October 27, 2008: In the Aftermath of the Debates…


The week that was….

  • October 26, 2008: McCain says ‘I’m going to win it’ as Obama says the Republican is running out of time’ … McCain says Palin returned some of the $150,000 in clothing the Republican Party bought her … The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, endorses Obama for president … – AP
  • October 25, 2008: Obama, campaigning in New Mexico, reaches out to Hispanic voters … McCain looks for votes in West as he portrays Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal … Can’t stop talking: Nader claims Guinness record for speech making – AP
  • October 24, 2008: Obama spends records in first 2 weeks; cash reserves for both candidates dwindle … Obama leaves campaign trail to visit ill grandmother … Former Mass. Gov. William Weld, a Republican, endorses Obama for ‘ability to unify’ … McCain soldiers on in Colorado despite cutting ad spending and trailing Obama in polls AP
    McCain says Obama’s economic plan would harm middle class; warns against one-party control … Palin to speak under oath on Troopergate firing … Biden dismisses McCain claim on change as Democrat campaigns in West Virginia … McCain campaign pays Palin’s makeup artist more than foreign policy adviser in October … Obama leaves campaign trail to visit ill grandmother … Former Mass. Gov. William Weld, a Republican, endorses Obama for ‘ability to unify’ – AP
    Lieberman skirts question on whether Palin is ready to be president … McCain’s brother dropping out of campaign after calling 911 to complain about traffic … Ex-Justice lawyers want attorney general to ensure investigation won’t hinder minority voters …. – AP
  • October 23, 2008: Palin blames ‘double standard’ for flap over her designer clothes … Grandmother ailing, Obama returns to Hawaii for what might be their final visit … McCain soldiers on in Colorado despite cutting ad spending and trailing Obama in polls … — AP
    Obama launches sharp offensive in Indiana against McCain’s corporate tax breaks … McCain says Obama changed tax plan to avoid criticism … Biden tells NC audience McCain is getting out of control when steady hand needed … McCain keeps comment short on Palin’s GOP-paid $150,000 shopping spree … Former Minn. Gov. Carlson, a Republican, endorses Obama for president … On election night, McCain to speak to supporters’ via television from hotel lawn – AP
  • October 22, 2008: McCain to traverse Florida with ‘Joe the Plumber’ as the focus of his anti-tax pitch … Obama to campaign in red-state Indiana before flying to visit ill grandmother in Hawaii … Biden lashes out at corporate executives who make millions while their employees lose pensions – AP….
    AP poll: McCain gains, drawing even with Obama with two weeks until Election Day … Obama says he only wants to reverse tax cuts for the wealthy that McCain himself opposed … McCain asks New Hampshire voters for another come-from-behind victory … Palin calls Obama “Barack the wealth spreader” … GOP spent $150,000 in campaign funds to accessorize Palin — AP
  • October 21, 2008: In tossup Florida, Obama says McCain offers ‘willful ignorance, wishful thinking’ on economy … McCain reminds Biden he’s been tested in just the kind of crisis he warns Obama may face … Obama spends $87.5 million in September; entered October with $133.6 million in hand … Negative ads leave undecideds decidedly unmoved — AP
    Obama takes on national security while keeping focus on economy during Va. swing … McCain returns to NH, site of two pivotal primary wins, hoping to stave off November loss … Palin charged state for children’s travel, later amended expense reports –
  • October 20, 2008: Obama to take time off from campaign to go to Hawaii to visit ill, 85-year-old grandmother … McCain says his concern about Obama’s readiness for presidency is bolstered by Biden’s warning … Obama brings Democratic governors of GOP states to Florida for summit on his jobs plan. AP
    Obama spends $87.5 million in September; enters October with $133.6 million in hand … McCain dismisses idea that the economy is a losing issue for his presidential campaign … Obama brings Democratic governors of GOP states to Florida for summit on his jobs plan – AP….
    Obama invokes Reagan line to criticize handling of the economy; vows to halt foreclosures … McCain, supporters target liberal, feminists, media to rally GOP base in bellwether Missouri … McCain spends $37 million in September, has $47 million for campaign in October … Sarah Palin hits Obama again on taxes … Biden’s medical records show he appears in very good health 20 years after aneurysm – AP
  • October 19, 2008: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorses Obama, criticizes tone of McCain’s campaign … Palins set to give depositions to Troopergate investigator this week … Obama exudes confidence, reaches for decisive victory in Republican states. – AP

The Stats

  • October 25, 2008: John McCain leads Barack Obama nationally by 22 percentage points among white men and by 7 points among white women, according to a recent AP-GfK survey. – AP
  • October 23, 2008: Democrat Barack Obama has a 7-percentage-point lead over Republican John McCain — 50 percent to 43 percent — among registered voters, according to the latest Gallup Poll daily tracking update. – AP, 10-23-08
  • October 22, 2008: John McCain has an 18-percentage-point lead among rural voters over Barack Obama, according to a recent AP-GfK survey – AP, 10-22-08
  • October 22, 2008: Associated Press-GfK poll found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent – AP, 10-22-08
  • October 22, 2008: Democrat Barack Obama has a 9-percentage-point lead over Republican John McCain — 51 percent to 42 percent — among registered voters, according to the latest Gallup Poll daily tracking update. – AP, 10-22-08
  • October 19, 2008: Democrat Barack Obama is trusted more than Republican John McCain to improve the economy by 54 percent to 44 percent and to handle the financial crisis by 53 percent to 46 percent, according to a recent AP-Yahoo News poll. – AP, 10-19-08
  • October 14, 2008: 63.2 million: The number of viewers watching the second presidential debate on Oct. 7 between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In the News…

Campaign Bloopers

Historians’ Comments

  • Julian Zelizer “Historians Size Up Obama’s Timeout”: Though Mr. Obama is leading in the polls, “there are still so many uncertainties, and 36 hours is a lot of time in two weeks,” said Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. “Even having television campaigning isn’t the same as being there in person. There is a cost.” Still, he said, the lost personal connection with undecided voters could be offset by the focus of media attention on Mr. Obama’s personal life and his compassion. “One of the issues that Obama has faced is people literally knowing who he is,” Mr. Zelizer continued, noting that opponents had tried to raise questions in voters minds like “is he a socialist, aligned with terrorists?” – NYT, 10-21-08
  • Stephen Hess “Historians Size Up Obama’s Timeout”: Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution also saw potential that the trip could help flesh out voters’ image of Mr. Obama. “They say he’s too mechanical, he’s cool, and here he does something terribly human,” Mr. Hess said in a telephone interview. “This isn’t planned by his strategist. He made the case in his book that she is very important to him. You can turn it around and ask, ‘What if he didn’t go?'” In short, he said, “It’s an awful thing to say — but it’s a political plus.” And besides, Mr. Hess added, “people in Ohio have grandmothers, too.” – NYT, 10-21-08
  • Doug Wead “Historians Size Up Obama’s Timeout”: Doug Wead, the controversial presidential historian — he has written about presidential families and revealed in 2005 that he had secretly taped George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas — found a somewhat comparable situation from a century ago, involving William Howard Taft. In 1907, Taft was secretary of war under Theodore Roosevelt, his close friend and adviser, who had promised not to run again and had chosen Taft as his preferred successor. Roosevelt urged Taft to make a round-the-world goodwill trip and get to know world leaders before the 1908 election. But there was a problem. “Taft was very much a mamma’s boy,” Mr. Wead said in a telephone interview today. “His mother was dying, and he thought that he had to cancel the trip.” Louisa Torrey Taft would not hear of it, though. Mr. Wead said she wrote her son a letter that said, in effect, “No Taft to my knowledge has ever turned down a public duty to fulfill a private need.” Taft went on the world tour, and his mother died while he was away, two months before her 80th birthday. Still, he won the presidency the following year, in an era before the extensive personal campaigning that marks today’s presidential politics. – NYT, 10-21-08
  • Gil Troy “Stuck In the Muck Mudslinging Isn’t New. Here’s the Messy Truth”: “Everybody always assumes there was a golden age of presidential campaigning that occurred 20 years ago,” says Gil Troy, an American history scholar at McGill University. “Almost from the start, American politics had its two sides — it had its Sunday morning high church sermon side, and it had its Saturday night rough-and- tumble ugly side.”… Oh, “John Quincy Adams was accused of pimping for the czar,” Troy says. Really. The czar of Russia. The press backing Jackson labeled Adams “The Pimp.” – Washington Post, 10-13-08
  • David A. Hollinger: Palin Distorts Small-Town America – New West Politics, 10-12-08
  • David S. Tanenhaus: Barack, Bill, and MeThe Bill Ayers that Barack Obama and I worked with was no “domestic terrorist.” – Slate, 10-10-08
  • Julian Zelizer “Palin Abused Power in Trooper Case, Alaska Probe Says”: “It’s one more blow to a deeply troubled campaign,” said Julian Zelizer, a history and public affairs professor at Princeton University in New Jersey. “The report on Palin raises more questions about why McCain made this choice and how much he really cares about fighting corruption.” – Bloomberg, 10-11-08
  • Dewar MacLeod “A lesson for WPU students in making every vote count”: “Democracy is not something that happens only once every four years; democracy needs to happen every single day. While this year’s ongoing presidential election promises to bring millions of new voters, especially the young, I hope students will also explore and participate in the ongoing process of civic engagement. Our democracy is only as strong as citizens are willing to make it.” – NorthJersey.com, NJ, 10-11-08
  • Peter Kastor “If history is guide, path to White House is through Missouri”: “Missouri is in the middle of the country geographically but also the center of the country politically,” Washington University history professor Peter Kastor said. “It is a state where various regional political cultures all exist.” – AFP, 10-10-08

On The Campaign Trail….

  • October 26, 2008: John McCain on Meet the Press, Discussing the Palins $150,000 Wardrobe Look, she lives a frugal life. She and her family are not wealthy. She and her family were thrust into this, and there was some — and some third of that money is given back, the rest will be donated to charity.
  • October 25, 2008: Barack Obama at the University of New Mexico to Hispanic Voters They’ll ask us is this a time when America lost its sense of purpose, when we lost our nerve, when we allowed the same divisions and fears to point us into a deeper recession or, will they say, is this one of those moments when America overcomes?…It’s time to build this economy by investing in the middle class again, and that’s what I’ll do as president.
  • October 25, 2008: John McCain in New Mexico: I’m a fellow Westerner, I understand the issues, I understand the challenges the great Western states face. We know what our great Southwest is, we welcome it and I’m proud to be a senator from the West.
  • “We’re a few points down and the pundits, of course, as they have four or five times, have written us off. We’ve got them just where we want them.” — John McCain.
  • October 24, 2008: John McCain at a rally in Denver The answer to a slowing economy is not higher taxes, but that is exactly what is going to happen when the Democrats have total control in Washington….
    Anytime you hear talk of a targeted tax increase, you might want to double-check the skill of the marksman — the U.S Congress has been known to fire wildly. America didn’t become the greatest nation on earth by giving our money to the government to spread the wealth around.
  • October 24, 2008: Biden said during an outdoor rally in CHARLESTON, W.Va. I know Halloween is coming, but John McCain as the candidate of change? Whoa, come on, John McCain and change? He needs a costume for that. Folks, the American people aren’t going to buy this.
  • “And too often, even if our own day, it seems that children with special needs have been set apart and excluded. Too often state and federal laws add to those challenges. … And I’m going to work to change that.” — Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
  • October 24, 2008: Joe Lieberman on Sarah Palin’s readiness Thank God, she’s not gonna have to be president from day one, because McCain’s going to be alive and well… If, God forbid, an accident occurs or something of that kind, she’ll be ready. She’s had executive experience. She’s smart and she will have had on-the-job training. I hope and pray, and I am working my heart out for McCain to be elected our next president, but if for whatever the reason he is not, I am going to do everything I can to be part of bringing people together across party lines to support the new president so he can succeed. What’s at stake for our country is just too serious.
  • October 23, 2008: John McCain in Ormond Beach, Florida: Thirteen days to go, and he changed his tax plan because the American people had learned the truth about it and they didn’t like it. It’s another example that he’ll say anything to get elected.
  • October 22, 2008: Barack Obama John McCain likes to talk about Joe the Plumber, but he’s in cahoots with Joe the CEO.
  • October 22, 2008: Barack Obama at a News Conference in Response to Republican Assertions Was John McCain a socialist back in 2000? I think it’s an indication that they have run out of ideas.
  • October 22, 2008: John McCain at a rally in a college hockey rink in GOFFSTOWN, N.H. I love you. I love New Hampshire. I know I can count on you again to come from behind and take a victory and bring it all the way to Washington, D.C., next January. I’m asking you to come out one more time. Get out the vote.
    Acting like the election is over won’t let him take away your chance to have the final say in this election.
  • October 21, 2008: Barack Obama says McCain offers ‘willful ignorance’ While President Bush and Sen. McCain were ready to move heaven and earth to address the crisis on Wall Street, the president has failed so far to address the crisis on Main Street, and Sen. McCain has failed to fully acknowledge it.
  • October 21, 2008: John McCain speaking about the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in HARRISBURG, Pa.: I was on board the USS Enterprise. I sat in the cockpit, on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise, off of Cuba. I had a target. My friends, you know how close we came to a nuclear war.
  • October 20, 2008: John McCain in Belton, Mo. responding to Joe bidens comments: Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy: We don’t want a president who invites testing from the world at a time when our economy is in crisis and Americans are already fighting in two wars. What is more troubling is that Sen. Biden told their campaign donors that when that crisis hits, they would have to stand with them, because it wouldn’t be apparent Sen. Obama would have the right response. Forget apparent. Sen. Obama won’t have the right response, and we know that because we’ve seen the wrong response from him over and over during this campaign.
  • October 20, 2008: Sarah Palin: I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans … to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that’s where we would go.
  • October 20, 2008: Barack Obama Speaking in Miami: I’ve got news for Sen. McCain: Hardworking families who’ve been hard hit by this economic crisis — folks who can’t pay their mortgages or their medical bills or send their kids to college — they can’t afford to wait and see. They can’t afford to go to the back of the line behind CEOs and Wall Street banks.
  • October 20, 2008: Barack Obama in Tampa, FL, using Ronald Reagan Campaign line in 1980: At this rate, the question isn’t just “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” It’s “Are you better off than you were four weeks ago?”
  • October 19, 2008: Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: It isn’t easy for me to disappoint Senator McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret that. I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that’s why I’m supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Senator John McCain.
    I found that (John McCain) was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems that we were having. Almost every day there was a different approach to the problem and that concerned me, sensing that he doesn’t have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.
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