- As of this writing, no VP announcements, but here is the output of the rumor mill over the past twelve hours or so: Chet Edwards, a Texas Democrat, for Obama's VP? I think the very thought of all those "Obama/Edwards" placards is enough to rule this one out. Or how about McCain/Petraeus? I think that one was just to make the wingers salivate. CNN learns that the Obama rejects have been notified, but doesn't know who they are. Kathleen Sebelius and Tim Kaine are booked for the Sunday talk shows, which suggests they aren't the picks, although the schedule could easily be changed. Hillary Clinton, apparently, wasn't vetted at all. And last, but not least, Mark Halperin says two GOP sources have said it's Romney for McCain's VP, although Atrios reminds us what a Halperin prediction is worth, noting that the pundit had an Obama/Lugar item up briefly before deleting the post. Halperin, it's worth recalling, once referred to Matt Drudge as the "Walter Cronkite of his era," and co-wrote a book on the "way to win" the White House using the patented Bush/Cheney/Rove style of divide-and-conquer-51-percent-of-the-vote politics circa 2004. In short, even if it is Romney, it won't be because information brokers like Halperin told us so.
- The lede in this Washington Post story on the McCain/number of houses "controversy" really nails the dynamic: "Sen. John McCain's inability to recall the number of homes he owns during an interview yesterday jeopardized his campaign's carefully constructed strategy to frame Democratic rival Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist and inspired a round of attacks that once again ratcheted up the negative tone of the race for the White House." See, this was never about McCain being rich. This is about McCain contrasting himself with someone his campaign has decided to label an elitist. Now, for many on the left, an elite is measured materially -- number of houses, having a house servant budget exceeding the average value of most Americans' homes, being unable to remember whether a place is in your names, your wife's or some sort of corporate trust. But the right views elitism as cultural; hence Obama is a celebrity, a citizen of the world who hangs out with Hollywood stars. The issue, politically, is which version of elitism resonates more with the public, rather than the fretting of well-intentioned people like Paul Krugman who are perennially concerned about a lack of public policy discussions in American presidential politics.
- The Obama-9/11-60's radicals ad I noted yesterday is too hot for not just CNN but also Fox News. Apparently they don't want to get sued for slander, which I had previously assumed would be a badge of honor for them. (EDIT: Fox accidentally runs the ad anyway).
- The Boston Globe has a good profile of Steve Schmidt, the Karl Rove-protege credited with turning McCain's campaign around this summer and Time takes a look at Anton Gunn, Obama's political director in South Carolina.
- Noam Scheiber goes back to McCain's initial 1982 run for Congress in Arizona (with video!) to highlight the appeal of the vet's military service, and how that is being squandered carelessly to fight back against Barack Obama.
- Another Politico "exclusive:" a law review article Barack Obama wrote in college. Please, fellas, all these bombshells are giving me PTSD.
- Al Franken has returned to humor in a new campaign ad, as a Minnesota Public Radio/University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute poll finds the Democratic challenger one point ahead of incumbent Norm Coleman, 41-40, in Minnesota's Senate race. Meanwhile, a Detroit Free Press/Local 4 Michigan poll has Obama ahead of McCain in Michigan, 46-39, although the poll also found that 31 percent of those surveyed could change their mind between now and Election Day.
- For those craving a bit more substantive political blogging, try the Routledge 2008 Election Review, a blog "intended to provide analysis of all things related to the 2008 election cycle—the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain, the role of the Democratic and Republican parties, key congressional elections, media coverage, central policy issues and how they’re discussed/framed, public opinion polls, the role of outside groups, historical perspective, the rules of the game, and whatever else comes into play." It's very satisfying to see political scientists embracing this medium, especially during the silly season of a presidential campaign.
- And Finally, the Washington Times takes a serious look at "liberal bias" in Wikipedia articles, and explores alternatives like Conservapedia, which the article admits are "incomplete." I dunno -- the Conservapedia articles are complete, they just exist in a parallel universe from far, far, from reality.
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