Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. I’ve been up in Northern Virginia visiting. I had the opportunity to talk to some experts and read print versions of the WASHINGTON POST and the WASHINGTON TIMES. Both those papers are always very informative, and I gotta say the POST is the most genuinely fair-and-balanced paper in the country.

2. The POST’s new poll has Obama up 50 to 42, which is his largest margin yet. The reason: Huge advantages when it comes to the economy. The economy, for obvious reasons, is quickly emerging as the issue for the campaign. Bernake etc. all seem all to agree that growth will continue to slow and inflation will continue to grow, at least through the election. The issue: Which candidate can deal better with STAGFLATION? Two pro-Barack conclusions: He CARES more about the economy, and he is more likely to provide CHANGE.

3. Obama and McCain are about even, or Mac has a slight edge, when it comes to foreign policy, security etc. But right now such issues aren’t that important with the voters. The POST did have an incisive editorial complaining that Barack’s Iraq policy doesn’t really taken into account our recent successes there. He conveys the impression that he might cut and run on the cusp of victory, or at least tolerable stablity.

4. I saw part of McCain’s NAACP speech waiting for my flight at Dulles. That isn’t the best venue for enjoyment. I agree with Joe that the content was fine and showed competence on a domestic issue--education--of interest to all Americans. But I have to add that it reads somewhat better than it sounded. It wasn’t an eloquent address, although it might turn out to have been effective as the first of many efforts to counter eloquence with competence.

5. All the experts seem to agree that the VP picks, although they make for interesting gossip for slow summer news days, will make very little difference.

6. People feel particularly AT RISK right now. Their WHINE is not that we’re in something like a recession, but that this isn’t a normal recession, but something new. Their retirement plans, for example, are more dependent on the stock market’s performance than ever, and the thought is floating everywhere that we may be entering a 10-year period when the market doesn’t easily beat inflation. It goes without saying I have no idea whether or not this is true. My job is easy and usually fun, so I don’t mind working until I drop. But most Americans, with good reason, don’t feel the same way.

7. So Mac’s appeal to an AT RISK population has to begin with the thought that an ALL DEMOCRATIC government (given the failed policies of the past) is very RISKY BUSINESS. Most people know well enough that they can’t really be saved by government bailouts. But the Sam’s Club swing voters--the key to carrying the crucial swing states--have a right to know that government will be orienting itself to helping families do their indispensable jobs in the emerging more individualistic social/economic environment.

Discussions - 16 Comments

We might be entering a 10 year period where the market does not beat inflation? We are in one. The Dow was over 11,000 in the summer of 1999.

I saw the WP poll but still most major polls pin Obama's lead at about half that and show him slipping a bit lately. An ailing economy that inspires feelings of vulnerability could play to Mac's advantage not just because of the riskiness of dem policies but also their youthful and inexperienced candidate. Obama's recalibration to the right should be used not just to depict him as inauthentic but also to highlight the misgivings many have about his economic liberalism that will likely make matters worse. Still, everytime I see McCain on tv it bores me to tears---I wish they would just cut him loose and allow him to oppose his "maverick" personality to Obama's "rock star".

Peter:


I like both papers too; you are right about the WP.

There is nothing fair and balanced about the Washington Post. It's a bit odd that people on "No Left Turns" would think of the WP as fair and balanced. Perhaps you never read it when the WP destroyed George Allen. Perhaps you never saw the smear stories they did on Bush. Perhaps you never read the articles that made fun of all the GOP Presidential candidates.

Perhaps your innocence and ignorance on the WP are forgiven. As a political nerd I read them, but keep your head on straight and don't think that the WP is anywhere but left field.

I don't read the Washington Post or the Times on a regular basis, but I am certainly aware of Clint's objection/perception of it as liberal. Anymore I am highly inclined to just skip out on reality and deal purely in the reality of perceptions anyways. Which brings me to Obama's brilliant but predictable retort to the New Yorker cover. The talking heads are making a big fuss of it, but this isn't what the american people are worried about. This is certainly true. When it comes to the economy it is hard to say who is better, but the perception that Obama has an edge is real. In truth I think McCain's admission of cluelessness when it comes to the economy is rather wise, after all if we are dealing with perceptions then the old guns vs. butter framework is pretty much still alive and kicking. Obama is correct to point out that the Iraq war has cost tremendous amounts of money, that such tremendous expenditures that are deficit financed allow Soros(and you can blame Soros, but if he wasn't doing it someone else would be, because he is trading on an established relation that has power of its own.)to devalue the dollar with impunity, that a devalued dollar causes people to shift funds into commodities like gold, and due to projections of global demand also increases the cost of oil(in other words oil becomes the new gold(what was the objective basis of its value in the first place?), when gold is at an all-time high and the dollar is cheap and projections don't predict the end of deficit spending.)

Furthermore projections of further deficit spending weight down the dollar, and make speculating in the stock market less profitable, shifting fund money overseas and into commodities.

I tend to think that somehow the Austrians were right about deficit spending in the long run, but Keynes is dead.

Also I agree both with Ivan K about McCain and the Maverick immage and also with experts who say that the VP won't matter much, which is the main reason I pitch Lieberman as shoreing up Maverickness.

Ultimately to defend the economy you have to defend the war.

I'm teaching a course on the election currently and, among other things, my students think Obama is being too "uptight" about criticism and being considered a liberal. They would like to see more humor, more lightness of being inside him. On your post Peter, I think the election is closer than the Post poll indicates, but I admit things don't look so well for John in the state by state polls--more worrisome.

Obama, Rob is right, is too uptight and doesn't laugh at himself. Except when he's giving speeches, he seems boring (although a smart and not a bad guy). I think John Lewis might be right that in order to defend the (increasingly sorry) state of the economy you have to defend the war--not an easy task. I'm sticking with my guns on the POST as it is today. Clint, I know all about the POST, I grew up in Alexandria, and perhaps have an irrational affection for it. The TIMES is always interesting, but it'd be hard to say that it really aims at anything like objectivity. The POST has, for example, tried very hard to be fair on the Iraq war. Is that true of the NYT? Is that even true of THE WEEKLY STANDARD? George Allen did plenty to hurt himself without the newspaper's help. The truth is that polls at this point don't mean much. But elections do turn on peace and prosperity more than anything else. And state-by-state, as Rob says, things look pretty darn bad for Democrats. How's that for a ramble?

I forgot to add: I agree with Ivan that Mac has to play off the riskiness of Obama's inexperience. The "rock star" is carefully controlled and managed, as most rock stars really are. The "maverick" has a rep that doesn't translate well to stage performances, and I'm told that Mac does need some managing just too look presentable. Maybe the maverick will shine in the debates, we can hope. I wish I were more attracted to more of the maverick's actual maverick positions. Somehow he has to both be a maverick and be a Republican... I still say a lot of the campaign has to be directed toward the prudence of divided government.

Didn't the Post have a sample share for Democrats of 52%? Wouldn't that skew the results?

And Peter, Barrack Hussein doesn't "appear" boring, ------------------- he IS boring. He's being carried by the MSM, which is determined to pursue the historic moment narrative, no matter how many gaffes he makes in any 48 hour period, and no matter how woefully inexperienced and unready he truly is.

Peter, any other candidate right now would have double digit leads, but the guy that the media is carrying can barely eke out a slim lead.

His act is getting old, and fast.

And the situation is so bad for the Obama campaign that they're ALREADY gagging the wife and putting a clamp around her waist, so that she doesn't pull a usual for her, which is spout off and demonstrate her general cluelessness for one and all to see and hear.

And the race has barely begun.

The Dems are in the throes of a SERIOUS bout of buyer's remorse.

Those dolts managed to pick the one guy, the ONE candidate who very well might blow as sure a thing as you ever did see.

In response to the original post: 2 -- The 50-42 Washington Post poll is an outlier. The other polls show a much closer race. 3 -- A reliable poll, I believe Rasmussen, shows an enormous advantage for McCain on the question of who is more qualified to be commander-in-chief. Granted, some people want a hand-holder more than a commander-in-chief. But the datum is encouraging.

In response to various posts: Yes, Obama is humorless. We need to run that one into the ground. It's true, and it can hurt him. And yes, McCain is boring, despite his sense of humor. But he can be less so.

One of the key things to watch in this election is the evangelicals. Obama's opening is provided by the fact that many are just plain stupid.

Peter, I never said the Times was objective. It's obviously on the right, but to say that the Post is fair, yes that probably borders on irrational. But if you grew up on it I understand--the prejudices of our youth are strongest and theres nothing wrong with that.

Allen was a buffon, but the Post coverage was ridiculous.

WaPo can be fair and balanced, but it, in my opinion, is not normally so.

Thing is, being 'above the fray' is a relatively new thing in journalism.

Barrack Hussein Obama is the largest sacred cow wandering the earth right now.

And this Mick senses that he's ripe for skewering, by mockery, irony and sarcasm.

And as for the Post, it's been the emergence of the Washington Times that has forced the Post to jettison their radical reportage, and assume a more neutral disposition. The New York Times has no such competition, {The New York Post doesn't really compete for the same audience}, which is why The Times has become a sad and pathetic joke.

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