Political Weekly: One Down

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Bwog’s White House Bureau Chief James Downie files another dispatch.

Before I dive in, I’d like to extend my sympathies to any New York Mets fans reading this. By this, I mean I’d like to, but I can’t: as a Washington Nationals fan, I consider any season with a sniff of the playoffs to be a success.

Speaking of close-run things, we have only just begun the series of debates that could make this election as close as 2000, or could blow it wide open as in 1980. The campaigns are playing harder and harder as the number of undecided voters shrinks. Then, of course, there’s the whole Wall Street crisis. And now, the news:

Debate Redux and Reax: Friday night’s debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama was a close fight in the media’s eyes. Focus groups, though, such as this CBS poll, gave the debate to Obama by significant margins, many saying that his emphasis on the middle class and clear competence in standing up to McCain helped him. The past few hours, though, have seen far more important news.

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid: This afternoon, the House of Representatives rejected the $700 billion bailout 228-205. Democrats voted 140-95 in favor, while Republicans voted 65-133 against. More importantly, though, House members in close re-election races got cold feet, and overwhelmingly voted against the bill. The Dow responded with its greatest single-day point-decline: 778 points. More worryingly, the House has adjourned until Thursday (perhaps to let the Senate take the lead for the next two days), but many worry that a vote will not come quickly enough. Also, the two parties actually tried to blame each other for the vote failure; all your correspondent has to say is “really?”

Questions, Questions: Many media outlets have said that the public overwhelmingly opposed the bailout package. shows that it just matters how the pollster framed the question.

It’s Number Time: As always, numbers are available here, here, here, and here. Let’s just say it is good news for Obama.

Backstage: Want to see how lonely it is before a nationally-televised debate? The Obama campaign photographer took some pictures just before and after the debate. Unfortunately, he was unable to confirm if Obama was in fact prepping by humming “Eye of the Tiger.”

Then There’s No Interest: The New Republic asks what you may be thinking as well after seeing the latest numbers: why is the media pretending the race is close?

Palin-tastrophe: As Marc Ambinder of the The Atlantic outlines, the other fast-approaching catastrophe is Sarah Palin as the GOP nominee. Late last week, she gave an interview to CBS’s Katie Couric which can only be described as underwhelming (and the damage from that interview might not be over). Her poll numbers have nosedived as well, and media expectations for her Thursday night debate are unbelievably low. Your correspondent could come up with a punchline, but that would just seem unfair at this point.

Beware – Lots of Blinking: SNL shows part 4 of that Couric-Palin interview that has Republicans so worried. The scary part, though, is that your correspondent is pretty sure Tina Fey prepared her accent just by watching Fargo…and somehow that worked.

But It’s There: The New Yorker also has fun at Sarah Palin’s expense. And they’ve always been successful with their covers this election season.

Now He’ll Be Making Awkward Blonde Jokes: Yet another Palin item – her stand-in at Biden’s debate prep has been Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

“Hey, I Heard That!”: John McCain is so used to the campaign trail, he spins even when he doesn’t even know anyone’s listening.


1 Comment

  1. interestingly enough

    the ny times actually did point out the potential crisis about a decade ago:

    Still it's a declining and relic of a paper/institution though.

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