Worship

So conservatives are all a-twitter over a YouTube video showing a group of children out in California singing a pro-Obama song.

Big deal, right? With everything going on in our country right now, this is what they’re going to waste their time on?

Of course.

“Cult!” they’re crying. “Indoctrination! North Korea! Soviet Union! How dare children be used that way! How dare children be brainwa-“

Hey wait, what’s this?

Whoops.

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Check The Polls (UPDATED)

After I declared Obama the winner of Friday’s debate, one commenter told me to check the polls come Monday.

Well, happy Monday!

Diageo/Hotline:

Obama-Biden: 47%

McCain-Palin: 42%

Undecided: 8%

McCain now has a net unfavorable rating among Inds. Just 43% have a favorable impression of the GOP nominee, while 46% have an unfavorable impression. One week ago — in the survey completed 9/20 — his fav/unfav among Inds was 51%/36%.

And the AZ Sen.’s trouble with Inds extends to the WH matchup. Obama leads the group, which makes up 19% of today’s Diageo/Hotline sample, by a commanding 52-29% margin. One week ago, McCain held a 40-39% advantage

[Emphasis added]

Research 2000:

Obama-Biden: 51%

McCain-Palin: 42%

Gallup:

Obama-Biden: 50%

McCain-Palin: 42%

Rasmussen:

Obama-Biden: 50%

McCain-Palin: 45%

FiveThirtyEight:

Obama-Biden: 325.5 EV

McCain-Palin: 212.5 EV

There is a 64.35% chance Obama will win all the Kerry states.

There is a 65.88% chance Obama will win VA but lose OH

There is a 71.68% chance Obama will win CO but lose OH

There is a 54.48% chance Obama will lose OH but still win the election

There is a 25.54% chance of an Obama landslide (375+ EV)

Electoral-Vote.com:

Obama-Biden: 286 EV

McCain-Palin: 252

Obama wins all the Kerry states plus CO, IA, NM and VA.

Pollster:

Obama-Biden: 229 EV

McCain-Palin: 174 EV

Toss Up: 135 EV

Of the toss up states, Obama is currently winning PA, MN & CO; NH is tied. If you add up the states Obama is currently winning, he has 269 electoral votes.

UPDATE: Let’s not forget LA Times/Bloomberg:

The Illinois senator extended his advantage to 49% to 44%, compared with last week, when the same respondents gave him a 48% to 45% edge.

[…]

Obama was seen as more “presidential” by 46% of debate-watchers, compared with 33% for the Arizona senator.

The difference is even more pronounced among debate-watchers who were not firmly committed to a candidate: 44% said they believed Obama looked more presidential, whereas 16% gave McCain the advantage.

The Republican candidate also has lost ground on several measures of voter confidence, including trust.

[Emphasis added]

Stunt!

Knievel Fail Motorcycle Jump

A brief history of the McCain campaign

Looks like Senator Stuntman is out in the garage, strapping rockets to his motorcycle and preparing for his next PR epic fail:

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

[Emphasis mine]

Yes, because it’s a great idea to wrestle the media away from covering the economy–the most important issue of this election–and force them to give wall-to-wall coverage to your Vice Presidential candidate’s daughter’s wedding.  Especially right after you campaign just faceplanted by interfering with–and messing up–political negotiations to help end our economc crisis.

When are you guys going to learn that the American people aren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt anymore? You’ve staged so many stunts and tried to pull off so much nonsense in this campaign that nobody’s going to even pretend that Bristol Palin’s (conveniently) pre-election wedding is anything but a desperate ploy for positive media coverage.

You just don’t get it–there are major issues out there; the American people are waiting for you to start showing some leadership. This isn’t 2000, or even 2004–trying to derail the Presidential campaign with trivial garbage isn’t going to cut it anymore.  In fact, it’s just going to make people angry that you’re wasting their time instead of dealing with the economy or fixing our foreign policy or ending our war in Iraq.

If this happens, expect a major backlash.  We just went through eight years of a stunt-driven Presidency (anyone remember ‘Mission Accomplished’?) and the last thing America needs is another impulsive President who cares more about his political image than about rising to meet our nation’s challenges.

Obama Wins (UPDATED)

Hands down, no question, Obama won the first Presidential debate.

McCain came off as combative and angry–Obama knew the issues, he was in control of the exchange and he showed the kind of calm and stability we need in a President.

McCain is going to have a hard time catching up after this…

UPDATE: And the preliminary polls are in:

40% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. 22% thought John McCain won.

UPDATE II: Josh Marshall sleeps on it:

I think it was a much bigger win for Obama than I was ready to figure last night. And that’s for two basic reasons.

First, the pattern in the 2000 and 2004 presidential debates was essentially this: the Democrat generally won each debate on points and even in the snap polls of undecided voters. But there was usually some remark or bit of affect that — ludicrous or not — right-wing commentators and yakkers fixed in on and were able to parlay into the dominating conversation of the next few days. In this way, strong debate performances turned into weak debate performances.

I’m not seeing anything like that this time. Mainly that’s because Obama just didn’t make any mistakes. But I suspect it’s also because there’s now more meta-media parity between right and left.

Second was McCain’s attitude. Whether it was contempt or condescension or some sort of fear or inability to — in the most literal sense — face Obama, it made McCain look small and angry.

Surprise! (UPDATED)

FAIL

Senator Stuntman’s latest trick has fallen apart–CNN is reporting that John McCain will, in fact, debate Barack Obama in Oxford tonight.

Remember, McCain said he wouldn’t debate until this crisis was resolved. The House GOP killed yesterday’s agreement right after McCain showed up, and it doesn’t look like today will bring a resolution, either.

So even though the crisis isn’t resolved, John McCain will go back on his word and attend tonight’s debate. It makes me wonder, can we really trust someone so impulsive and unbalanced in the White House? I don’t think so.

Obama/Biden ’08–for the stability and leadership we need.

UPDATE: Not only is McCain attending the debate–apparently he’s already won it, according to web ads his campaign is running:

So, John McCain injects himself into the middle of sensitive Congressional negotiations (after having nothing to do with Congress since April), leaves before anything is resolved, then declares himself the winner of a debate that hasn’t even happened yet.

Irrational and presumptuous. Is that really the kind of guy we want running the show?

Suspended…? (UPDATED)

So, yesterday John McCain ‘suspended’ his campaign.

But his campaign commercials are still on the air. And his surrogates are still going on television and spouting their talking points. And I can still go to his website and donate money to him. And this ad is still up and running on right-wing websites:

And now John McCain is on my television, giving a political speech to the Clinton Global Initiative. But the CGI is meeting in New York, so even though McCain said he was suspending his campaign to go to Washington and work on the bailout, instead he went all the way to New York to give a speech.

In fact, it looks like McCain’s campaign is doing all of the things they were doing yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. So it raises the question, what exactly did John McCain mean when he said his campaign was ‘suspended’?

UPDATE: Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports:

What exactly constitutes a “suspended campaign?”

Well, Team McCain is still working away this morning. Joe Pounder, the indefatigable press aide, blasted out his morning email of clips and quips to reporters

And The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reports:

The most popular half of the McCain-Palin ticket plans a Thursday afternoon rally near the Philadelphia International Airport, according to a Philadelphia TV station.

The McCain campaign says that the rally won’t happen.

So McCain’s press shop is still up and running, and now there’s a debate over whether or not Sarah Palin will be holding a rally in Pennsylvania today. How is this a suspension, again?

UPDATE II: More non-suspension news: Mitt Romney is campaigning for McCain in Michigan while McCain economic adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer is participating in a live online chat on the Washington Times website at 11.

If McCain shows up in Oxford tomorrow, one of the moderators should ask him what the definition of the word ‘suspended’ is.

UPDATE III: Today, Sarah Palin went to Ground Zero and took questions from reporters about terrorism and foreign policy. How is that not campaigning?

And Raising Kaine found out that John McCain’s mid-Atlantic regional headquarters is not only up and running, but looking for volunteers.

It looks like Senator Stuntman is trying to pull one over on the national press corps. His campaign isn’t suspended–this is just a PR gambit to make himself look better in front of the cameras.

UPDATE IV: And now John McCain has a round of television interviews scheduled for tonight.

I wonder if his campaign is officially going to declare his ‘I will suspend my campaign’ stunt dead or if they’re just going to pretend it never happened and hope everyone forgets.

UPDATE V: Hey, does this coffin have enough nails in it yet?

The Huffington Post called up 15 McCain-Palin and McCain Victory Committee headquarters in various battleground states. Not one said that it was temporarily halting operations because of the supposed “suspension” in the campaign. Several, in fact, enthusiastically declared the continuation of their work. Others hadn’t even heard that the candidate for whom they were devoting their time had officially stopped campaigning.

[Emphasis added]

(More) Stupid Republican Tricks (UPDATED)

John McCain is saying he is postponing his campaign in order to go to Washington and work on the bailout. McCain has said that he wants Sen. Obama to do the same.

This is a political stunt. And I pray the Obama campaign will call McCain out on it.

John McCain has been in Congress for 26 years. For 26 years, he pushed the exact same deregulatory policies that led to this crisis. McCain had 26 years to take action to prevent this economic collapse from happening. But he didn’t. Now, suddenly he’s running for President, the economy is a major issue and now McCain is putting everything on hold to work on the economy. Are you kidding? We need a President who will prevent problems fro happening, not one who waits until a crisis develops and then does something.

Second, John McCain has been the most absent Senator of the 110th Congress. He’s been so busy campaigning for President he didn’t even bother to show up for two-thirds of all Senate votes. But after two years of abandoning his duties in Congress, all of a sudden he’s rushing back to deal with it. I mean, it’s nice that he’s actually doing the job he was elected to do, but it’s sad that it took a national crisis—a politically-expedient crisis, I might add—to bring him back to Washington.

Third, we’ve had some major crises develop during this campaign. Hell, Russia and Georgia fought a war during this campaign, but that didn’t get John McCain off the campaign trail. Funny how his polling numbers start to tank and a major political issue develops and suddenly that’s enough to get him off the Doubletalk Express and back doing his job.

Stemming from that, well, Ben Smith puts it best:

But in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that’s changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling.

Face it, this crisis hasn’t gotten dramatically worse in the past two days. The only thing that has gotten worse is John McCain’s polling numbers. This is a blatant stunt on McCain’s part to regain momentum in this Presidential election. When he had the chance to show leadership, he didn’t. When other major issues developed it wasn’t enough to pull him off the trail. But suddenly he’s tanking and this issue comes up, and he’s flying back to Washington to do the job he’s spent the past two years ignoring.

Pathetic. And I hope the Obama campaign and the media call this out for what it is.

UPDATE: Some interesting details on this have just come to light.

Apparently, at 8:30 this morning Senator Obama called Senator McCain about working in a bipartisan fashion to address the economic crisis. Later in the day, at about 2:30, McCain called back and agreed to work with Sen. Obama to come up with a bipartisan solution.

And shortly after that, McCain made the announcement he’ll be suspending his campaign and is urging Obama to do the same.

The question is, who made the first move? Who took the first step towards bipartisanship? It looks like Obama reached out to McCain, convinced him to work together for the good of the American people, then McCain turned around and stabbed Obama in the back by making his announcement, thus giving the appearance that McCain was the one who initiated the bipartisan conversation.

McCain just made a coldly political move. Will it backfire on him? Well, if Obama can prove that he made the first move and McCain stabbed him in the back to make himself look better for the cameras, I bet it will.

UPDATE II: Okay, so John Cain says our economic crisis is so bad he not only needs to suspend his Presidential campaign, but he wants Obama to agree to put off the first Presidential debate.

But just yesterday, John McCain was attacking Barack Obama for not agreeing to do more debates with him:

“I have town hall meetings across America. I am in touch with the American people. I have asked Sen. Obama to join me. He refuses.”

[Emphasis added]

So yesterday this wasn’t bad enough to warrant putting off the debates–in fact, just yesterday McCain was calling for more debates with Obama.

What changed between yesterday and today? Nothing on Wall Street or Capitol Hill–but plenty changed in the polls.

Let’s face fact, McCain is tanking. McCain is desperate. And thus a political stunt is born, and I’m calling him out on it

UPDATE III: Obama responds, saying he thinks now–more than ever–it’s important the American people hear the ideas and proposals of the two men running for President. He links foreign policy–the topic of Friday’s debate–to the economy, rightly pointing out that our economic security directly affects our national security.

He rips John McCain for first pledging to work together in a bipartisan fashion then turning around and stabbing Obama in the back in order to score political points.

Most importantly, Obama says that a President should be able to do several things at once.  Let’s face it, the President of the United States can’t suspend his duties to focus on just one thing. If McCain can’t multitask, McCain can’t be President. Period.

UPDATE IV: SurveyUSA has released a preliminary poll and the numbers don’t look good at all for McCain.

86% of Americans believe Friday’s debate still should be held–50% say it should be held as scheduled and 36% say it should be held and refocused on the economy. Only 10% agree with McCain that the debate should be postponed.

79% of Americans believe the candidates should continue campaigning–31% they should continue as is and 48% believe they should continue but refocus on the economy. Just 14% agree with McCain that he and Obama should suspend their campaigning.

46% believe that postponing the debate would be bad for America; only 14% think postponing Friday’s debate would be good for America.

Ouch.

FINAL UPDATE: My last thoughts on today–

Either one of two things happened to lead us to this point.  Either John McCain made a purely political calculation or he just realized that the economic problems facing America are significant.

Neither option is good for McCain.  If the first is true, then McCain is playing politics with America’s biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  If the second is true, then McCain is so out of touch it took several days for him to realize he should be doing something about it.  In either case that’s not the type of behavior I want from my President.

It would have been smart for McCain to have done this days ago, when the crisis first developed–he would have shown he was on top of things and he could have gotten involved in the negotiations from the start.  Now, though, what’s he going to do? These are sensitive negotiations–they involve Democrats, Republicans, the White House, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street…he can’t just drop himself in the middle and start messing with everything.  In the end, he might drop everything, go to Washington and find himself unable to do anything but vote on the final bill.

Worst of all, today the American people didn’t see a President McCain.  What we saw was someone in a panic–someone who realized the political winds were not blowing his way and latched onto the first ‘so crazy it might just work’ idea thrown to him.

On the other hand, we did see a President Obama today.  He was calm, he was confident–he showed us that he understands how serious this crisis is, yes, but that he can deal with that as well as the other issues concerning the American people. Obama did exactly what a President does in a situation like this–he gets in contact with all the important players, getting their opinions and sharing his ideas, but in the end he lets them do their jobs.  Obama showed he understands that this is not a time for politics and that the best thing he could do for America is to keep Presidential politics far away from the negotiation process.

This is a stunt, and the American people know it.  And unfortunately for McCain, all it did was reveal why he’s not fit to be President.  America’s Commander-in-Chief can’t panic and drop everything when a major crisis develops–he has to be calm and confident, and he has to be able to both manage the crisis and every other issue demanding his attention.  Today, I learned that Obama fits that description and John McCain doesn’t.