Am I Awake?

August 29, 2008

A friend writes:

That’s what *I’M* talkin’ about! Regardless of our national destiny, let’s make some money selling T-shirts!

“President Palin” also seems ridiculous to me as it rolls off my tongue. She’s what, 3 years?, younger than Obama… so much for “you’re not experienced enough to do the job”… wasn’t that virtually McCain’s *only* resonating attack?

In the last 48 hours I have moved from “McCain is going to eke this one out” to “Obama/Biden cannot possibly lose”…

I reply:

The editors of National Review thinks it’s a good pick. I haven’t seen her yet, but I’m inclined to agree. I see the Obama camp is already claiming she’s inexperienced. This reminds me of the Jay Leno joke where President Carter complains George Bush is the worst president since him.

By picking Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has wowed the public and enthused the Right. He has reinforced some of his winning themes — that he has the mindset of an outsider and a fighter against corruption. He has also reinforced his appeal as the candidate more in touch with traditional values on moral issues.

None of McCain’s possible choices was perfect, and attention is being paid to the way that Palin undercuts other McCain themes, such as the importance of experience in foreign policy. Palin will have to reassure voters of her steadiness when she speaks at the Republican convention and when she debates Joe Biden. McCain, meanwhile, will have to carry most of the foreign-policy load himself and showcase his good health.

We hope that the choice of Palin also signals a decisive turn toward a campaign theme of fighting for the middle class. McCain and Palin can and should say that they will fight to protect Americans from our foreign enemies, to stop liberal excesses, and to reform dysfunctional institutions. They should not accept the portrait of middle-class Americans as hapless victims that so many of the Democratic speakers this week portrayed; but they need to show that they share middle-class frustrations. Strength in foreign policy; reforms of taxes and health care geared to the middle class; and a moderate social conservatism: It’s a potentially winning message, and now Republicans have a ticket that is suited to it.

McCain Takes the Lead?

August 20, 2008

A friend sends a link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080820/pl_nm/usa_poll_politics_dc_3

I reply:

The beauty of it is he’s not making a move at all. People are just realizing that Obama doesn’t really represent anything new. He’s just a more articulate, more iberal version of John Kerry. It’s Obama who peaked early. The country is getting real and moving on.

His reply:

*my* question is: is mcain making his move too early?

My reply:

Surprise Surprise My question is will Obama panic and ask Hillary to be his running mate?

Take a look at the map at http://www.fivethirtyeight.com. Ohio is turning McCain’s way and Colorado is basically neutral at this point. If those two states go with McCain and everything else stays the same, McCain takes the election 274-264, which was the scenario that I painted last week.

538 itself hasn’t reconciled itself to this situation because, it’s analysis is lagged, but you can check my math with the attachment. [NOT ATTACHED TO THIS POST]

 

Okay here’s a site put together by Nate Silver. Silver is the inventor of Pecota, which is a method for predicting the performance of individual baseball players and also teams. By many accounts he has a pretty good record.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PECOTA

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/

While I haven’t looked this through thoroughly, I have to say it looks like his team has thought through the issue of baseball predictions well. Silver has turned his talents to the political arena at fivethirtyeight.com. He gained credence when he did a better job of predicting the Democratic outcomes in Indiana and North Carolina better than just about anybody. He supports Obama by the way.

He’s currently projecting Obama over McCain 294 to 243, but the trend is with McCain. Regardless, his site is a great one-stop shop for the latest poll results and from which to base scenario analysis. As you know I’ve been thinking McCain is going to pull this one out for quite some time.

I’ve attached my analysis for how this could happen even if he loses Pennsylvania, which seems likely. To make this work he can’t lose anywhere he’s ahead, plus he needs to win Ohio, Virgina, Colorado, and Nevada; all states where he’s close.

This may also explain why McCain is said to be considering Romney as his running mate, a man it is also said, he doesn’t like. It might bring Michigan into play where McCain has a shot and it may solidify Nevada, which has a relatively large Mormon population. I supported Romney during the primaries, but if I were McCain, I’d put the decision off as long as possible to see where my VP might shore me up where it might make a difference.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

Can he do it? Michael Barone has some advice

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/ghosts_of_1976_in_todays_campa.html

Is Anyone Ready?

August 6, 2008

Well, yes, Susan, it is possible Bill Clinton’s reluctance to say Obama is ready stems from his experience as President coupled with a vaguely philosophical approach to the question.

On the other hand (and it’s a much bigger hand), when Bill’s wife campaigned on a theme of “Ready from Day One,” such reluctance was nowhere in evidence.

So, it just looks like politics or pain, not philosophy. What’s so hard about admitting that?

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_susan_estrich/is_anyone_ready

 

If you actually view the ad, the criticism from “Hollywood” doesn’t make any sense. Maybe this will be the year Republicans will figure out how to deal with feigned outrage.

I suppose it would have been too much to ask for someone to say, “You know, now that you mention it, talking about inflating tires as the equivalent of drilling offshore does look pretty empty-headed.” Even if the math worked out, how precisely would he make that happen? Maybe we could go back to the days when white house energy policy consisted of the the President telling us to lower the thermostat to 58 degrees and to wear a sweater.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-cause1-2008aug01,0,6538800.story