"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Oval Office is for Closers (Redux)

This is what you call the closing argument. I expect the big 30-minute show on Wednesday to be a more intricate version of the same. By all indications, Barry is pulling away, which is just great to see. Hopefully w/all the early voting, the big GOTV push can take it to the next level and we'll get a serious mandate to do all these things.

The reality is that it's going to take several years to turn around the Bush momentum. Four years is enough to start to see a shift and hopefully earn another term to bring it on home. The big gamble is whether or not Obama will be able to govern, and whether or not the House and Senate will start to act w/purpose, and just how far out into the wilderness the ultra-political end of the GOP rump will end up. Hopefully the infighting there will hamper their ability to foul up an Obama administration (for reference see Clinton, Bill, years 1992 - 1994), and hopefully also the signs that Obama is a much more capable leader than the old Clenis will bear out.

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Anatomy of a Landslide


(also, for those of you who don't get the reference, get your afrobeat on and enjoy)

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A little something I whipped up

Hopefully this will help:

There should be more artists coming in soon as MFD's A&R operation starts making rain. Cool concept: you sign up here, we do some magic on the internets, and you get a robo-call from a musician you like reminding you to vote. Spread it around, yo!

BHO haulded in $150 million dollars in September. That's fucking insane, by the way. He also got the Colin (Powel) endorsement. I lost all respect for that half-cuban cocksucker when he did that bullshit -- and obviously so -- dog and pony show at the UN with the fake-ass areal photography and the little vial of white powder. However, for the same reasons that the press ate that up like strawberry shortcake, his endorsement will help cement elite opinion for Obama. So bully for you Colin. Way to go out on a limb for the cause.

This is the part in Mortal Kombat where Obama gets the Finish Him moment. Let's make this election a fatality for the conservative movement.

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Epic Fail

Joe the plumber is america's next top political football. I found this invocation to give me a little sense of trepidation, mainly for reasons Bowers outlines here. It seems to tap into the Reagan-era shit that's worked really well. I'm personally totally non-plussed, but it makes me nervous when people start attacking Obama for wanting to "spread the wealth around."

But it appears that maybe America is waking up to the fact that this has been happening, except the "spread" has a decidedly upward drift. As one pundit put it, "the rich have been strip-mining the middle class" for the past twenty five years.

And Joe? Well, who knows if it will matter in the non-reality-based community that is the world of Cable News, but it looks like an EPIC FAIL of a campaign strategy:

So Joe (whose name is Sam) the Plumber (who isn't a plumber) was used by McCain to attack Obama's tax proposal, though Joe/Sam actually pays less tax under Obama (if he actually got around to paying his taxes.)

Brought to you by the same people who think character attacks are more important than issues.

That's compounded by the fact that the ad McCain released (from professionals) prominently features the word "Everbody?" in one of its fear-factor jump-cuts.

This explains a lot. Lolcats are running the McCain campaign.

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John McCain: Strong on Women

Another one, from everyone's favorite comic denizen of Rudy's:

Kudos to Katie. I think the "Strong on Women" tagline is fucking genius. It's both mocking of conventional campaign discourse, and also clearly communicative of the creepy, overbearing, paternalistic attitude that typifies the Right's position on all these issues.

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Oh man

Love it!

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Poll Porn

Bring it on home, Barry:

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Bold Moves

I believe the Black President is wrapping it up in terms of the election. This is looking a lot more like 96, 84 or 76 than 2000 or 04. That's good.

So now there's this: Obama campaign buys 30-minute time block on Oct 29th. My guess/hope is this will be a Perot-style policy demo. Our debt-based economy is rapidly collapsing, and as clever as Zack's "25% hit on 401(k): five grand. President Obama? Priceless" line is, there's a reality that shit's real fucked up right now and it's going to start hurting regular people, and badly, quite soon.

For my part, I agree with Zizek that we need a new theory, and I'm young and dumb enough to go one further and venture some guesses.

The sketchy wind-up:

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The Oval Office is for Closers

As Atros says, Poll Porn.

This is only one pollster, and one that's been showing bigger margins for Obama in general -- which is why sober analysts use composite averages -- but it would appear that the Obama campaign is indeed beginning to pull ahead:

State Pre Debate Post Debate
Florida Obama +6 Obama +8
Ohio Obama +7 Obama +8
Pennsylvania Obama +6 Obama +15
Pre-debate surveys ended at 8 p.m. Friday with post-debate surveys Saturday-Monday.

"It is difficult to find a modern competitive presidential race that has swung so dramatically, so quickly and so sharply this late in the campaign. In the last 20 days, Sen. Barack Obama has gone from seven points down to eight points up in Florida, while widening his leads to eight points in Ohio and 15 points in Pennsylvania," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.


"Sen. Obama clearly won the debate, voters say. Their opinion of Gov. Sarah Palin has gone south and the Wall Street meltdown has been a dagger to McCain's political heart. Roughly a third of voters, and almost as large a share of the key independent vote, say McCain did more harm than good in trying to resolve the financial crisis, and the share of voters who see the economy as the top issue has risen from roughly half to six in ten."

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I actually watched tonight's debate in full down at Humbrews. I would call it a draw overall, which favors Obama. Considering he needed to change the momentum and this was supposed to be his zone, that's good.

TV coverage is somewhat unhelpful to me. It's mostly fluff and drek. The debate itself was pretty interesting though. The format was good in terms of getting into the weeds. I liked that.

Other notes:

  • McCain broached the idea of cutting Pentagon spending. That was the first surprising thing for me.
  • Neither candidate said anything bold or interesting about the Wall St meltdown. The next time I hear someone do the Wall St/Main St contrast, I may go on a killing spree. Such a cliche.
  • Obama does a lot of good things overall. He may not be a zinger kind of debater, but he speaks well. The Kissinger bit was strong. The "you were wrong" was also strong.
  • McCain did a lot better in all the talking-over moments. He doesn't back down. Obama does. That scores points for McCain; it shows him pushing Obama around a bit.
  • Both candidates show that media narratives trump facts: McCain brings up "Iran's Republican Guard" and Obama answers in the same words. Those were the boogymen in Iraq from back in the day, y'alls. Iran's crack paramilitary forces are the Revolutionary Guard.

Overall, it was surprising to me how narrow the terms of debate are here. Reagan is great. You can talk about the "freedom fighters in Iraq" without noting that, uhmmm, those are some of literally the same people who dropped the twin towers. Nobody calls any serious bullshit on the finance thing.

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