Political Weekly: Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

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White House Bureau Chief James Downie takes a break from studying to file another dispatch:

It’s midterm time. For most, this time of year  inevitably leads to at least one or two sleepless nights, and many sleep-light nights. Of course, there’s always that one person who just has to brag about how little they slept, or how many all-nighters they pulled. Yes, we know you worked hard – now we have our own books to study and papers to write. Go back to your home in Butler and get lost in a stack of Red Bull cans, because we do not care.

After all, for lack of sleep, nothing we do will compare to what Senators McCain and Obama, and their staffs (and the reporters covering them) are going through this month. They bounce from rally to rally, often in several different states over the course of a day (so each rally can be on different local newscasts). The candidates shake thousands of hands, while their staffs have to respond even more instantaneously (if that is possible) to the rapidly changing newscycle, not sure which little story of hundreds will lead the newscasts and newspapers that night. And everyone has to do so without making a single mistake. All this runs until the final exam on November 4, with the American people as the graders. Rest assured, the staffs will be sleep-deprived, and the candidates will be hoarse.

And now, the news:

I’ve Left You…Far Behind: Barack Obama’s lead in the Gallup Poll has grown to 7 points. The only candidate who ever gained seven points in Gallup to win the election was Ronald Reagan in 1980 (thanks in part to the single debate between Reagan and Carter right before the election, a luxury John McCain does not have).

The Kid’s Got A Chance: In the interests of balance, your correspondent presens Sean Oxendine of The Next Right on how John McCain is still very much in this election.

The Final Debate: The final debate of the season takes place on Wednesday night at Hofstra University. Bob Schieffer of CBS will host, and the debate is supposed to focus on economic questions. Schieffer outlines his approach here.

Numbering The Stars: As always, numbers are available here, here, here, and here.

Bulletin from the North: Governor and VP Candidate Sarah Palin was found to have “abused her power” in the firing of a state trooper, in a state commission report released (not surprisingly) last Friday evening.

I’ll Share If You Share: TIME’s Michael Scherer and The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder share their email exchange trying to decipher the McCain’s campaign’s strategy over the last week. Also, your correspondent does not like The Atlantic‘s redesign.

The Young and The (Tragically) Hip: The Onion highlights a new attack ad on Obama, plus…McCain hipsters?

Drive, Organize: Zach Exley at HuffPo profiles the remarkable organizing campaign of the Obama team.

Look To The Horizon: Soren Dayton shares the pessimism quickly spreading among the conservative movement. Your correspondent will only note that, three to five years ago, this would have been the scene at a liberal convention.

Senate Update: Barack Obama’s gains have been mirrored in Senate polls, where the Democrats have a much better, though still unlikely shot at taking 60 seats. 538 breaks it down.

Calendar Correction: PBS Frontline’s “The Choice” actually runs this week. Your correspondent’s recommendation still stands.



  1. pooh

    It seems like the Atlantic just DID a redesign. This one's classy enough though.

  2. ...  

    whoever you are, anonymous bwogger, you write terribly. i can pick out which entries are yours now. sad.

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