Alaska Governor Sarah Palin discusses Russia with CBS News anchor Katie Couric. Fortunately for John McCain, his running mate is not debating foreign policy tonight.
** TONIGHT’S FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE (OR IS IT?). Below I link to my new column, discussing the big geopolitical focus that probably will not happen tonight, lamentably, despite the debate’s official subject area. The US financial crisis — and there is no bailout deal yet — is just too big for it not to have the most dominant impression.
What will happen? Here’s a short way of putting it. Both candidates need to go in different directions, John McCain with regard to his philosophy, Barack Obama with regard to his persona. McCain, who has had a bad week with his various oscillations, has to go against his deregulationist economic philosophy to identify with the fear and anger out in the country. Obama has to go against his cool persona to identify with the fear and anger out in the country. McCain has to go further in his different direction than Obama has to. I expect Obama to win the debate.
** LATE HITS. Senator Ted Kennedy has been taken to the hospital, after complaining that he felt ill in his Massachusetts home. Kennedy, as you know, has brain cancer, but made a dramatic speech at last month’s Democratic national convention. The 911 call came in from the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport late this afternoon. He suffered a seizure, but will return home tonight. … His nephew-in-law, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced his speech today at the Commonwealth Club, viewable by webcast link below, that he will convene the Governors Global Climate Summit November 18-19. “We will bring government officials to California from around the world,” said Schwarzenegger. “From provincial governments in China and India. From European nations. From Australia, from Mexico, Canada. And every governor in America will be invited. The goal is very simple: To form a broad international alliance so that when the Kyoto negotiators start their work in Poland this December, they will have our summit as a framework.”
** VIRGINIA SENATE RACE: MASSIVE LEAD FOR DEMOCRAT WARNER. He may have given a bad keynote address at the Democratic national convention, but former Virginia Governor Mark Warner may give a big boost to Barack Obama in his bid to win the Dominion State. Warner leads former Governor and Republican national chairman Jim Gilmore, by an amazing 60% to 34%, in the brand new Rasmussen poll. That has to help Obama, who now leads in Virginia, to win the longtime red state in presidential politics.
** VIRGINIA POLL: OBAMA BY 5. The brand-new Rasmussen poll of battleground Virginia has Barack Obama pulling ahead of John McCain, 50% to 45%. The same poll over the weekend had McCain by 2. 52% of Virginia voters say the economy is the top issue; 83% say it’s getting worse.
** CALIFORNIA POLL: OBAMA BY 17. The new Rasmussen poll of California has Barack Obama holding a landslide lead over John McCain, 56% to 39%. McCain’s controversial pick for a running mate, Sarah Palin, is very unpopular in California.
** THAT FOREIGN POLICY DEBATE WE’RE NOT HAVING. Let’s face it. This has been a disappointing campaign. Two very interesting candidates. Some of the biggest issues going, both within and without the US, and they have to blow up in our faces to get much attention. Then there’s the ridiculous media coverage. Which brings us to tonight’s foreign policy debate, which is finally back on.
Part of the problem is what it’s called. Because foreign policy is not “foreign,” it’s geopolitics. The underlying essential dynamics of geopolitics deeply affect domestic politics. In the flows of energy and capital and products and people, in our military budget, and in flash-point electoral politics. When there is debate, we end up debating symptoms — illegal immigration from Mexico, a surge in Iraq — rather than systems. … From my new Huffington Post column.
** REPORT FROM THE MCCAIN PRESS POOL. McCain now boarding plane at DCA with Cindy, Salter, Rudy Giuliani, wife Judith, and other aides plus pool.
Heading to Memphis, 1:50 minute flight, then motorcade to site.
General atmosphere is utter confusion.
9:10 AM UPDATE: The debate is on, as I expected. But what will it be about? It’s scheduled to be about foreign policy and national security or, more accurately, geopolitics. But with the massive financial crisis still very much unresolved — remember, its resolution was John McCain’s prerequisite for debating tonight — how can the economy not dominate tonight?
** AS OF NOW, 7:30 AM … No Wall Street bailout deal and no final word on whether John McCain will participate in tonight’s debate. McCain is meeting with House Republicans, the main impediment to a deal. I expect McCain to be in Mississippi tonight for his scheduled debate with Barack Obama.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Washington, DC and Oxford, Mississippi.
Joe Biden is in Cudahy, Wisconsin.
John McCain is in Washington, DC and Oxford, Mississippi.
Sarah Palin is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST AT NOON ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses the Commonwealth Club at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel nearly two years since his signing of AB 32, the landmark climate change program co-authored by former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and former LA Assemblywoman Fran Pavley. Schwarzenegger will take questions and hold a discussion with a Commonwealth Club official.
The Western Climate Initiative, a consortium of American and Canadian states and provinces spearheaded by Schwarzenegger, put out its climate change plan earlier this week.
The far right California Republican Assembly is having a board meeting this weekend at the convention, and will take up the question of whether to back the prison guards union’s proposed recall of Schwarzenegger. CRA president Mike Spence — longtime readers will recall him posting here in defense of his characterization of then Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez as a “Communist fellow traveler” — favors the recall. Schwarzenegger should be so lucky as to have this group join forces with the prison guards union.
** BEHIND TEAM MCCAIN’S SUDDEN GAMBIT. … From Wednesday’s column.
Russia is making a big move into Latin America with this tightening alliance with Venezuela.
** 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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