Barack Obama

McCain Full of Sound and Fury on the Economy

This weekend, it became apparent that no one is really buying U.S. Sen. John McCain's plentiful promises about cracking down on Wall Street. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has taken to calling McCain the "Great Deregulator," which is fundamentally true, from both McCain's record on financial regulation and his designs on health care and social security.

Sam Donaldson, this morning on ABC's This Week, pointed out that Obama's ads are, in fact, correct to point the finger in the direction of McCain and his cronies on deregulation: 

Also on This Week, conservative commentator George Will hammered John McCain for not acting presidential this last week. Take a look:

Through this financial crisis, America better learned what one could expect out of a McCain White House. As Will later pointed out, McCain "showed his personality this week, and it made some of us fearful." In substituting vehemence and bluster for coherence, reason, substance, and economic literacy, John McCain has again shown that his temperament disqualifies him for the presidency. His instincts in the face of turmoil are troubling: imagine a foreign policy crisis to which he reacts with bluster instead of coherence.

Obama, on the otherhand, is making the right moves: acting presidential by consulting knowledgeable advisors, outlining his principles, and calling, like NDN, to keep Americans in their homes. And the American people have noticed. See Simon's blog on Obama hitting 50 in the daily tracks. 

Kos Track Has Obama Hitting 50

Obama's mo continues apace.  50-42.

1pm Update: Obama hits 50 in Gallup too.

The Palin Bubble Has Burst

In this powerful post, Kos shows how Governor Palin's numbers have tanked in the past 10 days.  

On September 11, her favorable/unfavorable rating was 52/35.  Today it is 41/46.  In this time, she has gone from the most popular of the four candidates to the least.  Palin's surge breathed life into an anemic McCain campaign.  Her collapse has brought McCain back to about the same place he was before the GOP Convention, in the low 40s, and a stumbling, bumbling candidate.  

For John McCain, Palin has become a double-edged sword.  A must-have at his events.  She brings in the GOP crowds he, the maverick, never had.  But for the rest of the electorate, she has become a drag on the already struggling McCain ticket.  

The bursting of the Palin bubble - while she maintains her rock star appeal with the GOP base - spells a great deal of trouble for Senator McCain.


We know the polls have shown movement towards Obama this week.  But man I could look at this map all day long. 

From Real Clear Politics.  Obama 273, McCain 265.  Obama wins without Florida, Ohio or Virginia. 

Obama’s Plan Calls to Keep People in Their Homes

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, in Española, New Mexico today, gave a speech on the economy and called for the passage of a plan that would help struggling families stay in their homes. NDN President Simon Rosenberg and NDN Globalization Initiative Chair Dr. Robert J. Shapiro called yesterday for just such an action. NDN applauds Senator Obama for his bold plan to address the underlying factors in the financial crisis and his strong understanding of both the moral and economic cases for keeping struggling Americans in their homes.

From Obama’s speech today:

The events of the past few days have made clear that we need to do more right now. We do not have time for commissions and we can’t afford to lurch back and forth between positions when dealing with an economic crisis, like my opponent has. That is why I am calling on the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to use their emergency authorities to maintain the flow of credit, to support the availability of mortgages, and to ensure that our financial system is well-capitalized. Tomorrow I will be convening a meeting with my top economic advisors to discuss a plan based on the ideas I’ve been talking about with former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and other advisors of mine. Then I’ll call for the passage of a Homeowner and Financial Support Act that would establish a more stable and permanent solution than the daily improvisations that have characterized policy-making over the last year. Specifically, it would accomplish three primary goals.

First, it will provide capital to the financial system. Second, it will provide liquidity to enable our financial markets to function. And third, it will do what I’ve been calling for since I supported legislation on it early last spring, which is to get serious about helping struggling families to re-structure their mortgages on more affordable terms so they can stay in their homes. We’ve made a good start but we need to do much, much more. We cannot forget that there are many homeowners who are in crisis through no fault of their own, and a solution that does not have them at its core is no solution at all.

Polls Showing Renewed Obama Momentum, Palin Dropping

DemFromCT over at DailyKos has an excellent overview of the current polling trends.  

New Two-Minute Obama Ad on the Economy

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on the economy, in two minutes:


As Simon wrote, Obama does just what he needs to do here: Sit down, look at the camera, and tell the American people how he plans to fix our economy. This is an issue on which he should be dominating, and I have a feeling he's about to pull ahead.

Obama Finds His Voice on the Economy

From a new 2 minute Obama ad: 

In the past few weeks, Wall Street's been rocked as banks closed and markets tumbled. But for many of you - the people I've met in town halls, backyards and diners across America - our troubled economy isn't news. 600,000 Americans have lost their jobs since January. Paychecks are flat and home values are falling. It's hard to pay for gas and groceries and if you put it on a credit card they've probably raised your rates. You're paying more than ever for health insurance that covers less and less. This isn't just a string of bad luck. The truth is that while you've been living up to your responsibilities Washington has not. That's why we need change. Real change. This is no ordinary time and it shouldn't be an ordinary election. But much of this campaign has been consumed by petty attacks and distractions that have nothing to do with you or how we get America back on track. Here's what I believe we need to do. Reform our tax system to give a $1,000 tax break to the middle class instead of showering more on oil companies and corporations that outsource our jobs. End the "anything goes" culture on Wall Street with real regulation that protects your investments and pensions. Fast track a plan for energy ‘made-in-America' that will free us from our dependence on mid-east oil in 10 years and put millions of Americans to work. Crack down on lobbyists - once and for all -- so their back-room deal-making no longer drowns out the voices of the middle class and undermines our common interests as Americans. And yes, bring a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours. Doing these things won't be easy. But we're Americans. We've met tough challenges before. And we can again. I'm Barack Obama. I hope you'll read my economic plan. I approved this message because bitter, partisan fights and outworn ideas of the left and the right won't solve the problems we face today. But a new spirit of unity and shared responsibility will.

This is a powerful message.  And a 2 minute direct to camera spot is very smart.  Obama is convincing, persuasive in his direct to camera spots - as the campaign learned in Iowa.  As I wrote below, the Republicans do not have an answer to this argument, and is further evidence that the Obama campaign is in the process of seizing control of the race.

I offered these thoughts on the making the struggle of every day people the central focus of our politics a few weeks ago.

Obama has Seized the Initiative

You can feel it. The Obama campaign is firing on all cylinders, driving the news cycle now, hitting McCain hard, systematically taking Palin down, announcing an extraordinary fundraising month and expanding its grassroots base, making much better use of Biden and other surrogates, and finding their voice on the economy as never before. The McCain campaign is on the defensive, reeling from harsh criticism of McCain's character and working to contain the downside of Governor Palin. The new McCain ads, issue-based, without the wildness of earlier ads, speak to a chastened McCain camp. The national tracks have shown a 1-2 point shift in the race this week toward Senator Obama.

Today the race is still dead even. But Senator Obama has seized the initiative, and the momentum has shifted from Palin to the Democratic ticket. 

I still think the greatest challenge facing McCain is that he has no real plan for the future, and that running on a culture war and character simply isn't going to be enough in this election given all the very serious stuff going on. As Jake wrote yesterday, the two main arguments of the new McCain TV ad - that lower taxes will create jobs, and drilling will lower gas prices - are not true, and not promises America can bank on. 

The lack of seriousness of the McCain campaign - and the whole national Republican Party at this point - is simply astonishing. 

But at least, as Tina Fey says, the good Governor can see Russia from her porch. 

New Obama Ad Woos Women Voters

In a new television spot released today, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign attacks U.S. Sen. John McCain's record on women's issues:

So McCain is not exactly a natural pick for women voters (see his recent performance on "The View" - he looks like he'd rather be just about anywhere else). However, poll data shows that some women have been swayed by McCain's pick of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running-mate. This is frankly surprising, given that she wants to make abortion illegal even for rape victims, and in fact charged rape victims between $300 and $1200 for evidence collection as the Governor of Alaska (contrast this with Obama's VP, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act).

The New York Times editorial board recently took McCain to task for his pick of the incredibly underqualified Palin:

"If he seriously thought this first-term governor — with less than two
years in office — was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such
a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If
the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly

Picking Palin may have been a cynical bid for women's votes. However, as voters have become more familiar with Sarah Palin, her poll numbers have begun to drop drastically. Perhaps McCain's impulsive decision may still come back to haunt him.

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