The Game Changer: Economy Pushes Obama To 5 Point Lead In NYTimes Poll

NYTimes poll, Obama 48, McCain 43:

Despite an intense effort to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington, Senator John McCain . . . is widely viewed as a “typical Republican” who would continue or expand President Bush’s policies, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

. . . The poll was taken during a period of extraordinary turmoil on Wall Street. By overwhelming numbers, Americans said the economy was the top issue affecting their vote decision, and they continued to express deep pessimism about the nation’s economic future. They continued to express greater confidence in Mr. Obama’s ability to manage the economy, even as Mr. McCain has aggressively sought to raise doubts about it.

McCain needs a new game changer. Right now, "it's the economy, stupid." If that does not change by Election Day, this election is over.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< SUSA New Mexico Poll: Obama Leads By 8 | Doubts About Palin a Factor in NY Times Poll >
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    Nice (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 08:55:11 PM EST
    It's almost as if people aren't foolish enough to buy the "I'm all about regulating Wall Street, honest!" line from a guy who has been all about deregulation for his entire career.  That makes me happy.

    Kind of surprises me though. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 08:56:55 PM EST
    Naw (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:11:02 PM EST
    Party reputations are durable.  The GOP has run proudly on the "leave business aloooooooone" platform since Reagan.  Takes more than a light rainstorm to wash that label off.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:40:32 PM EST
    things stick to you if there are already pre-conceived notions. That's why McCain's houses stuck, and his "fundamentals are strong" stuck

    Just read this article in (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:17:22 PM EST
    Michigan Today about why people vote the way they do.  We all know, natch, U of M is never wrong.

    Link: (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:27:46 PM EST
    Since Reagan? Since Hoover (none / 0) (#129)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:29:33 AM EST
    and heck, since McKinley and the Depression of 1893.

    And what worries me, with Dubya still at the helm, is that Hoover was smart.


    Why do I worry that McCain's 'game changer' (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 08:58:06 PM EST
    involves Bush and a lot of people dying?

    I guess we're back to "shoo in" again? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ks on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:20:17 PM EST
    We'll see....

    Contingent shoo in. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Faust on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:29:03 PM EST
    If economy stays bad, then shoo in.

    I think even I'll buy that (none / 0) (#77)
    by frankly0 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:50:32 PM EST

    As long as there's something sufficiently dire going on in the economy from now until election day, I think it should manage to rescue Obama from his political ineptness.


    I think intermittently dire would be enough. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:52:11 PM EST
    Maybe (none / 0) (#99)
    by frankly0 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:30:32 PM EST
    Economic crisis (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:29:22 PM EST
    needs to be framed like Katrina.  We knew it was coming, how do the Republicans deal with it?  The same way they dealt with Katrina, no leadership no public policy.  A true disaster.  The Dems need to really be aggressive on this.

    If you (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:32:17 PM EST
    can ever get everyone on the same page. Obama needs to get rid of most of his surrogates. They are an embarrassment.

    Turns out even those female (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:03:23 PM EST
    surrogates aren't talking about a woman's right to choose.  

    As aggressive as Landrieu was? (none / 0) (#83)
    by justonevoice on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:03:36 PM EST
    When Anderson Cooper called her out on CNN about her thanking and patting all the other politicians on their backs for the colossal failures of the GOP?  We are sorely lacking in the "Fighting Dems" department.  We're too busy kissing the a55es of Blue dogs.

    ur right though. Katrina I think was a turning point for the electorate because it was incontroevertible proof that the R's were hapless leaders.

    If the Dems would play offense on what is going on with Ike, they could score some political points on that as well.  I am not advocating to gain political advantage on the terrible misfortunates down in TX and LA, but if ANY Dem were to take a tour down in Galveston RIGHT NOW and show the failings of FEMA (first responders with no food/water) they can show how NOTHING has moved forward and that the R's will continue a path of failure.

    This would be a winning stance IF and ONLY IF you get the moron patrol of Pelosi, Reid and McCaskill and keep them far away from the cameras.


    As a Hillary supporter, (5.00 / 0) (#87)
    by Lil on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:14:17 PM EST
    may I say, Rise Obama rise.

    how do you know they were lefties? (5.00 / 0) (#116)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:57:54 PM EST

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:06:53 PM EST
    The "Leave Sarah alooooooone" narrative is so fresh and new, it is bound to shake up the race.

    Game-changer or change of games? (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Oje on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:27:23 PM EST
    Before the Republican convention, I thought the election was the Democrats to lose... and as the most recent generic congressional polls and McCain v. Obama polls showed, our leadership did a good deal of work toward that end. Now, my suspicion is that the election is McCain's election to lose (Hoover is a good comparison, and Hoover also had his shot at governing after 8 years of Republican mismanagement in the 1920s). Obama just can't seem to strike the 50% mark. If there were nothing but bad economic news briefly interrupted by blistering, if academic, speeches and the ramblings of a doddering old fool for the next 50 days, maybe he drifts to the finish line just as he did in the primaries.

    Yet, despite Democratic nominees' ability to win "the debates" in the past 2 election cycles, Republicans learned how to "win" the debates in the poll numbers. What marks Obama as capable of governing a national economy? A law degree or a anti-war speech? Sure, people are anxious and downright scared, but can Obama assure enough of the independent / swing voters who have been reluctant to support him to this point in an environment that once alleged an insurmountable Democratic advantage?

    Regardless of what a baroness may think, Obama has surrounded himself with some of the most conservative economic teams that Democrats can buy. If he wins the presidency, we are in for a world of hurt from the kind of half-a$$ed economic tinkering that fearful Democratic political  insiders peddle in Washington (and today I am reading that both McCain and Obama have the same opinion on the cause of AIG, while McCain takes the more bold step of supporting a bailout). The only bold statements we are hearing from Obama is his condemnation of Republican economic ideology as the cause of recent business failures, and that seems satisfying if nothing else - because it is what we came to expect from the Clintons, and proud Democrats in general.

    That does not put McCain away, though. That is a message that had to be drilled into the heads of independents and swing voters over and over for many months before the failure. We Democrats hear him, but the kind of voters who still remembered Reagan fondly - as Obama did at one point in the primaries - will have their own populist explanations at the ready to make sense of the current crisis. We Democrats could run on the legacy of FDR and Truman, of government oversight and regulation, if we resurrected our party philosophy over the past 18 months (or 2 years of putative Congressional control) - rather than postpartisanship.

    Now, I worry that there is not enough play at the margins for Obama to make the Democrats' case in an election. Especially, one in which his own advisers counsel offer the same explanations and a more callous - or, should I say, free market? - responses to financial failure than McCain's advisers. And while Obama mocks McCain, the newspapers seem more intent in communicating what McCain is doing to show that he "gets it too" and follow his shifting economic proposals for the crisis. A la Ike, beware lest McCain gain the upperhand on the latest repetition of history. In at least one important respect, McCain seems to understand that populism must be heard, not explained at a podium.

    Likewise, Obama needs to pivot to a more substantive and empathetic discussion of economic solutions with voters (toss the podiums) about how an Obama presidency returns America to prosperity.

    holy cow (none / 0) (#130)
    by Howard Zinn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:43:14 AM EST
    read the latest NY Times/CBS Poll.  Now is not a time for hand-wringing.  Things are going well for now.  Palin's bounce has plopped.  We'll see how the debates go and take it from there.  Short of a tragedy, the certainly lingering economic woes coupled with McCain's admitted limited knowledge on the subject, not to mention the overall pro-Dem atmosphere this year, all signal that this sentence is way too long and Obama has a good shot come November.

    Ach... (none / 0) (#135)
    by Oje on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 02:04:14 AM EST
    I have been critical of my Democratic candidates (Clinton and now Obama) since February on this site. Every week that goes by, a new rash of stories on how Obama is about to put this race away emerges. To no avail. I just keep reading the narratives and watching the imagery, and my hunch is that McCain can weather this patch as well.

    Out of interest.... I looked back at Sept. 17, 1992. Clinton was ahead of Bush by 16% in the national polls, 54% to 38% (ABC-Post). The NY Times headline was "Bush and Clinton Lob Economic Plans." The British pound tanked and caused some thing of a crisis in Europe. A Democratic Congress passed the Family Leave Act to embarrass Bush into vetoing popular legislation (2008, our Congress gives Bush/McCain drilling). And Clinton began new ads on his jobs plan. The substantive differences between Clinton and Obama, and between 1992 Democrats and 2008 Democrats, is palpable.

    There is a large discrepancy in the last successful Democratic candidate and this year's candidate. Arguably, the economic conditions are much more ripe for "change" today than in 1992. Lastly, reading Obama's campaign speeches on the economy for his potential legislative proposals and policy initiatives is not hand-wringing, it is holding candidates accountable if and when they are elected. Our candidate seems to hold the current financial crisis with a much more laissez faire attitude that values markets over proactive government intervention - he did during the primaries, and now does in the general election.


    well (none / 0) (#145)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:27:24 AM EST
    Obama is doing much better than Kerry and Kerry only lost by 2 in the end.  I'd say he is still well positioned.

    apples and oranges (none / 0) (#148)
    by Howard Zinn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:29:51 PM EST
    I'm not sure that it's as easy as comparing Clinton in '92 with Obama in '08.  Major differences for Obama:

    1. Has to unite the party after divisive primary.
    2. Has to combat the neocons, as well as the evangelical Repub movement that's much stronger than in '92.
    3. Obama is a minority and must fight against racism.
    4. McCain is seen as a maverick and as such could buck his own party, as opposed to Bush Sr.
    5. No "read my lips" type statements to use.  Conservatives were pretty miffed with Bush Sr. and his tax increases.  

    Very selective articles (none / 0) (#144)
    by CST on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:22:11 AM EST
    That don't tell the whole picture.  First of all, McCain took the "bold step" of supporting a bailout, the day after he said they shouldn't bail out AIG.  Also, Obama has conditionally supported the bailout as well saying:
    "The Fed must ensure that the plan protects the families that count on insurance. It should bolster our economy's ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills and save their money. It must not bail out the shareholders or management of AIG."
    Which is essentially what just happened.

    Also, Obama has actually offered a plan with specific details that he has outlined in ads airing on TV.  McCain, he says he wants to "reform Washington".  And how is he gonna do that???? No idea, he hasn't told us yet.  Meybe he will wave his magic wand and Washington and Wall street will be reformed, but somehow I doubt it.

    Finally, I was watching Larry King last night and even Ben Stein ripped McCain a new one for not putting out any specific proposals what-so-ever.  Obama has pivoted to a substantive discussion of economic solutions, McCain has not.


    Why can't (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 08:59:54 PM EST
    he break 50%? It seems that McCain's numbers are the ones that always jump around but Obama's mostly stay in the 45-48% range? I know he did break 50% for a short while but he never seems to sustain it? Ideas anyone?

    Read the polling PDF (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:01:40 PM EST
    Obama hits 50% with leaners.

    The McCain bounce is over.


    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:02:46 PM EST
    The poll found that 46 percent of voters thought Mr. McCain would continue Mr. Bush's policies, while 22 percent said he would be more conservative than Mr. Bush. (About one quarter said a McCain presidency would be less conservative than Mr. Bush's.) At a time when Mr. McCain has tried to appeal to independent voters by separating himself from his party, notably with his convention speech, 57 percent of all voters said they viewed him as a typical Republican, compared with 40 percent who said he was a different kind of Republican.

    Although nearly half of voters also described Mr. Obama as a typical Democrat, the party's brand is not as diminished as the Republicans'; the Democratic Party had a favorability rating of 50 percent in August, compared with 37 percent for the Republicans, a fairly consistent trend in the Times/CBS News poll since 2006, and part of the general political landscape that many analysts believe favors the Democrats.

    Obama's gonna win.


    Yup (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:03:45 PM EST
    I thought it was slipping away last week. I was wrong.

    The economy was the game changer (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:06:19 PM EST
    It's that simple.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:07:28 PM EST
    Now where's that press release on the name generator? ;-)

    You win (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:09:02 PM EST
    But McCain screwed up. He should have thrown it out there.

    Today was terrible for him. Tomorrow will be terrible.

    He needed to try and blunt the economic story.


    I could be wrong (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:16:10 PM EST
    but I think there is a point of diminishing returns on this stuff.  Doesn't stop the GOP from trying, but it stops them from continuing to succeed with it.

    After the whole lipstick debacle I really don't think the public is interested in another round of "someone on the Internet is picking on Palin's kids!"  In fact I think McCain would have looked really, really awful, in the midst of a genuine crisis, if his campaign was going on about some blogger that Obama needed to condemn.


    Let me ask you this question (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:17:22 PM EST
    Was there anything about today that was GOOD for McCain? He needed to try to make it about something else, even if it was how dirty a campaign he is running.

    I kid you not.


    I gather you don't view Hillary Clinton's (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:25:11 PM EST
    withdrawal from the rally in NY as a positive for McCain?

    Nope (none / 0) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:26:23 PM EST
    well (none / 0) (#61)
    by progrocks on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:29:50 PM EST
    he did threaten to start a war with Spain.  Will that help him?

    He's wrapped up. . . (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:51:40 PM EST
    the Basque-American vote for sure.

    Heh (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:31:39 PM EST
    The Latino Ad (none / 0) (#106)
    by NYShooter on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:47:06 PM EST
    with Limbaugh has the potential to backfire on Obama.
    He showed a glimpse of Chicago politics with a little Willie Horton blended in.

    I literally cannot. . . (none / 0) (#109)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:51:12 PM EST
    understand what this comment means.  Willie Horton?  Is this serious, or is it trolling?

    He has no response (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:11:21 PM EST
    And FINALLY I see that Obama is going to the states on TV with an economic message (Trade in PA and "McCain wants to privatize Social Security" in Michigan).

    Look (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:17:42 PM EST
    Obama has to go for it too. He has no choice. He can't sit around like he has been expecting the election to be delivered to him.

    It's one thing that worries me about many people around here. They expect the economic circumstances to deliver the election for Obama. I don't think that sitting around expecting circumstances to turn out the way you want them to is going to work.


    He is hammering McCain (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:19:11 PM EST
    every day.

    You can not fault what the campaign has done at all for the past week.


    I think it's a fair point to make (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:20:51 PM EST
    that Obama's paid media strategy has mostly sucked until recently. It has.

    And the candidate himself. . . (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:20:14 PM EST
    has been much pithier and more directly critical.  I particularly enjoyed his "the oldest stunt in the book" line.  Like Al Gores "risky scheme" line, but delivered with conviction.

    Show me the big hammer! (none / 0) (#133)
    by bridget on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 01:10:57 AM EST
    Ex.: This is the conclusion from the Plan for Change Ad:

    "I approved this message because bitter, partisan fights and outworn ideas of the left and the right won't solve the problems we face today. But a new spirit of unity and shared responsibility will."

    What's wrong with a bitter, tough, partisan fight? Give it to me. But Obama doesn't know how to fight the GOP. Considering all the stuff he has to work with, it is unbelievable. The Obama campaign is totally punchless.

    And his shopworn unity theme is lame and annoying by now. I won't belabour the "outworn ideas of the left" comment since it's hopeless. But Name another Dem candidate who yearned as much for the one-party-system as Obama has thruout this election. Primary and GE. It doesn't get any more centrist than that IMHO.


    And he will sledgehammer it (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:13:18 PM EST
    till Election Day if he can.

    The Social Security ad that I've been waiting (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:15:11 PM EST
    months for is here.

    Every Democrat who wants to win Ohio and Pennsylvania runs this ad. I don't understand what took Obama so long.


    Timing of attack as campaign strategy, I guess (none / 0) (#46)
    by magster on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:22:57 PM EST
    Saving the best for last? Who knows?

    As long as he wins.


    well. they couldn't have picked a better time (none / 0) (#105)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:45:05 PM EST
    to run this ad.

    All those over 50s who are ready (or almost ready) to take out their 401Ks for their retirement are watching the stock market drop.

    Scary scary stuff. And real.


    I think Obama's social security ad is blistering (none / 0) (#29)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:15:27 PM EST
    That is a very good ad!! (none / 0) (#62)
    by befuddledvoter on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:29:54 PM EST

    He'll come back... (none / 0) (#91)
    by kredwyn on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:22:38 PM EST
    with an "I told you so" moment:
    For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs--and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO's report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO's report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay. (my emphasis)

    I heard him on the radio discussing it...


    whoops... (none / 0) (#95)
    by kredwyn on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:25:03 PM EST
    bolded the wrong thing...eh.

    Not clear. (5.00 / 0) (#92)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:24:07 PM EST
    It doesn't hurt, of course, but late last week the polls were already moving in Obama's direction.  They've accelerated in the last two days, but the effect of polling people who are actually watching our financial system melt down on television as they're being polled may overstate the benefit to Obama from this weeks economic problems.

    Of course, McCain's campaign also seems to be falling to pieces.  His improvement in the polls was entirely based on two days of carefully stage managed Palin rollout.  I'm not sure how he's going to get that mojo back.


    It's going (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:09:23 PM EST
    to be like this until the end. If another foreign policy issue comes up, Obama will drop again in the polls.

    That;'s gotta be McCain's hope (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:10:04 PM EST
    Probably (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:12:56 PM EST
    but don't count on getting economic reporting like we've gotten this week either. You know how the press tires of a story and moves onto something else. At least the economy keeps attention away from the netroots. That has to be a plus for Obama too.

    Time to announce (none / 0) (#108)
    by NYShooter on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:49:25 PM EST
    Mitt Romney as Sec. of Treasury.

    That's the only way (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:12:24 PM EST
    I'll bet money that Osama has another tape ready or an attack planned. I hope Obama has a response for that--if there's an effective response to be had.

    No, (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:14:41 PM EST
    it's not the only way. There's other ways for Obama to drop in the polls: a Willie Horton type attack ad.

    If Osama does show up I don't know that there's anything that Obama can do.


    You really dislike Obama so much you don't see how (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:19:46 PM EST
    easy it is to push against an Osama tape, do you?

    Seven years after 9/11, OBL is still free.  Bush and McCain wanted a war in Iraq and let our real enemy go.  McCain says he'll follow Bin Laden to the gates of hell, but has shown no interest in following him to his hiding place in Pakistan.

    There are MANY Republicans (like Mike Shmerconish) who are furious about Bush/McCain inaction in going after OBL and Al Qaeda in Pak/Afghanistan.


    Let me put it this (3.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:24:22 PM EST
    way: Why did Obama get reamed in the debate about Georgia then? He certainly didn't seem to be on the ball with that one.

    Do you have to swear allegiance to a cult or something to discuss the campaign? Geez. If you point out something then you "hate" obama. Do you realize that people like you are keeping Obama's numbers down in the polls?


    'People like me'? You have no idea about me, so (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:28:45 PM EST
    spare me.

    I just notice that 90% of the time your comments disparage Obama...

    He's behind in the polls, bad candidate.  He's ahead in the polls, why isn't he over 50?  Obama's too wordy.  No, he's not specific enough.

    Don't worry, I don't think "people like you" are having any effect on the election though.


    LOL (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:43:03 PM EST
    Now we have the voter who's not relevant instead of the magical voter. Okay. This is just silliness. Look, Obama has not inspired confidence in me in his ability to win this election. He has never run a tough election before. Now he is starting to do some things right but it reminds me of Kerry.

    I did exactly what you are doing in 2004. I cheerleaded and everything. Rah rah it's going to be great. And you know what? My heart was broken. And I realized that Dems ALWAYS need to ride the behinds of their nominees. We are ALWAYS at a disadvantage with Obama being more at a disadvantage than lots of other candidates.  If you want to cheer it is your inalienable right. If you don't want to have some doubts then don't read my posts. Okay?


    Is Osama (1.00 / 1) (#126)
    by onemanrules on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:58:53 PM EST
    in Georgia now? You must hate life, I can't remember the last post you made that had anything positive in it about anything. Oh by the way, how smart on foreign policy does McCain look when he can't differentiate between Sunni and Shia numerous times.

    Wow, (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 07:14:53 AM EST
    a personal attack. More condescending sanctimony. I'm certainly not surprised.

    That won;t do it (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:16:15 PM EST
    He needs a foreign policy story now or an abysmal Obama debate performance.

    There's a chance of that (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:18:26 PM EST
    Good thing ABC doesn't have a debate.  George Stephanopoulos told me the other day that he had no regrets about the (lack of) substance of the April debate.

    U.S. Embassy in Yemen? (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:20:52 PM EST
    I disagree. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:22:04 PM EST
    If McCain has a bombshell willie horton ad to deliver it could make a difference. Not that it's going to get McCain any more votes but it certainly could severly depress turnout for Obama.

    You have to remember that Obama is still largely unknown to the public.


    I'm actually starting to believe that Obama (none / 0) (#13)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:09:29 PM EST
    really was playing some rope-a-dope during the summer, because he has acted like his batteries were recharged these last few weeks.

    In contrast, McCain's performances (acceptance speech, interview he gave with a Maine reporter, The View, today's auto plant speech) just have the feel of him seeming somewhat tired.

    I'm not being ageist, but he is 72 and this has been a VERY long campaign season, and it just wouldn't surprise me that, as we near the homestretch, he's tiring a bit.


    I think (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by WS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:12:08 PM EST
    he became complacent.  The polls were good all summer and McCain was floundering around a bit.  Obama should have defined McCain earlier instead of ignoring him like he did.  Now, we're seeing more of a fight between the two.  

    McCain defined himself as not truthful... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by magster on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:28:05 PM EST
    ...and has lost the press.  All this new populist stuff coming out of McCain's mouth won't be believed now. It's Obama's race to lose.

    McCain really overplayed his hand on truth-benders.  I would never have thought he'd have squandered his "straight-talk" image.


    ya (none / 0) (#71)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:39:46 PM EST
    Yeah, he tossed that away like it meant nothing to him.  

    He played it right (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:12:38 PM EST
    The focus on the economy was planned.  The ignoring of Plain was correct. It was politically fortuitous (though a disaster for the country of course) that Wall Street melted down this week.

    He kept the campaign on issues and hammered McCain on his ties to Bush.

    IF you have been reading me, you will see that I have done nothing but praise the Obama campaign since the Democratic Convention.


    Picking Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by WS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:19:52 PM EST
    as VP would have been the best thing for him.  I'm still disappointed that he didn't.  

    He would (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:25:38 PM EST
    rather lose the election than have her on the ticket.

    rehashing old wounds (5.00 / 0) (#110)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:51:21 PM EST
    old conversations...

    I agree... (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:31:50 PM EST
    but there seemed to be a concern that she would have energized the republican base, which I think was a valid point.  I mean its not like most people would have predicted palins effect or even her as a serious VP pick.

    So I can see why he didnt, but having said that, I still wanted him too and I personally think it would have been better than Biden.


    Serioulsy (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:37:54 PM EST
    do you not think that Obama isn't energizing their base? He is. Kerry energized their base and who would have ever guessed that either? That is a very poor rationale simply due to the fact that every Dem energizes their base. You could make the argument that Bill Clinton shouldn't campaign for Obama because he energizes their base too.

    Good lord... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:48:04 PM EST
    I didnt say I believed it.  I was just pointing out what others said, so calm down.  Also, no I think its obvious Obama wasnt energizing their base.  I think the effect of palin proves that.

    Sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:54:23 PM EST
    Didn't mean to upset you. But yeah Obama was energizing their base. The evangelical churches were already starting their stuff with defining Obama and some of his votes in the Il Senate. Did Palin help? Yes she did but she helped with more than evangelicals. She helped pull white woman into McCain's camp. And the sexism that the netroots did certainly helped push some of them over there.

    Guess we'll just have to disagree... (none / 0) (#81)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:01:01 PM EST
    since our definition of energize must be different.  Also, I was saying calm down to you since you were obviously upset.  I kind of chuckled about it.

    You said it was "a valid point" (none / 0) (#125)
    by sallywally on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:45:21 PM EST
    which is just another way of saying you agreed with it.

    As an editor, just saying....


    Disagree... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Thanin on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 01:09:58 AM EST
    Acknowledging the other side makes a valid point doesnt mean you agree with the entire sum of their position.

    Nonsense. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:13:30 PM EST
    Gay marriage energized their base in 2004.

    In 2008, except for the far, far right and racist branches of the Republican party (and the racist branch of the Democratic party, for that matter) Obama does not seem to energize them.  He has more Republican endorses than Kerry did and has made greater -- and considerably less ham-handed -- attempts to assuage evangelicals.

    There was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm among the Republican base through the primary and up through Obama's nomination at the convention.  It was only with the Palin nomination and the hope that the end times might really be upon us that the evangelicals seem to have rallied -- and I don't expect that enthusiasm to hold up all that well.


    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:22:13 PM EST
    what about affirmative action that's on ballots then? Frankly, Kerry being from MA where the gay marriage issue started certainly couldn't have helped with that issue could it?

    You don't live in a deep red area. Obama was energizing their base. His outreach to evangelicals has been extremely clumsy because he wasn't prepared to answer the questions they had about his voting record in the Il senate. Saddleback was just that whole issue writ large.

    Oh, the enthusiasm is going to hold. If nothing else Palin gives enthusiasm to many women voters.

    Obama's divisive tactics have put lots of voters in one column or the other. Vote for me or you're a racist really enrages the voters so he's been energizing them to vote against him for quite a while. Rev. Wright has also helped that one along.


    Okay... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:30:09 PM EST
    I am currently living in a deep red area, and having helped in canvassing for him, I can tell you that evangelicals, before palin, were considering him over mccain.  There are those that take the God stuff seriously, even over party identity.  

    Now does that mean ALL evangelicals felt that way?  No, but it was enough to show that Obama was not enough to define as "energizing" for the republicans.


    There are facts. . . (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:36:59 PM EST
    You don't live in a deep red area. Obama was energizing their base.

    on which to judge this question -- this exact issue is polled -- and they indicate that you are wrong.  Before Palin, there was no "energizing" of the Republican base outside of the real dead-enders.  There simply wasn't.

    I know you want to believe that Obama is anathema to America, but the fact is he isn't.  He has a tough hill to climb in that some percentage of voters -- including Democrats -- simply won't vote for a black man.  But the widespread hatred of him you're imagining simply doesn't exist.  You're projecting.

    Obama's tactics have not been particularly divisive, unless you consider it divisive to contest and win a tough primary battle.  Indeed, what people generally complain about here is not Obama's divisiveness but rather the fact that he's not divisive (partisan) enough.


    No (none / 0) (#141)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 07:00:31 AM EST
    sorry. Not projecting as much as you might like it to be that.

    Do you think that evangelicals thought that Rev. Wright was a ok?

    Obama's tactics have been extremely divisive. The continuous blaming of voters for his own problems is something that divided the party. He never takes responsibility and always blames others. It's tiresome. And the continual excuses and apologia. Calling people who just happened to support another candidate racist is something I call extremely divisive. It's fractured the party and it's why people are even publicly declaring they are leaving the party.

    The color of Obama's skin is the least of his problems.


    Abortion/Catholic vote: (none / 0) (#124)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:40:36 PM EST
    txpolitico67 ... (none / 0) (#76)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:49:07 PM EST
    could you explain the troll rating?  I dont think I said anything that deserved a 1.

    you didn't and those ratings (none / 0) (#128)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:24:44 AM EST
    have been erased. You may not rate comments a "1" based on point of view.

    Who can say? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:09:48 PM EST
    Obviously, if Obama had picked Clinton it would have eliminated McCain's Palin option.  But then again, I'm not sure that Palin is going to do much for him in the end.  I know some "money Republicans" who were completely turned off by the pick I don't think she's been that impressive on the stump.

    But the big question mark is how would the media have treated an Obama / Clinton ticket?  Would we have seen endless stories about friction in the campaign?  Would every Clinton speech have been overanalyzed for signs she was trying to undermine the candidate?

    I have no doubt about Clinton's making as good a vice Presidential candidate as she would have made a Presidential candidate.  And perhaps such a powerhouse ticket would, in fact, be running 15% ahead in the polls.  But we have no way of knowing.

    As it is, I'm very satisfied with Biden who's been working his lunchpail off on behalf of the ticket, given great speeches, and who, not incidentally, has managed to show a degree of graciousness towards Senator Clinton that so far seems to have eluded the top of the ticket.


    Your last (none / 0) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:24:31 PM EST
    paragraph is dead on. Biden's doing more work towards uniting the party than anyone else and he certainly should be given lots of credit there.

    this is very tiresome (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:54:16 PM EST
    Biden is part of Obama's team. Obama is the leader of that team.

    I am tired of anything good being attributed to anyone other than Obama, and anything bad being attributed to Obama.


    It's called (none / 0) (#139)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 06:52:15 AM EST
    taking responsibility. Obama himself could have done and said the same things that Biden has. I think if Obama would take responsibility instead of continually shifting it then he might not have that problem.

    you see a problem (none / 0) (#146)
    by coigue on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 09:48:05 AM EST
    i don't see a problem

    If that's the case (none / 0) (#127)
    by onemanrules on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:11:58 AM EST
    then I'm glad he didn't pick HRC. I believe after it is all said and done Palin will go down as the one of the worst selections for vp in history. There are a growing number of right wingers saying she just isn't ready and are very disappointed in McCains selection. The Palin bump is turning into the Palin hole.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:25:31 PM EST
    well (none / 0) (#6)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:01:46 PM EST
    Even republicans cant possibly believe McCain. lol.  They just vote for him because he's all they've got.

    No (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:10:35 PM EST
    they see Obama as worse. That's pretty much what the election is all about: Who's worse?

    Only to you, it seems (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:13:30 PM EST
    She is describing how Republicans feel (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:15:18 PM EST

    Considering the (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:27:12 PM EST
    fact that Obama should be pulling away with double digits considering the underlying numbers I don't think that you are using reason when you are posting.

    I don't believe that any more (4.00 / 4) (#63)
    by robrecht on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:30:38 PM EST
    It isn't easy to elect an AA president.  I'm not saying that's a ready made excuse for any and all of the mistakes that Obama has made.  But the more I think about it, I realize how race is still a huge obstacle that Obama is fighting against in many states.

    Well (none / 0) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:35:21 PM EST
    certainly that could be an issue. If what the UK reported the dems saying the other day is correct, then this poll means that the race is now tied. FWIW, in that article they said that Obama needed a 4-6 pt advantage in polling to make up what would be lost in the polling booth.

    The Bradley Effect (none / 0) (#72)
    by robrecht on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:40:44 PM EST
    is one of my fears.  The other is that hockey moms in Minnesota and Wisconsin wake up one day and say, "Hey, Minnesota [Wisconsin] is a lot like Alaska."

    But I'm more optimistic today, especially with that glimmer of hope in Virginia.


    Well (none / 0) (#74)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:47:10 PM EST
    I can't say much about WI but I do have family in MN and they are now voting for McCain because of her. I don't know if there are enough to make a difference though. That's always the problem with anecdotal stuff. My family member might be the only one in MN that feels that way.

    In Michigan, (none / 0) (#137)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 05:44:47 AM EST
    the number of disaffected Democrats is heading through the roof.  

    Regarding the rude attacks, that McCain's ready for an ossuary and Palin's qualified only for Beauty College, I was quite surprised to hear from a couple of long-time Democrats, friends who attended the recent Palin/McCain rally in Sterling Heights, that they were literally electrified by both.

    The media's framing, that only one or two embittered PUMAs support McCain, is getting really old.

    Obama hasn't much of a chance of winning Michigan's electoral votes.  Why?  Because Obama has burned a lot of bridges.  Because this election will be decided by an ugly confluence of rationality with irrationality.


    Are your friends okay? (none / 0) (#147)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 11:26:08 AM EST
    That's troubling to hear that they were literally electrified.  They might want to consult a lawyer.

    If there is a Bradley effect (none / 0) (#119)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:03:06 PM EST
    there seems to be a Kerry effect too.

    Let's get real (none / 0) (#113)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:55:08 PM EST
    it isn't easy to elect a DEMOCRAT as president.

    bluegal, no reason for 1-ratings (none / 0) (#151)
    by robrecht on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 06:29:17 AM EST
    Read the site rules, 1-rating is not for mere disagreement

    You might want to consider (none / 0) (#121)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:14:16 PM EST
    the fact that if Hillary had won the primary it would be an election fought on the basis of experience not change, even as the economy takes center stage. The change theme that's so potent now would have been lost, or it might have even been possible for McCain to seize it as his own the way he's trying to, running against his own party.

    Expecting double digits is unreasonable, or thinking that with a different candidate there would have been double digits. The lines of attack would have been different, but the GOP wasn't going to just roll over no matter what. You're applying a fantasy standard.


    Change vs. Experience (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by wasabi on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 01:21:25 AM EST
    I don't see how the addition of Clinton on the ticket would have caused the message to go from Change to Experience.  Biden's addition didn't cause a shift in the campaign message and he was put on the ticket because of his gravitas.

    It could just as well have been very positive to have the Change message with a Clinton Experience as a kicker.  We'll never know.


    I did say (none / 0) (#136)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 03:57:51 AM EST
    if Hillary had won the primary.

    I agree if she'd just been added to the ticket as VP it wouldn't have had that effect, and it could have, as you say, been complementary to the change message.


    No, (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 07:11:24 AM EST
    no fantasy. There's no doubt that Hillary would be doing better than Obama is right now. The polls always showed her doing better after Rev. Wright showed up on the scene.

    Frankly, the economy was Hillary's strong point and Obama's weak point. That's why I think that's why even with the meltdown he's only getting a few point advantage.


    I, for one, do doubt it (none / 0) (#149)
    by Howard Zinn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:51:14 PM EST
    The polls regarding hypotheticals just don't hold water.  Who knows how people would have reacted after Repub attacks: Monica ads or Whitewater ads or health care ads or Bill Clinton pardoning ads.  Who knows?  You don't and I don't.  All those horrible memories could have made people reel against her.  We'll never know for sure.

    I think she would have been a great candidate, but I don't think one can come to a "for sure" conclusion either way.


    Agree. (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Faust on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:27:14 PM EST
    It almost always is to some degree, but this year it is particularly true.

    Very true. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:33:07 PM EST
    It always happens on some level with some voters.

    /raises hand (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Faust on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 11:29:25 PM EST
    You are such a troll. (none / 0) (#24)
    by prose on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:14:14 PM EST
    Excuse me (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:14:59 PM EST
    She is describing the GOP view, not her own.

    You her an apology as it clearly is an accurate description of how REPUBLICANS feel.


    I apologize to you (none / 0) (#39)
    by prose on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:19:50 PM EST
    and to her.  Not my job to play moderator.  I struggle with this commenter in particular.  I'm going to give myself a day off to get over how frustrated I am with a few people on here.

    My bad.


    She is certainly an Obama pessimist (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    and, in my view sometimes goes overboard, but she is smart and we need some skeptics to test our views.

    She generally avoids ridiculous statements, though we all make them from time to time.


    See it as balance perhaps? (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by rafaelh on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:15:08 PM EST
    I always come here after reading Daily Kos on those days when the diaries there seem to think Obama will get 400 electoral votes. It takes me down from the clouds.

    Dont stay gone too long. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Thanin on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:24:56 PM EST
    To be fair. . . (none / 0) (#79)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:53:27 PM EST
    the view expressed ("who's worse -- Obama or McCain") pretty clearly is the view of the commenter in question.

    NYT poll Generic Congressional Vote (none / 0) (#32)
    by WS on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:16:24 PM EST
    has Dems up 20 - 51-31.  Go Dems!

    Foregone conclusion (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:19:55 PM EST
    Republicans have about as much shot at the House this year as McCain does of winning New Jersey.

    I certainly (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:31:32 PM EST
    hope this one is right. Though this poll seems to be overly optimistic if it's giving those kinds of numbers for the house and senate. It makes me question some of the other numbers.

    Now, that's not to say that I don't think that we aren't going to win in the house because we are but they seem really out of line with the other numbers out there.


    Offense (none / 0) (#84)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:03:57 PM EST
    I think the success of Obama lately is do to the fact that he's quit playing defense. Democrat's have a tendency to allow the Republican's (with the help of the "liberal" media) to dictate the message. Now Obama is talking policy and solutions rather than faith and unity.

    Now Obama's up in Indiana in new poll (none / 0) (#93)
    by magster on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:24:26 PM EST
    Ann "genius" Selzer, too (none / 0) (#96)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:26:18 PM EST
    Seems pretty unlikely, though it's not the first time we've seen Obama with a narrow lead there.

    i don't believe we will win Indiana (none / 0) (#115)
    by coigue on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:57:27 PM EST
    no matter what the polls say.

    solid jabs (none / 0) (#97)
    by connecticut yankee on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:27:40 PM EST
    Obama landed some solid, and funny, hits here:


    Jobs Report (none / 0) (#103)
    by RedJet on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:42:54 PM EST
    The Employment Situation (Jobs Report) for September 2008 is scheduled to be released on Friday, October 3, at 8:30 A.M.

    I do not know, cannot predict, if the economy will stay in the news for two weeks - we are so ADD when it comes to information, but if there are more bailouts and financial disasters it very well could. And if the jobs report is like it was in August this will hang around McCain's neck unless he finds a way to distract us all...and I think it would take one of those flashy-thingies from Men in Black. Not that I want to give him any ideas.

    There will be additional job loses as we know from the bank collapses so September is probably going to be another doosey.

    Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 2.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.4 percentage points, with most of the increase occurring over the past 4 months.


    Our houshold became part of the statistic in June and that hasn't changed, yet, and it isn't looking good.

    And I can't believe that I wasn't a member of TL! I've been reading it for over a year. I thought I was and couldn't figure out why I couldn't reply to this post. Not too bright over here. Well, I'm a member now.

    Glad to see an economic message... (none / 0) (#104)
    by Dawn Davenport on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 10:43:02 PM EST
    ...that resonates among voters.

    But BTD, I'm confused about the economy "pushing" Obama to the 5-pt lead when according to the story the results are

    statistically unchanged from the tally in the last New York Times/CBS News poll, in mid-August.

    This is an issue I fear may backfire...... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Kefa on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 05:47:19 AM EST
    I may be alone with this thought but I know as a fact we as a party have as much blame for this problem as the other party but we are getting a pass due to the media and I am afraid we are gonna get our portion of pie soon. We as a party are NOT innocent but are acting so, not good.

    Commenters Chip and Bandit (none / 0) (#150)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 05:20:53 PM EST
    were previously banned from TalkLeft using other names. Their comments have been vaporized.