Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton debate Iraq earlier this year in LA. The two are campaigning together today in Unity, New Hampshire.
** NEW RECORD OIL PRICE. Crude oil closed over $140 per barrel today for the first time in history, at a whopping $140.90. It also hit a new intraday trading high of $142.99 per barrel. Gold is around a record high, the dollar is around a record low, and the stock market is on the cusp of beardom, with financial stocks especially nosediving.
** OBAMA’S CALIFORNIA. It began as Clinton Country. For awhile, it seemed John McCain might stake his claim on the Golden State. But now, it is clearly Barack Obama’s California. From my other blog.
** UNITY, NH. Sounds like the title of a TV show. Played as a good TV show, too. Hillary Clinton is a much more compelling and polished speaker than when she began her presidential campaign. She and Barack Obama played off each other quite well. He with his slightly loosened French, er, royal blue tie, she with matching (trademark) pantsuit. (Actually, it may be more of a robin’s egg blue.) She either actually wants him to be elected president, or has become a very accomplished actress. 6000 people showing up in a field outside a town so small it doesn’t have an elected mayor. Where neither candidate actually campaigned in the New Hampshire primary, but where each received 107 votes.
** OBAMA: EMERGING CONVENTIONAL WISDOM? One of the principal purveyors of conventional wisdom out of the Beltway, politico.com, has a feature pushing a theme. That Barack Obama is really just another conventional politician. This happens to be the theme pushed by our friend, McCain senior advisor Steve Schmidt, the former Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign manager. But he may be pushing it because it’s a natural for many journalistic minds, and the alternatives are not good. The piece argues that Obama has made a mistake in the last two weeks. By not making “bold choices.” Or by, looking at it from another perspective, not playing into Republican hands. Decides not to give up massive fundraising advantage over McCain? Supposed mistake. Decides not to debate in McCain’s preferred and by far best format? Supposed mistake. Decides to continue his stance of favoring the right of the individual to bear arms? Supposed mistake. Decides to support death penalty for the rapists of children? Supposed mistake. Decides not to punish telecom firms caught up in the post-9/11 fervor that cooperated with national security officials? Supposed mistake.
Of course, had Obama gone the other way on these issues, he would be derided as an idiot. Naturally. But it sure would have played into another favored Republican theme, that Obama is the most radical Democratic presidential nominee in history.
** MAC’S FAVORITE RECENT MOVIE. “Indiana Jones. I loved it because the old guy wins.” McCain has a new TV ad, on the “energy security” theme, naturally. This one for broadcast. And a new slogan. The third in the last month. I’ll break it all down for early next week.
UPDATE: The Obama/Clinton event in Unity, New Hampshire is now slated to start around 10 AM Pacific.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Unity, New Hampshire and Washington, DC. Following what sounds like a very successful meeting with Hillary Clinton and 300 of her top fundraisers last night in Washington, he appears with his former rival this morning at an elementary school in New Hampshire. The much ballyhooed event is expected to go off around 8 AM Pacific, roadblocked on all news shows.
John McCain is in Warren, Ohio for a town hall meeting at the General Motors plant there.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST ON FIRE SITUATION THIS MORNING. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, accompanied by US Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, tours the Whiskeytown fires near Mount Shasta and discusses the fires there and in other parts of California. The event will be webcast live at 11:20 AM on www.gov.ca.gov.
** MY LATEST PODCAST. The road ahead.
** OBAMA V. MCCAIN: THE AD WARS ARE ON. What Obama and McCain are doing in their first rounds of general election TV advertising. Along with the where and the why. From my other blog.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel. You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, which I know as a former DemRussia advisor, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. With U.S. cable news chattering away as it does, this sort of respite can be informative. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Crude oil is trading in the $139 to $140 per barrel range.
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