“All of ’em”

I want to think that Palin could have easily named the news sources that she frequents but was just too concerned about giving a wrong answer. This is such an easy question, yet she’s being so vague in order to avoid reprimand from her campaign advisors. She’s clearly not feeling free to answer questions based on her own instinct. I can just imagine the kind of pressure that’s being put on her to be mistake free and I think that’s making her interviews come off much more problematic. The only responses she feels comfortable giving are the ones she’s been coached on.

But with that said, the litmus test for anyone in public office is the ability to deflect when they can’t or don’t want to answer a particular question. It’s just bizarre that in Palin’s case, the questions of what kind of periodicals she reads is one of those questions.

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Looking Ahead to Thursday

I think Palin, in order to try to turn things around a bit, should go after Biden and Obama very aggressively. She should try to show some of that condescension she showed in her convention speech. If she does this effectively, it could throw Biden off a little and, even worse, it could entice him to hit back.

I think Biden should be chill. He should just sit back and make Palin earn it. He should direct all of his energy to challenging McCain and letting Palin either sink or swim.

Even though expectations for Palin are extremely low, I still think she’ll struggle just keeping up with the moderator let alone withstand any kind of mild challenge from Biden. All Biden needs to do is sit back and let Palin implode all on her own.

Create Your Own Reality

From The Caucus blog at the NYT:

Mr. McCain, who arrived home at 4 a.m. Saturday from the presidential debate in Oxford, Miss, could be seen in his car talking on his cell phone. But there was no word from his campaign on who he was talking to, or the extent of his involvement in ongoing negotiations.

By mid-afternoon, Mr. McCain’s closest adviser, Mark Salter, told reporters that Mr. McCain would not go to Capitol Hill on Saturday but would make phone calls to try to push the deal along. “He’s calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can,’’ Mr. Salter said.

Asked why Mr. McCain did not go to Capitol Hill after coming back to Washington to help with negotiations, Mr. Salter replied that “he can effectively do what he needs to do by phone.’’

And here is what McCain said at a rally today:

Remarkably, some people have criticized my decision to put my country first, but I’ll never be a president who sits on the sidelines when this country faces a crisis. I’ll never do that. I know that many of you have noticed it’s not my style to simply phone it in.

Must be nice to just make shit up in order to incorrectly flatter yourself. After all, I gave drum lessons to John Bonham.

Earmark Silliness

Again, all this business that McCain spouts about earmarks is so silly. No state elected official should ever apologize for winning federal funds for the benefit of their state. THAT’S THEIR JOB! The irony here is that McCain has been a complete no-show for his own state by adopting this phony, self-righteous view that all earmarks are wasteful. In order to stake out some ridiculous political territory, McCain has gone out of his way to deny Arizona federal funding of any kind for many worthwhile projects. He’s voted in by the citizens of Arizona yet he doesn’t lift a finger to actually improve our state.

And in the debate, the only answer McCain has for turning around our economy is this phony argument that if we just eliminate earmarks, we can turn things around. As you can see above, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a hallow notion. Not that reducing wasteful spending is bad, but it would be nice to have a GOP candidate wise enough to understand the distinction between worthwhile and irresponsible spending. From the looks of things, that’s sadly asking for entirely too much. Again, how Obama does not have a 10 point lead or more in the polls blows my mind.

For more on the graph above, here is the full story.

(HT: Andrew)

Reading McCain

Check out this fascinating post at TPM that takes a look at McCain’s unwillingness to even look at Obama during the debate. Here is a tidbit from a reader of TPM:

As a psychotherapist and someone who treats people with anger management problems, we typically try to educate people that anger is often an emotion that masks other emotions. I think it’s significant that McCain didn’t make much, if any, eye contact because it suggests one of two things to me; he doesn’t want to make eye contact because he is prone to losing control of his emotions if he deals directly with the other person, or, his anger masks fear and the eye contact may increase or substantiate the fear.
I noticed him doing the same thing in the Republican primary debates. The perception observers are likely to have is that he is unwilling to acknowledge the opponent’s legitimacy and/or is contemptuous of the opponent.

First Debate Thoughts

When the debate ended I thought it was pretty much a draw. That being said, if it was a draw, that’s a bad thing for McCain. He needed a big night and while I do think he did better than many expected, I don’t think he did well enough to turn his fledgling campaign around.

When I watched the reaction on the various cable networks it seemed like the pundits were in line with my initial thoughts. But then the polls coming out across the board seem to favor Obama. That really surprises me. While I greatly preferred Obama’s performance to McCain’s, I was pretty much thinking it would be a wash with the voters.

I think if you were to watch the debate with the sound off, Obama was more presidential, more cool and collected. McCain didn’t even make eye contact with Obama indicating that he has contempt and condescension for his opponent. He came of as grumpy and old. It reminds me of the look I usually get from older conservative men when debating politics. It’s the look that reassures me I’m winning the debate.