With all the ruckus over whether you can see Russia from Alaska (or from Sarah Palin's porch), there's a story from the Cold War that is largely being overlooked. Because back in 1986, one man walked from Alaska to the Soviet Union (as it was then known).
Archive of Articles for September, 2008
While this will be a shock to anyone who has read just about any other column I've written, I speak today in defense of Sarah Palin.
OK, enough navel-gazing. What a week it was, eh? John McCain is showing what has been described as his "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach to running things, and even Republicans are shaking their heads in confusion over McCain's "I won't debate!... Well, OK, maybe I will..." grandstanding this week. His non-suspension suspension of his campaign added to this feeling of watching a slow-motion train wreck happen. All this actually helped McCain in one way -- because if there hadn't been such a circus to watch then Sarah Palin's disastrous interview with Katie Couric would have gotten a lot more attention. Again, even conservatives are recoiling in horror from how unprepared this woman is for the job she's running for. But it was buried under the bailout plan news, which had to have helped McCain in some small way.
Instead, we have the return of our in-house cartoonist! While it may have appeared to the public that CWCunningham was in an undisclosed location these past few months, he and I were actually colloborating on a video, in an effort to get (you can't make this stuff up) a liberal lobbying firm on K Street interested in our idea. But, sadly, it came to naught. But this week's financial meltdown proved to be too hard for him to resist, so we proudly present his take on the situation.
Since last week's dismal outlook for Obama, there has been an absolute flood of state poll numbers released. One day after last week's column ran, over thirty states released polls on the same day. Whew! They even polled the District of Columbia, for the first time in the entire election season (you can see why they hadn't bothered up until now -- it unsurprisingly came out 82/13 in Obama's favor). But so many state polls are being released so fast, that for the first time every single state has been polled recently -- and not just in the past month, but in the past week. This flood of data is a good thing, though, as it keeps the electoral map a lot closer to the current voter preferences state-by-state.
One can't help but wonder if President Bush is thinking to himself: "It wasn't supposed to be like this." Now, there's a whole passel of issues which might make him feel this way, but in particular I'm talking about his negotiations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki over the United States' continuing troop presence in Iraq. Because it is increasingly looking like Bush is simply not going to get what he wanted. But since what he wanted was to tie the hands of the incoming president, this is actually a good thing.
I know I'm supposed to be commenting on the details of the new economic bailout/recovery plan here, but in fact, I know my own limitations. And one of those limitations is admitting that economics on a national or international scale is beyond me. My actual belief is that it's beyond anybody -- that the "science" of economics is nothing short of voodoo.
Back in Volume 36 of this Friday Talking Points column, I pointed out what seemed to me to be an obvious observation -- that the media was going a lot lighter on John McCain than they were on Barack Obama. This earned me a fair amount of ridicule at the time (and also some support, I should say). Now, however, I can definitively say that this situation has been rectified. Whether it was McCain's campaign cutting off virtually all access to McCain (and literally any access to Palin), whether it was McCain's mudslinging and lies in his ads, or perhaps whether it was McCain manipulating the media after his running mate choice, and then savagely attacking them -- for whatever reason, the mainstream media are now closely examining everything McCain says.
Yesterday, I did a roundup of the state polls and the electoral math outlook for the presidential race. Today, I checked the numbers as I do every morning, and over thirty states had new poll numbers -- an astonishing amount of data for one day. Even Washington, D.C. got polled, for the first time ever in this election cycle. It's easy to see why D.C. doesn't get polled much, since the outcome isn't exactly in doubt -- the spread in this poll is greater than any other state at 82% for Barack Obama and a paltry 13% for John McCain.
Barack Obama has had a hard few weeks in the polls. In fact, this week's check of how the electoral math plays out may (hopefully) be his lowest point during the campaign.