Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NewsWatch 9.24.08

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Trends and Tremors
How's this for a tremor? Right as Obama takes a 9-point lead in the latest Wapo-ABC poll, John McCain now plans to suspend (get it, cause David Blaine is suspended upside down?) his campaign and ask Obama to delay Friday's debate (Obama is not so inclined) to focus on the economy.

It seems like both campaigns agree, so the question becomes: does it matter to Americans who initiated this sudden development? Both campaigns say they were bi-partisan first, but as Oreo pointed out earlier, won't McCain come out of this as the loser? Just a week ago he told Americans the fundamentals of the economy were strong, now he's calling for a halt to all campaigning, including advertising, in order to address the crisis. Will anyone not see through this?

Moreover, might this sudden reversal and dramatic new step be because of the McCain boomerang? A day after being caught red-handed accusing Obama of ties to Frennie when his own adviser received payments from the companies last month, McCain's approval of the bailouts could now be the deciding factor. As DocJess points out, this puts the elder statesman in a particularly untenable position: does he vote for the people or his own advisers?

But the key trend here is that McCain has been both for and against the bailouts in the last week and a half, which is exactly why he's in this mess now and forced to resort to scare tactics. Republicans want to support their candidate, but they have no idea what he actually stands for. Regardless of what McCain does here, he will contradict something he said last week and make half of his constituents very unhappy.

Obama and the Dems, meanwhile are completey unified. He can sit in the background, measure up the debate, and then call for compromise like he's done all along. And because Obama doesn't need to pander for economic credibility, he can (rightly) tell McCain to calm down and go ahead with the debates, since the definition of being President is being the nation's most efficient multitasker.

If it sounds like a reality show commercial, it might be because the new TV season started this week, but why watch when (besides Mad Men, of course) the best drama right now is real life.

Just Admit It
The big news has overshadowed everything else, but there are a few tidbits to consider. For instance, when does it become foolish, or even scary, to be unable to admit that you're losing? I mean, I understand showing confidence so as not to dishearten your supporters, but do you really have to hold a conference call specifically to dispute the latest poll results? The move, combined with the campaign suspension announcement, smacks of cognitive dissonance, and Republicans are, of course, eating it up.

But at some point it has to help Obama's 'out of touch' message when you start yelling at the media and pollsters (a la yesterday's NYT spat) instead of quietly changing your message to try to win over the voters abandonning you.

Tank the Economy, But Don't Take My Guns!
Meanwhile, the NRA is going after Obama with more false TV ads. Is anyone concerned? People who vote only on gun rights probably aren't terribly concerned about the economy right now, anyways. And should the international economy collapse, the people with guns are going to be the people in charge, right? Well, here's to dreams, anyways.

Clinton Being Clinton
Is Bill Clinton doing enough to help Barack Obama? He says so, but some Democrats complain that he hasn't been good enough, specifically in going after John McCain. Now there are poll results to back up the claim. Clinton's response: Not my style.

Today's Top Headline
All the usual suspects are going too serious in today's headlines, so I'm picking this one from a less than credible source. Still, the pun was too good to pass up.

McChickening Out