The ball is still with the House Republicans
From a growing archive filed as Obama Diary.
Could Brian Schweitzer Have Been Obama’s VP? Flashback to 2008 – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com: “Does Barack Obama have a Western Strategy for winning the 2008 Presidential election? Yes he sees the West as winnable and he is campaigning there in earnest. But I’m talking about something larger.”
New Yorker Cover Savages Obama July 2008 – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com: “The notion that it is satire to portray the Obamas this way is disingenuous and ultimately false.”
McCain was Doomed Well Before He was Nominated in 2008 – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com: “McCain may not end up being nominated. I am not saying the odds are 50/50 but they are moving in that direction. The reason is simple. The man is outdoing Hillary Clinton in underestimating his opponent.”
Sarah Palin has parlayed a McCain hail Mary pass that failed into the quintessential hat trick of American politic. Out of failure comes wealth, notoriety and the capacity to be the tail that wags the dog.
The John McCain media used to love is resurfacing and that will be good news to Obama folk as the mindlessness of the mainstream GOP leadership begins to manifest itself big time. I predict a series of narrow Senate wins aided by about six to ten GOP sane Senators including McCain.
When theee votes have proved to be at once popular and effective in terms of their goals, the mainstream wingnut-inclined GOP will begin to harrumph. Once again it will have to decide on the best course which is to suck it up and go with the bipartisan effort, Or to veer back into the nativist Palinesque Limbaugh-listening laughingstock wing of American political life.
To the extent that McCain proves to be a prime mover in effecting bipartisan change, his power will increase and who knows what might happen to the GOP. At the moment it seems Cornyn/Cantor bound and, despite these glossy front men, it is a road that is less travelled for a very good reason. It does not really engage the problems facing Americans.
Here’s the gateway to the McCain resurrection.
The surest sign of McCain’s return to his “maverick” ways came when he caught wind of an effort by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to delay Clinton’s confirmation vote by a day, pushing it from Tuesday to Wednesday because he was seeking greater disclosure about foreign donors to former president Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation. McCain found the objection gratuitous — despite policy disagreements with Clinton, he and most Republicans consider her well qualified — and said so publicly.
“I think that’s indicative of the role that John McCain is going to play,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who hatched the push-back against Cornyn’s gambit over dinner with McCain on Tuesday night, and who followed him to the floor to support Clinton’s confirmation. “He’s going to play a very active role. He’s going to try to forge bipartisan coalitions. And he won’t shy away from controversy.”
If the image of Senator Corker trying to wring creds from his TV hyoocrisy bothers you, lighten up. John McCain himself has weighed in on GOP Blago-Sleaze with the following video defending Barack. Guess that meeting paid off. Anyway, Sam Stein concludes:
McCain, who has almost never been popular within deeply partisan Republican circles, seemed to acknowledge the notion that this is, at its heart, a tale of a corrupt Illinois pol, not some massive entanglement involving Obama that the RNC is insinuating.
The GOP has managed to be idiotic about Detroit and about Blago. This is an interesting fissure and we can anticipate that McCain may just act to provide Barack with his filibuster-proof majority and let Corker and Company dangle in the wind of their own putrid politics.
Debate One Blow By Blow Building All Day
The time is 7:36 PM EASTERN. The earlier entries are posted below with times given.
This is shaping up to something huge. I can imagine Barack on a major attack if this really does hit the economy head on. He will HAVE to basically hit McCain with his record. How he can do this and still come off as one who can LEAD the country is the challenge I hope we’ll all say he has met.
My sanity is being massaged by watching KO leading into the debate — 30 minutes to go. Letterman is explaining John McCain to people who do not knw him. I bet Crystal City talks about this campaign in terms we would love to hear and transcribe.
Some stories that Obama Campaign sent out an invite to watch the debate on CNN. Who says it WAS from the campaign?
17 minutes. Barack could be said to have prepared for the Presidency from the moment he moved toward Harvard Law, toward Chicago, toward a political response to human issues. Always a special person and a special track. At every point when he has been aware of needing to rise to an occasion, he has risen to an occasion.
Michelle is with Barack. They walk in.
McCain has prepped since he saw the inside of the US Senate. Whether he got the chance too late, after too much under the dam, he may have the visceral mojo to pull through. But it is a big chance, it would seem.
I say it is Barack’s to lose.
The debate will turn when Barack smashes through the McCain rap. Barack will not address McCain directly without being prompted. Then again Mccain will not look at Barack.
Something has to give.
End of KO. DEBATE. Bare Stage. Sirens out my NYC windows.
First question. Barack first to talk abot where he stands on the recovery plan. He goes off into an effort to make it personal. He needs to answer. He lays out his specific points to be included in the plan. Direct Bush McCain hit. Middle class fair shake.
McCain does a Kennedy nod after Kennedy has been declared OK. But he does establish a more personal feel. We do not wnt Saddlebrook again. McCain is taking implicit savior responsibilty.
Barack is still lecturing. Neither has scored yet.
Now McCain attacks directly. His earmarks rap. Barack does not attack back. On the other hand he may be able to lick him on content.
McCain wants to goad Barack. Barack is not goading back. He needs to hit McCain MUCH harder.
Barack has started LOOKING at McCain. He is doing better, but I am giving this round to McCain. We are 21 minutes in.
The first part of the debate is said to be the most important.
Barack is picking up. Hw is attacking back. Supporters will be happy but he needs more to prevail.
Barack is winning the second — Iraq — round. More passion.
While I think Barack is ahead in round two, he could simply have called McCain a neocon who shilled for the Iraq war a month past 9/11.
Still. I call round two a tie.
Neocon unveiled by McCain in round three. Iran. Will Barack enngage?
I said this ws shaping up to something huge. It would have been much more huge if Barack had come in with a much stronger Iraq War condemnation and a much stronger neocon condemnation.
Will he close with a strong response to McCain’s Russia militancy?
Barack’s answer is strong.
I would say the debate is almost a tie and that it had no knockout blows either way.
Concluding statement by Barack is strong. McCain’s response is somewhat less so.
I do not think McCain went to DC with the intent of passing the compromise worked on by Barack. In his surrogate talking points, put out while his campaign continued through his “suspension”, he specifically says he does not think the compromise will pass. I believe he went down to DC to ensure that it would have more difficulty passing and then to become the hero of a compromise that he would engineer solo. Excellent for a potential Commander and Chief.
Now, skeptics are given a chance to play chicken, if they wish. Though a TIME piece offers what looks like a possible way out.
One solution being floated in the Senate, however, might work precisely because there would be no real winners. The Senate, where the bill has more support among Republicans than in the House, would take the lead and attach the bill to a resolution that continues to fund the federal government through the election. That is a measure members have a hard time voting against, and if the Senate then adjourns, the House would pretty much be forced to swallow the Senate’s single bill. House members would then be forced to vote for or against the budget along with the bailout, giving them a measure of political cover. In the end such an approach may be the only viable way out of a fine mess that has left markets reeling, the economy on the brink of collapse and Washington looking once again like the dysfunctional place that both Barack Obama and John McCain have pledged to change.
At any rate, I am devoting this page to the first debate. Following the debate story hour by hour and posting relevant items, videos and commentary here. Please scroll down for a salient collection of links to news and opinion that is generally the latest and often ahead of the curve.
I was at the Biden address yesterday and it was extremely well received. There was an overflow crowd in this very Republican area. What struck me most (outside of Biden nailing the subject and putting it in terms that everyone could easily understand) was the make up of the audience – predominently white, older, and with a good number of vocal union members. I think we have an excellent chance to make Ohio blue.
8:34 AM EASTERN
I think an agreement will be hammered out. And pass. McCain only wins if there is no agreement passed, And then, only if there is no financial Armageddon.
9:55 AM EASTERN
Survey of Debate Issues from WAPO
10:07 AM EASTERN
An anti-Obama take on how McCain is playing this:
Mrs. Pelosi now claims she aims to ram through the bill. She is shouting that the GOP must relent and join in. Not a chance. “No deal,” is the way to guard the people’s cash. The Democrats are working with George Bush and Hank Paulson. The Republicans in the House (the Senate crowd is pointless and feckless) are working with the people. It is the world turned upside down — with the Grand Old Party marching arm-in-arm with Main Street, and the class warrior Democrats gamboling with the Wall Street Interest.
Obama fell into the deal ambush, and now he must take the campaign stage claiming that a grotesque, imperial, unprecedented and endlessly ramshackle Goldman, Sachs fantasy of a deal is good for the country. And John McCain can stand on the same campaign stage and mumble sincerely that thrift, cautious, reform, transparency, modesty, honesty are the new day for the McCain administration.
Mrs. Pelosi and Harry Reid have by this time realized they have sandbagged themselves into fighting with the president they denounce. Fighting for the arrogant, tone-deaf, bully Hank Paulson (right) and the super rich they want to super tax. Fighting for the Wall Street that gives the Democrats twice as much as the Republicans.
Will they pull back? Or will they risk it, pass the bill, and hope that Obama can defeat McCain in the debate and on November 4 so they can ready their teams to withstand the assault of reformers coming in 2010? More soon, and all eyes on John Boehner, Minority Leader of the cavalry to the rescue.
11:23 AM EASTERN TIME
From FOX/AP: The head of Ole Miss proposes a Town Hall if McCain finks out (my language) SOURCE
And now MSMBC says MCCain is going to Mississippi. Gosh, John, thanks.
1:03 PM EASTERN
I am not certain the House Republicans are actually on board.
The Expectation Game:
Most voters expect Obama to have the upper hand in the debates, according to a new poll out this morning.
In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 59 percent of likely voters said they expect Obama to do a better job in the debates, while 34 percent picked McCain. SOURCE
3:19 PM EASTERN
Lieberman on MSNBC defends McCain as predicted. How many wagons does McCain have? Whew.
5:04 PM EASTERN
A View From Across the Pond
A veteran Republican campaigner, who asked to remain nameless, said “it has been a rough week” for Mr McCain, while another said his campaign “can do tactics but can’t do strategy”.
Democrats have delighted in what they describe as Mr McCain’s erratic, hot-headed behaviour, which they said showed signs of desperation amid falling poll numbers.
“You see disorganisation and chaos like this in local campaigns, but I have never seen anything like this on a national level,” said Peter Fenn, a veteran Democrat campaign consultant.
“These guys seem to wake up every morning and say ‘what are going to do now?’ I have known John McCain since the Seventies and he makes decisions by the seat of his pants and he can be rash and brash.”
On Tuesday Mr McCain admitted that he had not read the three-page draft from the White House on saving the economy, which had been published four days earlier.
Claiming he was putting nation above politics, the next day he “suspended” his campaign and announced he was returning to Washington to help Congress agree the terms of the financial package. He also called for the postponement of the debate, a cherished ritual of American political life.
Mr McCain urged George W Bush to call the meeting at the White House with Congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Mr Obama that was supposed to present a united front to the country but descended into a slanging match.
Harry Reid, the Democrat leader of the Senate, accused Mr McCain of harming negotiations by dragging the presidential campaign roadshow on to Capitol Hill.
Talks were proceeding well, Mr Reid said, until “guess who came to town, and then things fell apart, the vehicle came off the tracks”.
Mr McCain’s choice of the inexperienced Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate also came under renewed scrutiny after she struggled to answer several questions convincingly in an interview with CBS.
Ed Rollins, the manager of Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in 1984, said afterwards: “I wouldn’t put her in many more interviews like this.” SOURCE
6:35 PM EASTERN
John McCain rushes to Mississippi for the debate, but may hurry back to D.C. | Main
Behind the scenes on John McCain’s wild Friday campaign ride
John McCain’s campaign is making it up on the fly today, even on the ground.
And in a few hours we’ll see in tonight’s presidential debate how it all plays out.
The result has been what appears to be barely-controlled chaos on the tag-along end at least. The candidate’s seemingly abrupt decision Friday to take part in the debate after 48 hours of public confusion added a nail-biting, cliffhanger element to a presidential contest already infused with high stakes drama.
It is a seat-of-the-pants, adrenalin-charged style that McCain, once an aircraft carrier pilot, apparently enjoys. Or doesn’t mind. But it is a far cry from the carefully scripted, well-planned schedules that most presidential campaigns, not to mention the White House, typically employ and the traveling press corps is accustomed to.
It makes an intriguing behind-the-scenes blog item, however.
Two days ago, McCain unexpectedly announced in New York that he would temporarily suspend his campaign, postpone the debate with Obama, and go to Washington to help the White House, Treasury secretary, head of the Federal Reserve, and the 532 members of Congress who aren’t running for president find a solution to the unfolding financial debacle.
The result, so far at least, has been more finger-pointing than comity.
Democrats insisted that McCain’s presence helped scuttle a deal that was close to agreement, although earlier in the week Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada suggested the Republican’s presence would help.
Republicans angrily blamed Democrats for putting partisan politics over the nation’s interest, a default attack line for both parties in Washington.
McCain aides claimed that a highly contentious meeting at the White House on Thursday turned into what one called “Kabuki theater,” in which shouting Democratic leaders sought to goad McCain into losing his temper. He did not, they pointed out, instead sitting silently during most of the high-level meeting that he had helped organize.
Whether McCain’s involvement helped or hurt the process, it’s clear he has utterly upended his campaign at a critical point in a contest already moving at warp speed. Aides complained that they did not know where he would spend the next hour, never mind the next day, and that Obama’s campaign cranked up its attacks during the last two days.
“It’s like a bad movie,” one aide said privately Friday. “No one knows what we’re doing. Everything is minute by minute now.”
McCain started early Friday with quick meetings on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader, and John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader. He soon returned to his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va., his motorcade racing down the rain-slicked streets and across the Potomac River shortly before 11.
By then, aides said, McCain had decided to attend the Mississippi debate.
Soon after, the campaign issued a statement announcing his decision, and another statement to McCain’s traveling corps of reporters advising them to be prepared to get to the airport within 45 minutes once the departure time was confirmed.
Instead, McCain pulled another surprise. Climbing into his black SUV, his motorcade suddenly took off for nearby Reagan National Airport.
The flight departed so quickly that dutiful Secret Service agents had to inspect one passenger’s bags in the aisle as the plane taxied. Except for the dozen or so reporters and camera crews who shadow him as a pool, the McCain campaign left the rest of the traveling press behind and a separate charter flight was arranged.
In case the rest of working America was worried about them.
— Bob Drogin SOURCE