Ohio: The Longest Election Day Has Begun (Updated, with Pass of the Hat)

By Al Giordano

 

"I have a vested interest; children and grandchildren," explained Michael Reese, driving the Obama shuttle in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday morning. His poster-festooned SUV had already transported 25 Ohio State University students other Obama supporters to cast early ballots at the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheater downtown on Tuesday morning, and returned them to the corner of 17 Street and North High, where volunteers in an Obama campaign office queued up the next group.

It was only the First of October - five weeks before "election day" - but in Ohio, the voting had begun.

"I think the Obama campaign has successfully sold the idea that this is the most important election of our lifetime," Reese - former political action director for the Ohio NAACP - told The Field, after letting your reporter ride shotgun along the way. We pulled up to the pick-up site where two youths - one, an OSU student and part-time campus policeman, the other a neighborhood kid - are waiting to be taken to vote, along with a Japanese film crew who also hop aboard to film the ride.

At the early voting site - there's one in each of Ohio's 88 counties - a steady trickle of voters arrived, mostly without assistance from any campaign, to cast early votes now allowed under Ohio law. An unregistered voter could sign up right there; with an address in the county (which will be verified by mail), a form of ID, or simply by writing the last four digits of her Social Security number on the application. In the two-step process, once registered, the voter fills out an application for an "absentee ballot" - no reason needs to be given - and is handed a long two-page ballot for national and local officers and state ballot questions. It all goes quickly and efficiently: there are 58 booths waiting for the voters to fill out their paper ballots.

The crowd here in Columbus is - according to an unscientific survey taken by The Field as they exit from voting - overwhelmingly Obama country; nineteen voters told me they had voted for Obama, and just one - a middle aged white man in a tie - wouldn't say ("I voted for the one who will win," is all he said). There were various Obama vans coming in and out of the parking lot, dropping off voters, and none visible for McCain on this second day of early voting.

Ben Piscitelli, public information officer for the county Board of Elections, told The Field that on September 30, the first day of early voting, 808 Franklin County residents had voted in Columbus, 72 of those which registered to vote on the same day.

Since Franklin County represents roughly ten percent of the population in Ohio, let's multiply those numbers by ten: that could mean more than 8,000 early ballots cast on the first day out of 36 Election Days between now and November 4: and about 720 of them could be newly registered voters. The door slams on new voters next Monday, October 6, and the race is on to find them, scoop them up, and get them registered and voting in these final days before the deadline.

The contest in Ohio, according to polls, is extremely close. Survey USA (one of the pollsters we find most accurate) polled on September 28 and 29, and found McCain ahead by one point: 49 percent to Obama's 48.

The two candidates are in a virtual tie among Independent voters (Obama 48 percent, McCain 46), efforts to persuade voters are mostly over: very few haven't already decided. And so it is a turnout war, plain and simple, in this swingest of swing states with a whopping 20 Electoral Votes.

Republicans had sued to stop the one-step register-and-vote process that is new to Ohio elections, but were rebuked by the courts last week.

And so in Ohio, it's game on. It's already Election Day. And every day is Election Day through November 4.

From the ground here in Ohio, it feels like winter in New Hampshire or Iowa every four years. A volunteer, hearing me introduced as "a reporter from New York" comes up to introduce himself as a fellow New Yorker that came to Columbus to help get out the vote. Bruce Springsteen will come to OSU and give a free acoustic concert on campus for Obama on Sunday. TV personalities Seth McFarlane (creator of "Family Guy") and Adrianne Palacki (star of "Friday Night Lights") return to their birthplace of Toledo today to campaign as hometown kids made good for Obama. DNC chairman Howard Dean's mother is up in Youngstown with a team of out of state volunteers, while Teamsters Union president Jim Hoffa led a truck caravan through the state - yesterday they were in Cincinnati and Dayton - to fire up the members (see video of Hoffa's pitch at one workplace, here). It's a full court press to register every last eligible voter by Monday and get them to vote early.

A group called the Vote Today Ohio PAC is rounding up the homeless at shelters and soup kitchens and bringing them to register and vote. Right-wing toadies like John Fund of the Wall Street Journal are feigning outrage over the idea that homeless folks can vote, transparently queuing up false charges of "fraud" in case Ohio rejects McCain and to blunt outrage over GOP voter suppression tactics in Florida and elsewhere. (To argue that a homeless person shouldn't be able to vote seems, to this writer, the ultimate in cretinism; especially given that current economic policies have led to tens of thousands of home mortgage foreclosures here in Ohio.)

Despite the frenzy of activity and the Obama campaign's visible advantage in the early voting lines, there are some causes for pause, too.

The in-person early voting is going to be dwarfed by absentee voting by mail: Hamilton county had received 55,320 mail-in absentee voter requests as of Thursday. Fourteen thousand had come into Fairfield County, and twenty thousand into Butler County (which in all of 2004 had only 16,000 absentee ballots). Those are Republican counties won by Bush in 2004.

And while the steady stream of early voters is clearly - at least in Columbus and Dayton, where The Field inspected the early voting sites - pro-Obama, it can seem a little underwhelming, like "ant's work," as they come to the polls one and two at a time.

Yet in a contest as close as that in Ohio, "ant's work" is what gets the job done. It's hand-to-hand combat out there for every last vote. And it's going to be that way for the next exhausting four-and-a-half weeks. This week - what has been proclaimed as "Golden Week" by the Obama campaign, in which people can register and vote on the same day - appears like it will bring up to 50,000 voters, maybe 5,000 of them new ones, to the polls. (Bush defeated Kerry in Ohio in 2004 by 118,599 votes.)

It's that tight in Ohio.

It will not shock your correspondent at all if those 20 Electoral Votes come down to just one person's vote.

Update: Don't miss Katie Halper's hilarious review of last night's VP debate, below this post!

I'm sitting in Michigan State University's Union Hall eavesdropping on a training for students who will be fanning out to register voters at the annual Homecoming Parade (and subsequent bar crawl) tonight, the latter of which I'll be especially sorry to miss because...

Tonight I'll get back on the highway and get as far south as I can en route to North Carolina, where I'll be reporting from Obama's newly announced appearance in the mountains of Asheville on Sunday afternoon. I'll be mainly on the road all day Saturday to be able to get there on time. From somewhere in Carolina I'll file my Michigan report (impressive stuff in a state that remains fired up and ready to go).

Meanwhile, the addition of North Carolina onto our reporting itinerary is definitely busting the budget we had raised for Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, so please, if you can, drop a coin or two into the cup, and let's see if by the time I trek these 700 miles and get there on Sunday we raise another $1,500. I'll let you know (so far you always have). Thanks (and later I'll report to you, also, on the great Field Hands we've met along the road).

Update II: The Fox News interview with Palin - in which she's asked about the McCain campaign's pulling out of Michigan - is a doggone hoot (wink, wink). She says:

"I read that this mornin' also, I fired off a quick email and said, ‘oh, come on. Do we have to? Do we have to call it there?' Todd and I, we'd be happy to get to Michigan and walk through those plants of the car manufacturers. We'd be so happy to get to speak with the people there in Michigan who are hurtin' because the economy is hurtin'. Whatever we can do, and whatever Todd and I can do in realizing what their challenges in that state are, as we can relate to them and connect with them and promise them that we won't let them down in the administration. I wanna get back to Michigan and I wanna try."

Okay, I'll bite: Since McCain himself famously doesn't know how to use email, just to whom exactly is she sending the email? Or does part of her job as running mate include receiving her own email on McCain's behalf? Does she then tell him, "John, you got an email this morning! It was from me! Here's what it said!"

And I love the suggestion that if only "Todd and I" could sit around the kitchen table with the entire population of Michigan she could somehow accomplish what McCain and she, together, didn't accomplish in Grand Rapids when they visited there early last month. Read between the lines, and she's kind of backhand slapping McCain as out of touch with the workin' folk (wink), ya know?

 

Comments

This is the ground game in action

But what is telling is how one-sided this is. Obama is the only candidate that seems to be working this week at all. To me this is a symptom of what ails the McCain campaign: the refusal to realize just how much has changed since 2000, or for that matter, 1980. That campaign seems to be little more than a re-run of the Reagan campaign down to the talking points, the appeals to fear, even the strategic work.

I was hoping that Obama

I was hoping that Obama would do mega rallies in Ohio during this same-day registrataion voting window and bus people to the polls after the rallies like in the primaries. Any idea if this is going to be done? 

MI GOP county chair suing Messenger

over Melzer's story on their suppression plan.

via TPMuck

seems like a dumb move by Carabelli, as it just draws more attention to his remarks, as well as offering a channel for the Messenger to secure a legally binding ruling in support of their reporting.

intimidation, be damned!

(not that the GOP is contesting MI for McCain, anymore.  maybe Carabelli suddenly found himself without much to do in the next month...)

Golden Week

We will have two Golden Weeks in North Carolina.

Registration ends on the 10th.  BUT, during early voting (16 Oct thru 1 Nov) people can also register and vote at the same time.  New law this election.

Nevada!

We're heading to Nevada today for some face time with the undecideds.  Mail in reg ends Saturday so this is the last shot at signing up new voters.  Nice to have the debate as a conversation starter!

to J in NC

You asked about the 20 million figure - that's from an independent study done by the publication Health Affairs

I included some info on it in a dKos diary I did a while back (based on an op-ed for the WSJ written by an Obama advisor)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/17/8749/55859/676/601390

I think the important figure for the Obama campaign to emphasize going forward is $7,000

Yes, McCain gives you a $5,000 credit towards buying your own plan - but an average health care plan will cost you $12,000 and you will have to pony up the difference.

The tax on employer health benefits will force 20 million people off employer-based health insurance and into the ranks of the uninsured.

I'm sure this will be emphasized in the coming week and in the next debate, but I hope with more clarity.  I don't think Obama or Biden made the point clearly enough yet that McCain's health plan will mean 20 million new uninsured people, and people now enjoying employer-provided insurance may lose it because of McCain's new tax.

KD

Fishy Absentee Ballot Numbers

From those absentee ballot numbers in the Republican counties, it appears that the GOPers have been hard at work at their ground game, too, but are letting the USPS do the leg work for them.

Absentee vote fraud is by far the easiest method of rigging the game.  Saves gas money, too.

Yay, James Haygood

Was in Henderson, NV, last weekend. Will be part of the phone calling team from here going forward (Oct travel plans put a bite into weekends) but may get back to Henderson just before the election. Met a DKos person in campaign HQ on Sunday afternoon, too!

All the discussion of early and absentee voting reminds me that I need to do that myself to free up my schedule to go elsewhere and work.

Awesome report

I've written a diary at DKos quoting from here and asking folks to sign up:

 

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/3/144453/382/205/619166

Ohio is definitely in play

Down here in Cinci we are getting back to back Obama commercials and some McCain commercials too. Contrary to what some people still believe, the city of Cincinnati is now largely blue. It is Hamilton County outside the city that is more Republican now, as white flight has made the city blacker and now even browner-as Mexicans are starting to come in as well.

A question and a surmise: as numbers from early voting come in, will campaigns get a feel as to who's winning or not?

@KD

Thanks for the background on the 20 million newly uninsured under the McCain plan.  I've been harping for some time on how insignificant the $5k was, in light of the cost of coverage.

I've heard very little from the campaign on this issue before last night.  It made me wonder if they were holding it for the debates so that it would be more difficult to have a prepared answer.  I thought Biden explained it just fine, but it is something they will need to pound on going forward.

Checker on a checker

So McCain pulls out of Michigan, spreads the Michigan money elsewhere, including at attempt to "steal" one of Maine's 4 EVs.

 

What does the Obama campaign do immediately? It opens a second office in Omaha, Nebraska's 2nd CD, immediately countering McCain's move into Maine.

There are just so many fingers that can hold back the waters from just so many dikes. Keep the pressure on all over. Great move.

Palin's in Texas today. Are they scared even there?

McCain's Departure from Michigan

Color me cynical, but I don't buy that McCain has given up on Michigan for a minute. As of today, his ads are still up on the air, and while the campaign may be "leaving," I think they're just setting it up for the 527s to come in and run culture war/race ads.

 

That way, McCain can say that he isn't connected to any of the shit that's about to go down, and he can have these outside groups spend millions to run smears against Obama.

The Ground Game

If you havent had the chance to check out a recent post over at fivethirtyeight.com...you should:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/on-road-st-louis-county-missouri.html

 

Win or lose - it will NOT be because the Obama Campaign took its eye off of the ball. DKos also had a post today about phonebanking the hearing impaired. Remarkable.

 

Mark, what absentee ballot numbers?

What set of numbers are you referring to? I'm curious to know why you think they're fishy - it wouldn't surprise me that the GOP is trying to commit election fraud again, because that's just what they do. But then again, we don't know all of the facts.

 

Could you please elaborate a little bit on your prior comment? Thanks.

Michigan

Blue_SD,

Were the ads on cable because it that they are running national ads.

@James Haygood

Las Vegas? Do you know what office you will be working out of?

Al, dropped more in the cup.

The Ohio Republican Party

has been doing a MAJOR push on absentee voting in Ohio. And yesterday, our Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner lost in a Supreme Court decision to throw out many of the Republican Absentee forms. Guess who filed suit?

 

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/10/02/court-gives-green-light-to-ohio...

Good Numbers on NV, NH, and WA

Just out on Pollster.com from Rasmussen:

(I wish Gregoire had a lead in WA but otherwise looking good for Obama in those three states.)

Rasmussen: NV, NH, WA (10/1-2)

Rasmussen Reports
Mode: IVR

Nevada 10/2, 700 LV, 4%
Obama 51, McCain 47

New Hampshire 10/1, 700 LV, 4%
Obama 53, McCain 43
Sen: Shaheen (D) 50, Sununu (R-i) 45

Washington 10/2, 700 LV, 4%
Obama 53, McCain 43
Gov: Gregoire (D-i) 48, Rossi (R) 48

 

two facts

Two stories that interested me today:

 

The moving story about 400 mine workers in west Virginia doing a work stoppage because their employer sicced the NRA on them, trying to get anti-Obama material for a commercial. How great if Obama went there to thank them. This whole election is so much more emotional and unexpected than any other in my lifetime.

 

And the news from Georgia. So far, in the first 2 weeks, about 220,000 have voted early. Almost 40% are African-American. In 2004 A-As made up 25% of the electorate. Now it might be that this trend won't persist, but if Obama can increase A-A voter participation by over 50%, Obama will not only win Georgia, he will sweep the South, including Mississippi and Arkansas. 

Al, I kicked you $25.00 and

Al, I kicked you $25.00 and I will contribute again in a couple of weeks.

Keep up the good work.

Florida is definately in play, and it would be stellar if NC went blue.

Tonight I heard a rightwing Republican senator on the Hugh Hewitt show.  He say's that NC will be deep red.  I'd like to see him eat his words.

Is WV too out of the question?  I'd like to think not.

 

On the Road Again

It was another good day for Obama in the polls it appears and maybe him being back in Chicago for the evening will bring some luck to the Sox tonight (although they are behind 3-2 in the 8th).  Good grief, we need one of the Chicago teams to move on to the next round! 

Al, looking forward to your next report - too bad there isn't high speed rail where you're traveling so you can write and enjoy the scenery and go thru the small towns along the way. If we are lucky enough to win this one, maybe for the next election there will be some of that already in the process of being built. 

I'm off in a caravan of Illinois volunteers to Michigan tomorrow at 6am. and won't be back until evening.  Doesn't matter what the opposition is doing - we are making sure we get Michigan! 

"THIS is the Surge that's working John McCain!  And did you go back to Arizona this weekend to look around the house for white flags?"

Dayton GM Plant Closing

It was announced today that GM will be closing their Dayton SUV plant on December 23 this year.  Merry Christmas Ohio from George Bush and the GOP...I can't see this being helpful to McCain in Ohio.

Ground game and Texas

Jonathan Jacobs:  "What does the Obama campaign do immediately? It opens a second office in Omaha, Nebraska's 2nd CD, immediately countering McCain's move into Maine."

Truly awesome, thanks for the info

"Palin's in Texas today. Are they scared even there?"

Palin was just fundraising.  The Obama campaign begged and begged for us not to organize a protest, but on the radio tonight I heard there were protesters there.  Sigh.

Obama has a presence here (amazing!), but my impression is that it's more aimed at supporting downticket races and helping Texas Dems for the future.  If the Dems can control redistricting here in 2010 it will be huge, and if we can get Texas newcomers registered we have a great shot of turning Texas blue in the next decade.

OH important, but MN more important -- please send BO there!

I rarely try to tell the Obama campaign anything they probably know already, but I feel I have to implore them to spend just a little cash and time on MN. It's a bit too close for comfort, and the only campaign spending any cash there is McPalishame (see 'kos today on ad spending in several states). Not to mention the fact that Al Franken will definitely take out that booger Coleman given just a thread of coat-tails. And that's from someone in CO who would love as many visits as the Obama's can spare.

Help Al now! He'll win!

A Kos diary

There is a very moving picture diary on Kos of the Abington PA rally today. If the end doesn't motivate you to donate to Al or Barack, I will be surprised.

 

McCain in MI & Fournier on Race for the White House

McCain could have a reason to pull out of MI.  I saw a McCain rally on TV (don't remember which channel) at a auto plant.  All the employees stood quietly while McCain was speaking but when he finished and started to leave... they all started shouting Obama, Obama, Obama... until he had left the building.

The only other program I saw this on was PBS, Washington Week, I think, but they cut the clip before the chanting began.

By the way, Fournier was on Race for the White House today (MSNBC with David Gregory) talking about 'race' in the presidential race.  They didn't spend too much time on it but it was pretty obvious what they were doing.

 

I'm a Vol in OH (from IL)

Russell Simmons and John Conyers will also be rallying voters this weekend on the East side of Columbus.  Russell will be appearing at Genoa Park, right across the street from Vets Memorial (the Franklin county voting location).  Great staging since people just have to walk across the street to register and vote.  Conyers will be at the After Five Restaurant at 5 pm.

 

GOTV Las Vegas NW Office

"Just heard from my O Fellow son, Ben, in Vegas.  Re: Need for SoCal Volunteers for GOTV. 
"There is no doubt about, we need volunteers.  I know that it is confusing to communicate with the major office because they are so busy, but I can tell you from the ground level that we can never have enough.  We are working around the clock and are about to start a big GOTV campaign October 18th.  This is basically the last push and we want to go strong to the finish.  We therefore need our own army of volunteers at all times, but especially on the weekends.  Housing and carpooling can be arranged at 

travel@nevadaforchange.com

If you hit a wall with the campaign - my email is benlev32@gmail.com and I can communicate with people case by case if need be.  Mention the Field or my mom"

Ohio Early Voting

I too was hoping the campaign would make a stop here during the week to encourage folks to do the one stop thing.

Regardless, around exurban Cleveland, the BOE office was busy, with a constant stream of people and a line out the door during the lunch hour.

Two early votes (my wife and I) in hand in Ohio for Obama.

McCain has told his campaign will turn uglier from this point

onward and I will take his words for it.

But will it resonate with the voters (especially the low-info voters) enough to make a difference ?

amk

@Anne

Doggone it, Anne, that last paragraph DID get the tears flowing...cryin'? Nope, I'm jess winkin', I swear.. :-)

But, seriously, thanks for bringing that to our attn, it was just beautiful.

Why is that Fieldhands' links are always worth your time (something that can be said of no other site's comments sections, as far as I know)? Amazing Al, thank you for creating this space;  I hope that it is true that the Field will continue long after Nov. 4!

 

Si somos americanos, seremos buenos vecinos;
compartiremos el trigo,seremos buenos hermanos --
canción de Rolando Alarcón

Todos somos americanos.-- Barack Obama

OMG...

@Anne: I went to the link, but the pictures wouldn't work by the time I got there (except for the one with the little boy)...but just reading the comments brought tears to my eyes!

Thanks!

My 88-yo Dad's illness has progressed so that he can barely talk now, but when Barack comes on the TV, he smiles and waves his hand--he does understand what he's seeing.  My Mom is voting absentee for them both...she has 4 different types of ID that proves she can speak for him...she's turning in their ballots in person! If she could watch them open the ballots and count, she would!

 

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!

 

GOTV...

This is the last weekend for most places...

I received a Facebbok Friend request last night; the young lady said she had talked to our mutual friend (a musician, no less) and he isn't registered to vote! Wh-a-a-a-a-t?!?!?!? Stevie (his name), are you out of your freakin' mind?

We're putting a full court press on him and anyone he knows today! ASMOF, I'm sic-cing my Mom on him---he lives in NYC, but he lived down the street from us when we were kids. She's calling him this morning, and my sister who lives in Harlem is making sure he registers and all of his friends, too.

 

 

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!

 

Another tear-jerker...

Thanks, AMK...that was heart-warming and funny at the same time...in the comments, someone used Google Translate to try to put the Norwegian article into English...Obama was "translated" as a "high and dark man"...LOL  that's funny...

Hint: never use Google when you have to really translate something important, unless you want a laugh!

 

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!

 

They are about to throw the dirty kitchen sink

according to the WaPo this morning. and I bet we will see Ayers, Rezko, Wright appear again, the smear merchants are planning to questions Obama's character, judgment, and qualification for the presidency.

These are people with no decency or moral boundries, so I will not be surprised to see them ignite racial wars

1- how low can they reach without it backfiring at them
2- how effective will it be?
3- what should our strategy ,Obama's strategy, his surrogates strategy be?

Al and everyone, what do you think?

Biden the real story in VP debate

The male punditry are all over themselves, literally, with their below -the -belt response to the Palin sexualized self-presentation at the debate. The real story is the debate was an opportunity for Biden to introduce himself to the low information voter and be seen as the serious VP candidate.

Here's a summation of polling responses:

Biden wins hands down. Despite all the spin about how Palin didn't melt down in her personal demeanor, the consensus is she didn't respond to questions and showed no particular command of the issues. She was a great cheer leader and loves to flirt and sexualize her self-presentation.

http://voices.kansascity.com/node/2299

Survey USA Biden 51% Palin 32%
Undecided 17%

MediaCurves.com tracked independent voters, showing them breaking to Biden 67% to Palin 33%.

CNN/Opinion Research Biden 51 Palin 36
CBS Biden 46 Palin 21
Fox Biden 61 Palin 39

Yes, Pam. It is a poignant story and that Google translation was

a hilarious tower of babel.

Here is Times' editorial on why palin, the Plain, is dangerous.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html

amk

Palin on Michigan

Interesting for other reasons as well. First of all, she is so NOT in the room when those decisions are made that not only was she not consulted (even by phone) she wasn't even informed by the campaign of the decision.

Secondly, her decision to go public with her feelings about the matter. She sees the writing on the wall, and the next few weeks are going to be about her preserving her career. Notice she didn't talk about her and John McCain going to the auto plants, it was her and her husband. Its going to be All About Eve from here to November 4th. After that, does anyone else see Fox News reporter in her future?

She really needs to dial back the "down home" talk. The dropping "g"'s and the "wannas" are getting ridiculous. At this rate, by the time election day comes around she won't be using consonants at all.

Kat. Don't worry. She will replace them dropped consonants

with her winks.

God, what a disgusting woman !

I hope and pray the repugs will get so crushed this time that they are so destroyed for another 50 years.

amk

Careful with the criticism of dropped 'g's

Obama drops his 'g's too, or at least he used to, last I noticed a few months ago. He does (or did) it pretty consistently. I remember thinking during some speech last spring that he had a charming Illinois accent, talking about how he was "workin'" on legislation for something.

I am listening to Obama's

I am listening to Obama's health care speech in Virginia.

He intends to take on drug and insurance corporations and have everyone covered affordably in the US.

Yes, he has a five point plan that seems doable.

This is EXACTLY what we need in this country at this moment.

Obama has a keen grasp on the inefficiencies that constantly drive up the cost of health care well above the increase in inflation.

What I hope is that after the election he develops a plan that will require grass-roots mobilization to counter the propaganda that will come from the forces of greed, that he uses his organizational infrastructure to deal with problems that have been stuffed under the rug for decades.

Obama framed his speech by telling the story of the trauma his mom suffered by have to fight insurance companies to pray for her cancer treatments.   Our family was drained by medical expenses during my teen years.  This year a good friend (Cambodian-American family) died because she put off seeking medical attention for cancer.  This health care situation is sucking the life-blood from our country.

Indeed, Obama will win in a blow-out if he hammers home his plan through to election day.

This is getting good.  Obama is the best person with the most healthy instincts I have seen in my life time.  The first presidental candidate that I can really advocate for from my heart--out of authenticity and patriotism, not mere expediency or opprotunism.

Obama brings out the potential of our capacities as US citizens.   This guy 'gets it'.

On the personal attacks

Wright - been there done that.  Will it play again??  And it's not Obama's style to play tit for tat but McCain and Palin both have pretty serious pastor problems of their own.

Ayers - ridiculous.  The man was never convicted of anything and went on to become an incredibly productive member of society.  Obama knows him - big whoop.  McCain has much more substantial connections to Abramoff.

Rezko - although there is no proof of any wrongdoing here, Obama definitely knows him and has dealt with him and he is a convicted felon.  When you know the whole story there is nothing there but it does seem to be the most exploitable.

Killing babies - although this is ridiculous on its face, I wouldn't mind seeing a decent push back on it all.  The ad the 527 has out on it does a decent job of presenting "evidence" to support their claim.  It definitely takes some research to get to the bottom of it.  Those are the kinds of attacks the Rs love.  Too complicated for most voters to unravel so they just keep pushing on the simplistic distortion of it all.

Regardless, if you've watched the meters during the debates, the independents hate the attacks that McCain and Palin have made.  There really does seem to be evidence that Americans are sick of playing that game.  McCain has even or negative favorable ratings depending on the poll.  Palin has gone way negative with her favorables.  So it's not like they have a lot of credibility left to make the attacks.  And Obama's net favorables are way high with room to spare.

I'm not looking forward to it but I'm not nervous about it either.  I'm not cocky but I don't see those attacks working.

The Media's Last Minute Pro-McCain Push

Obviously, having Obama run away with it isn't good for ratings, so we're likely to see fierce hostility towards Obama in the final month. We saw it first with the brazen dismall of Biden in a desperate rush to declare Palin the winner of the debate, but today's NYTimes article about Ayers shows where they're going to be going with it. This article provides the blueprint: acknowledge that there's no "there" there, then spend a few pages speculating about it anyway while simply throwing out the headline "Obama and 60's Bomber."

Tara, Palin today excoriates

Tara, Palin today excoriates Obama for "palling around with terrorists".  This comment is in reference to Aires.

During and after the debate she went after Obama for comments he made about the horrible strategy in Afganistan, when he mentioned that innocent villagers were killed by US bombing.  In the psychic economy of the rightwing the victims of US violence are always 'collateral damage'--and even mentioning victims of US violence is to signal that you have joined forces with the 'terrorists'.

I see a pattern developing: going for the jugular in a negative slash and burn is the only hope that these lame-asses have left at their disposal.

True to form for the rightwing: when all else fails revert to the fall-back position of stoking up ignorance and reaction among the slow-class yahoos, the low-info voters.

The only way this could concievably work is if Obama or one of his team respond and put their foot in their mouths.

I suspect that the strategy will be to ignore Palin's crude attacks and stick to the issues that matter to the US public.   They have innoculated themselves, somewhat, inasmuch as if any of the corporate press takes up this propaganda at this stage in the game, with so many looming national problems, they will be percieved as being illegitimate.   This is what I expect is the case, anyway.

More, Tara, I agree with you that Palin's comments about going to MI with Todd were off the reservation.  Isn't she privy to the major campaign strategies that are being engaged and revised several times a week?  Doesn't she have the intellectual curiosity to request being kept appraised of the dynamics?  Incredible.   And she spoke about going to MI and talking with people that 'are hurting'.  What a laugh; how disingenuous and phoney.

McLame's campaign is in a tailspin.  Fly-boys should never do it drunk.

Indeed, his campaign is like many events in his life, when he put in a second rate effort and expected to land on his feet (because his is among the priviledged elite of half-asses, fake patriots).   Dollar Store patriotism purchased on the cheap, waved in our faces with used-car lot salesman bravado and cynical instincts.

McLame is going to lose.  The question that remains is whether it is done with any semblence of dignity, or will he try to bomb his own nation with the same spirit of ethical retardation he engaged against the village people in North Vietnam.

A hero for cynical greed and cheap, barbaric imperialism.  A has-been empire and a has-been hero.   A Dollar Store patriot, indeed.

No, I will spare the readers my vitirolic swipes at Palin.  Por ahora.   But you can bet that if she keeps equating Obama with 'terrorists' in the next four weeks my contempt will become palpable.   Obama is developing solutoins for getting out of our malaise; Palin and McLame are engaging nothing but character assasination.

 

 

Want to ask Sarah Palin a Question? Text it 69866 Today!

Al-I hope you can shine your light down on this because it is brilliant and should happen at EVERY single one of Palin and McCain's event from here to election day. Palin is coming to CA today and the CAlifornia Democratic committe has rented a large electronic billboard and is live streaming questions from voters via text message to Sarah Palin. Anyone can submit their question and the billboard has been set up outside from Palin's fundraising event. Let the voters force her to answer the questions... Here's the link.

http://www.cadem.org/site/c.jrLZK2PyHmF/b.4594449/apps/ka/ct/contactcust...

@Tara personal attacks

Tara, the "killing babies" issue is a huge one among many people of faith, ludicrous as it is to describe Obama's position in those terms. I have found that "faith speaks to faith" in the most effective way. Matthew 25 is a faith based PAC which backs Obama, and has a very effective page to deal with the smears, including this one. Put Away Falsehood

@Kathleen

The Matthew 25 site was a good one (though the "put away falsehood" came from Ephesians, as the site says).

Personally, I find that Matthew 23 works best as a descriptor for the religious right (it's a great read).  People have a right to be religious and pious and all that, but the "holier than thou" crap is getting old.

Off my soapbox now...

Greetings from Dayton, Ohio!

I voted today, took 2 friends ... the place was packed!  Very smooth, no apparent election challenger types, everyone was in a good mood...a lady with Obama info. and a Democratic ballot card was 102' away from the front of the polling site which did my heart proud. All of us got a little teary-eyed as we walked out.  Next week we'll be calling and dragging people in to vote early.  This was the best idea ever in Ohio in all my years of voting.  Thanks also to everyone here for keeping me sane and motivated.

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About Al Giordano

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Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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