The fat lady hasn't launched into an aria yet, but I hear some definite throat-clearing here:
The new CBS/New York Times poll has nothing but bad news for John McCain. Barack Obama is ahead 52%-39% among likely voters in the horse-race, but the internals are perhaps even worse.
The poll shows the extent to which McCain's negativecampaign has backfired. Obama's favorability rating stands at 52% favorable to 31% unfavorable, way ahead of John McCain's 39%-46% rating. In terms of the candidates' personalities, 62% of registered voters said they felt comfortable with Obama, while only 34% said they feel uneasy about him. The numbers for McCain: 47% comfortable, 49% uneasy.
Obama also has an edge on who is more trusted to handle a crisis, with 49% of registered feeling confident and 47% feeling uneasy about him. McCain is at 46% confident to 51% uneasy.
How bold is the writing on the wall? Let's just say it's in large enough letters even the RNC seems to have no trouble reading it:
The underlying premise of this new ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee: Obama's going to win.
The ad, on behalf of Senator Elizabeth Dole, urges a vote against challenger Kay Hagan as the last bulwark against complete Democratic control:
"These liberals want complete control of government in a time of crisis," says the narrator. "All branches of Government. No checks and balances, no debate, no independence."
"If [Hagan] wins, they get a blank check."
Could that be the sound of a mezzo-soprano running through her scales?
There's been quite a bit of speculation over the last couple of days about John McCain's avenues to 270 electoral votes, and just how many of them seem to have roadblocks. CNN reported Monday that Colorado is the next "red" state Republicans are likely to give up on, prompting fierce denials from the McCain campaign.
Today, it appears the reports were true.Republicans are slashing their television advertising at Colorado's three biggest television stations, a troubling sign for presidential nominee John McCain.
McCain is headed to Colorado Friday, but public records provided by three Denver stations show the GOP this week cut their ad spending for McCain by 46 percent.
And the sweet sound of the orchestra warming up:
In another sign that John McCain is on the defensive as time runs out, the McCain campaign is shifting its ad money out of blue tossup states and into red tossups and even traditionally red states, according to ad maven Evan Tracey.
McCain has dramatically slashed his ad spending in Wisconsin and New Hampshire and reduced it in Pennsylvania, suggesting that he's either losing hope or giving up hope in winning in three states that went for John Kerry in 2004, or that he doesn't have ample enough resources for them.
By contrast, McCain has increased his ad spending in Virginia, long a reliably red state, and in Florida, where Bush won and McCain was long expected to prevail without too much trouble. "They are definitely shifting some resources here for the endgame," Tracey says.
I think I shall indulge in the fine old tradition of hitting 'em while they're down. Let's start with Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe. There's some, shall we say, irregularities here:
Up until now, the question has been, "Why did the RNC spend so much money on clothing and accessories?" This afternoon, a report from the New York Times generated a new question: "Why don't the numbers add up?"Some of the fashion experts consulted Wednesday, for instance, about the $150,000 in purchases that appeared on Federal Election Commission records were puzzled by where all of that money had gone, given what they had seen of Ms. Palin's wardrobe.
Consider also the $4,902.45 charge at Atelier New York, a high-end men's store, presumably for Ms. Palin's husband, Todd, the famous First Dude.
Karlo Steel, an owner there, said he had gone through the store's receipts for September, twice, and found no sales that
matched that amount, nor any combination of sales that added up to the total. Because the store carries aggressively directional men's wear, he caters to a small clientele and knows most of his customers by name, as well as the history
of their purchases.... "We have no recollection of that sale and no idea what they are talking about," Mr. Steel said.
Similarly, the RNC records show a charge of $98 at a high-end children's boutique in Minneapolis, but after going through their receipts, the store owners found no record of the sale.
Interesting. The McCain/Palin campaign can't even go on a shopping spree without lying, it would seem. This could become highly entertaining.
Almost as entertaining as how they're going to wriggle out of this dilemma:
Barack Obama chatted with Time's Joe Klein this week, and indicated that U.S. negotiations with the Taliban may be worth pursuing. This, under normal circumstances, would send Republicans and conservative activists into an unbridled frenzy.
The problem, though, is that Gen. David Petraeus has expressed support for U.S. negotiations with the Taliban, too. Obama told Klein:"This is one useful lesson that is applicable from Iraq. The Sunni awakening changed the dynamic in Iraq fundamentally. It could not have occurred unless there were some contacts and intermediaries to peel off those who are tribal leaders, regional leaders, Sunni nationalists, from a more radical, messianic brand of insurgency. Whether there are those same opportunities in Afghanistan I think should be explored."It's an uncomfortable reality that often goes unmentioned, but as part of his strategy in Iraq, Petraeus reached out to Iraqis who were responsible for killing Americans. For all of McCain's demagoguery about talking to Iran or North Korea, Petraeus negotiated with those who had American blood on their hands, precisely because Petraeus kept the bigger picture in mind.
So, here's the challenge for the right: how does one attack Obama for his willingness to talk to the Taliban without also attacking David Petraeus for agreeing with Obama's approach? For that matter, how does one make John McCain look credible on foreign policy and national security, when his approach is so far from the mainstream?
And if McCain does agree with Petraeus/Obama, how does he justify talking to the Taliban while condemning talking with Iran?
Their talent for painting themselves into corners is truly awe-inspiring. I don't think I've ever seen another campaign so adept at fucking themselves over.
In light of that, it's not surprising I see an opera singer striding towards center stage...