deficits and piled up debt while talking a big game about small government.

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