Barack Obama’s new TV ad attacks “golden parachutes” for CEOs in any Wall Street bailout package, noting that John McCain’s National Republican Victory Fund chair Carly Fiorina received a huge golden parachute of her own when she was ousted from Hewlett-Packard.
** BILL CLINTON HITS THE ROAD FOR OBAMA. Former President Bill Clinton hits the road for Barack Obama on Wednesday, hosting two rallies in Florida. Clinton, who I think is key in locking down Obama’s victory, as I pointed out in this Huffington Post column, entitled “Obama Needs Bill Clinton,” the day Obama delivered his nomination acceptance speech in Denver, will appear in Orlando and Fort Pierce. Obama and John McCain are locked in a dead heat in the Sunshine State.
A lot of the chatterers heavily parsed Clinton’s remarks yesterday on Meet The Press, when the ex-prez described McCain as “a great man,” while not saying that about Obama. Who he nonetheless praised greatly.
Actually, I consider McCain a great man, having backed him in 2000 as a member of Veterans for McCain. But just because someone is a great man does not mean he should be president of the United States. Which is the point Clinton was making. McCain is a great hero of the US Navy. Does that mean he should be president? In my view, that is a separate determination.
** OIL SLUMPS ALONG WITH THE U.S. STOCK MARKET AND WASHINGTON’S BAILOUT BID. Crude oil closed down on global markets over $10 per barrel today, on news of the collapse of the Wall Street bailout package. $96.36 per barrel. That is down over $51 per barrel from July 11th.
What’s the problem? Well, if credit markets further dry up, so does the global economy.
** WILLIE SAYS JOHNNY BURTON IS COMING BACK. In his weekly San Francisco Chronicle column, legendary former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown confirmed the big rumor, that former state Senate leader John Burton is returning to politics as the leading candidate for California Democratic Party chairman next year. Longtime state Democratic chairman Art Torres, the former state senator from LA, is stepping away from the post.
Willie Brown is a longtime ally of John Burton and his late brother, former Congressman Phil Burton, going back to the 1960s. John Burton, incidentally, and this has not been mentioned by other writers, who apparently don’t know it, is not only a former congressman – Senator Barbara Boxer got her start as his district aide – but also a former state Democratic Party chairman.
Willie, who is a great raconteur (as well as a pal of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger), also allowed as how Barack Obama won the Friday night debate with John McCain. No kidding. As an analyst, Brown is, shall we say, fashionable. A few weeks ago, he was going on and on about what a great pick Sarah Palin is. Now he sees that, in fact, she is a liability. No kidding …
** WHOOPS! MCCAIN TOOK CREDIT FOR PASSAGE OF THE WALL STREET BAILOUT BILL — BEFORE IT LOST. You gotta hate when that happens.
** PENNSYLVANIA POLL: OBAMA BY 7. Few states have received more attention from the McCain campaign than Pennsylvania. But a new poll by Muhlenberg College has Barack Obama with a comfortable lead there, 49% to 42%, over John McCain. When the undecided voters are asked how they lean, Obama has the edge there, 50-35. The biggest issue? “The economy, stupid.”
** A BIG BLOW TO BUSH AND MCCAIN. The US House of Representatives has just voted down the Wall Street bailout package. Which, in some form or another, is needed to avert an even deeper financial crisis than we are in. President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been pushing for this. John McCain seemingly suspended his campaign for a time to push for a resolution, and said he was in favor of the current version of the bill.
But it went down, 205 to 228, with less than 70 Republicans voting in favor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had made it clear that there would have to be around 100 House Republicans voting in favor. Because she refused to have this bailout of Bush/Cheney economic mismanagement come in a Democratic package, in a year in which House Republicans are otherwise in deep political trouble.
Anger at Wall Street is, needless to say, very high in the country. And while right-wing Republicans in the House are responding to this anger amongst their constituents, the overall impact is actually negative to their own party’s hopes to win the White House. As McCain, like Bush, is tagged with being a deregulationist, surrounded by lobbyists, who fiddled while Rome burned.
In this post-debate TV ad, John McCain says Barack Obama isn’t ready to lead.
MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK
This is a very key week in presidential politics. Barack Obama has opened up a real lead over John McCain, in circumstances very difficult for any Republican. The current administration, mostly backed by McCain, has mismanaged the economy and two wars. The situation is compounded for McCain because of the evident weakness of his running mate, Sarah Palin, who engages in her only debate this week with Joe Biden.
McCain has dispatched Steve Schmidt and other top aides to counsel with Palin, who, in an unusual move, was held out of spin duty following Friday night’s presidential debate, and help her prepare for her own debate.
But Palin, as I’ve said from the beginning, is a base play and a sideshow. While her selection raises questions about McCain’s judgment, she is not fundamental to the choice in November. The epic financial crisis is.
In his post-debate TV ad, Barack Obama says John McCain doesn’t get it.
With these sorts of fundamentals, as it were, Team McCain will have to come up with some more trick plays to stay in this game. Last week’s gambit of staying out of the debate unless there was a successful deal in place did not play. McCain had to show up, as I said he would. And when he did, according to the polls and focus groups I’ve seen, he got the worst of it at the hands of Obama.
I’ll be writing about McCain’s coming moves in a new column.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street bailout unfolds this week. Will it pass? And will it succeed if it does? Who knows? NWN is not your go-to place for high finance. My guess is we muddle through, muttering angrily all the way.
Incidentally, a note to both the McCain and Obama campaigns. The only people who talk about “Main Street” — as distinguished from the supposed rocket scientists of Manhattan — are folks in the political/media bubble. If you actually are in a town, you realize that virtually no one lives on its main street.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has two more days to decide on hundreds of legislative bills. Then he pivots into other matters. Which I’ll be writing about.
** WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Denver, Colorado.
Joe Biden is in debate prep.
John McCain is in Columbus, Ohio and Des Moines, Iowa.
Sarah Palin is in Columbus, Ohio and Sedona, Arizona, the latter for more debate prep.
** SCHWARZENEGGER LIVE WEBCAST THIS MORNING. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tours the Nelson Nameplate Co. in Los Angeles and then signs two bills to move California toward a green chemistry program to reduce hazardous chemicals. The event will be webcast live at 9:45 AM on www.gov.ca.gov.
** 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 Friday’s 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 closed is trading now in the $100 to $101 per barrel range. This is down $6 per barrel from Friday’s close, on concern that the Wall Street bailout package will falter.
The drop of over $47 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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