Barack Obama discusses the financial crisis yesterday at a press conference in Clearwater, Florida.
** HEY, LET’S SUSPEND THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, TOO. Now the McCain campaign wants to postpone the vice presidential debate, too. Since my read places Sarah Palin on the same level as Cruz Bustamante and Bill Simon, this does not surprise me.
** MCCAIN’S LAST SENATE VOTE … FIVE AND-A-HALF MONTHS AGO. John McCain, who wants to scrap the first presidential debate, has not voted in the U.S. Senate since early April.
** BEHIND TEAM MCCAIN’S SUDDEN GAMBIT. … From my brand-new Huffington Post column.
** MCCAIN’S DRAMATIC GAMBIT, WITH SLIDING POLLS … So you see the item just below. Obviously I stockpile information, since I can’t write 24/7 and think at the same time, much less conduct a personal life.
Meanwhile, I have been wrapping up a column in advance of Friday night’s first presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. Which means that I do a tour d’horizon, then put it into relatively brief and accessible terms for a large audience.
Team McCain has a different, confounding idea. While I have been in the process of wrapping up a column, several NWN posters have informed me that John McCain wants to postpone the debate, which is on his seeming strong suit, and suspend his campaign per se, in order to focus on the financial crisis.
A reality check. McCain has been all over the lot on the financial crisis. His problem? He is a staunch deregulationist, at a moment in history in which it is clear that that approach has failed. I’m not going to get into the question of the role of his key staff in lobbying for and receiving major value from various big finance entities.
More to the point, despite Team McCain trotting out one of their pollsters this morning on a conference call, it is clear that Obama is surging in various polls. I haven’t bothered to comment on all of them, one of them being the Fox News poll.
Personally, I hope Obama does not cancel the debate. Because I have spent some time on this forthcoming geopolitics column. And because the issues have been ignored, they are all linked when you see the overall, and it is an obvious ploy.
It would be amusing to see this tried in California …
** MENDELSOHN HANDLING MCCAIN PRESS AT FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE. John McCain campaign topper Steve Schmidt’s partner in Mercury Communications, former Arnold Schwarzenegger communications director Adam Mendelsohn, flew to Oxford Mississippi yesterday to take over communciations operations for the first presidential debate, scheduled for Friday. The issue area being foreign policy.
** BATTLEGROUND STATE POLLS: OBAMA UP IN IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, MICHIGAN, PENNSYLVIANIA, OHIO. The Marist polls are now out for these battleground states. In Iowa, it’s Barack Obama over John McCain, 51% to 41%. In New Hampshire, Obama 51-45. In Michigan, Obama 52-43. In Ohio, Obama 47-45. In Pennsylvania, Obama 49-44.
** THE CELL PHONE EFFECT. Here’s an analysis of the difference in presidential campaign polling when cell phones are included and when it is landline-only. Barack Obama runs on average 2.8 points better with cell phones included. Which makes sense. Younger, techno-savvy voters increasingly rely on their mobiles and ignore their landlines, if they bother to have them at all.
** THE CLINTONS ARE COMING. Hillary and Bill Clinton will be campaigning for Barack Obama next week in various states. The former president is in New York City this week for his annual Clinton Global Initiative conference (see the Schwarzenegger item below) and the New York senator is focused this week on the Wall Street crisis. Obviously, the idea behind the timing is to have them out there to reinforce Obama following his first debate with John McCain on Friday night.
** NATIONAL POLL: OBAMA BY 9. The new ABC News/Washington Post poll gives Barack Obama a clear lead over John McCain, 52% to 43%. The poll was conducted Friday through Monday amongst likely voters. Obama’s lead is due to a big shift toward economic concern as the driving issue of the election, and an increase in the number of voters who see Obama as better than McCain on the issue. Also driving Obama’s lead is a shift of independents to Obama, and a shift of white women to Obama. Neither John Kerry nor Al Gore ever had this large a lead in the ABC/Post poll.
All other polls show Obama in the lead now, but this has the highest margin for Obama. It’s also the most extensive poll of the most recent ones. McCain led by 2 in this poll early this month.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Tampa, Florida for debate prep. He holds a rally in Dunedin, Florida.
Joe Biden is in Cincinnati, Ohio and Jeffersonville, Indiana. He delivers a major foreign policy address in Cincy.
John McCain is in New York City. He and Sarah Palin meet with various foreign leaders in town for the United Nations — including the presidents of Georgia and Ukraine and U2 lead singer Bono. He also meets with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a former Hillary backer who says that Obama is “elitist.”
Sarah Palin is in New York City, for the United Nations. Today is the second day in which she will have met a foreign head of government.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in private meetings and discussions today in Los Angeles. His focus is on the hundreds of legislative bills he must decide upon between now and the end of the month.
Schwarzenegger had agreed to participate in the annual Clinton Global Initiative conference, which begins today in New York City, accepting former President Bill Clinton’s invitation. But the crush of bill signings and vetos, accordioned by the long budget impasse, made that impossible.
** CALIFORNIA STORY. I will have a lot of California material tomorrow, pivoting off the release from embargo of a major new California poll.
** DISTRACT AND DETRACT: TEAM MCCAIN FOLLOWS FORM IN CRISIS. On Monday in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the 1930s, John McCain’s campaign wanted to talk about the Chicago political machine, the New York Times, Bill Ayers (who?), and Hugo Chavez. … From my new Huffington Post column.
** 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.
** SCHWARZENEGGER’S CALIFORNIA. Here is my series of five columns for the Los Angeles Times in debate with Pulitzer Prize-winning former Times reporter/editor Bill Boyarsky, whose columns are also included.
Among them is what I’m sure is the first piece examining Schwarzenegger’s legacy as governor of California. Since he will actually be governor of California until 2011. No technology known to be disruptive to the space/time continuum was used in its preparation.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND U.S. ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. After crashing over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, crude oil is trading around $109 per barrel. That’s over $4 more than the Friday close, but over $7 under Monday’s close. The global oil market is reacting to the proposed massive American move to stabilize Wall Street.
The drop of over $38 per barrel since the record high two months ago comes on acknowledgement that the weak US economy will cut future demand and the easing of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. The Russian war with Georgia, confounding much speculation and reporting to the contrary, actually decreased the geopolitical risk premium in the oil market.
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