In his new TV ad, Barack Obama says prosperity has not “trickled down, pain has trickled up.”
** NO WALL STREET BAIL-OUT YET. The White House meeting, naturally enough, did not result in a resolution of the nation’s financial crisis. My read is that John McCain’s presence actually exacerbated the situation, leading to House Minoriy Leader John Boehner, a McCain ally, digging in his heels and denying Republican votes for the package.
Nevertheless, I expect that McCain will have to show up for tomorrow night’s debate on geopolitics. The poll I cited below shows that his stance of avoiding a debate is a loser. The debate of course will include some economic questions. All this stuff is connected, as I point out in a forthcoming column setting up the debate.
** POIZNER LINES UP SUPPORT. While potential Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, the ex-eBay CEO who is national co-chair of the John McCain campaign, keeps a surprisingly low profile in the present national economic crisis, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, another super-rich Silicon Valley person, lines up more support for his prospective 2010 California governor’s race.
Poizner announced today that he has the backing of seven former state Republican Party chairs: Mike Schroeder, Truman Campbell, Tirso Del Junco, John Herrington (a former Reagan Cabinet member), John McGraw, Mike Montgomery and Frank Visco
** AN UNSUCCESSFUL GAMBIT. While we wait for the meeting with Bush, Obama, McCain, and congressional leaders in the White House to break up, we learn that John McCain’s gambit to postpone tomorrow night’s debate is not flying. According to the Marist Institute poll, US voters back Barack Obama’s insistence that the debate go forward, 53% to 42%.
** PALIN’. Incidentally, the word that Governor Palin is groping for, in the excerpt below, is “caricature.”
** PALIN DISCUSSES HER EXPERIENCE WITH RUSSIANS. From Katie Couric’s interview on tonight’s CBS Evening News:
COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?
PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–
PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.
COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.
PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia—
COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?
PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.
** NORTH CAROLINA POLL: OBAMA BY 2. The new Rasmussen poll of battleground North Carolina shows Barack Obama leading John McCain in the longtime red state, 49% to 47%. This is a 5-point reversal in a week. The big change comes from independents moving to Obama.
** MICHIGAN POLL: OBAMA BY 10. The new Detroit News poll of battleground Michigan shows Barack Obama opening up a big lead over John McCain, 48% to 38%. 80% of likely Michigan voters see the economy worsening. Only 2% see it improving.
** DODD SAYS: WE HAVE A DEAL, ER, “FUNDAMENTAL AGREEMENT,” ON THE FINANCIAL CRISIS. Read the details here.
Friday night’s presidential debate on foreign policy — read: geopolitics — is on. And McCain and Obama haven’t even had their grandstanding meeting with Bush yet. One potential sticking point. Democrats want to make it easier for homeowners to renegotiate their mortgages. Republicans don’t.
** CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK. If you want to watch the CGI meeting in Manhattan, the webcasts are available here.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was interviewed last night by CBS News anchor Katie Couric.
** PALIN WITH COURIC. GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin did her third interview in this campaign last night, with CBS News anchor Katie Couric. It didn’t go that well. Palin repeated basic talking points throughout and proved unable to cite one past example of John McCain favoring regulation of financial markets. You can watch the video above.
** CALIFORNIA POLL: GAY MARRIAGE BAN GOING DOWN, REDISTRICTING REFORM IN BALLPARK, CAPITOL CHANGES WANTED. The new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll shows the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Prop 8 on the November ballot, going down, 41% to 55%. Brad Pitt recently gave $100,000 to defeat it, as did Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. (Incidentally, Pitt’s real name is William Bradley Pitt, so when you imdb me, you come up with that other guy first. Which is only the beginning of our tremendous similarities …) Prop 4, which would require parental notification for teenage abortion, is up 48% to 41%. The redistricting reform initiative, Prop 11, is ahead 38% to 33%. Ordinarily, that’s not a good number. But 70% of California voters say they want the redistricting system changed, which indicates room for growth in support with a good campaign. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be campaigning heavily for Prop 11 in coming weeks.
There’s tremendous dissatisfaction with the state Capitol scene in the wake of the record budget impasse. 76% say major changes are needed in the budget process. By a margin of 49% to 37%, voters say they want to change the two-thirds vote requirement for budget passage to a 55% majority of the Legislature. Last year, that idea had only a 2-point margin.
How do voters want to handle the chronic California budget crisis? 43% favor a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, while 7% favor tax increases alone. 36% want to do it mainly through cuts, while 5% want to borrow their way through.
The Legislature has a collective 21% approval rating. Governor Schwarzenegger is down to 38%. Which is only a little lower than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 40% and Senator Barbara Boxer at 44%. Senator Dianne Feinstein has a 48% job approval rating.
President Bush’s approval rating in California hit an all-time low in the PPIC poll of 23%. Barack Obama has a comfortable lead over John McCain, with Sarah Palin having no impact on women voters or independents.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Clearwater, Florida and Washington, DC. Obama continues debate prep in Florida, addresses the Clinton Global Initiative by satellite, and meets in Washington on the financial crisis with President Bush, John McCain, and congressional leaders.
Joe Biden is in Greensburg and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
John McCain is in New York City and Washington, DC. He addresses the Clinton Global Initiative in Manhattan and meets in Washington on the financial crisis with President Bush, Barack Obama, and congressional leaders.
Sarah Palin is in New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST THIS MORNING. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses the League of California Cities conference in Long Beach at 11 AM. The event will be webcast live at www.gov.ca.gov.
Schwarzenegger spends the rest of the day going through the hundreds of legislative bills he must accept or reject by the end of the month.
** BEHIND TEAM MCCAIN’S SUDDEN GAMBIT. … From yesterday’s 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 in the $105 to $106 per barrel range. The global oil market is reacting to the proposed massive American move to stabilize Wall Street.
The drop of over $42 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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