Book thread

I am just finishing "We almost Made it", a campaign book on Ford's near comeback in 1976. Written by Malcolm D. MacDougall, who directed the media for the campaign, its an inside account of what went on in his small world as Ford lost to Carter. What was remarkable to me was how 'clean' the campaign seemed compared to recent ones. The McCain folks have sometimes pointed toward Ford's campaign as a model for how McCain will close against Obama. My guess is that McCain closes some, but too little (within about a 4% margin) and too late (last 3-4 days of the campaign).

I gotta couple of books in the mail yesterday that are on my reading pile:

"In A Time of War" by Bill Murphy. It details veterans of the mideast wars we've been involved with, as they return home. There are about one and a half million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the author did around six hundred interviews for In a Time of War. This post by Murphy reminded me of my Iraq-vet brother (who now mines for gold up in Alaska):

A great gulf exists between American military and civilian societies. But paradoxically, it's can be hard to tell young veterans of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from their peers who haven't served. As I wrote a book about West Point recently, I would visit with vets who had left the Army and were attending some of America's most prestigious universities. I was struck that the veterans were often the ones walking around campus with the longest hair, and the most stylish clothes...

"Red, Blue & Purple America", edited by Ruy Teixeira. I chatted with Ruy about a week ago, before he did a presentation for Brookings, about the 2008 GE. He's gotta feel pretty good about the thesis from his original groundbreaking book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. I still see TEDM as the book that laid out the architecture for what the new coalition majorities would look like-- youth, professionals, minorities, and woman. These are the demographics that make up the new majority, and combined with the use of technology, the groundwork for a lasting coalition. I don't see the Republican Party recovering anytime soon unless the Democrats blow it-- either by leading the nation into another prolonged war in the middle east, or earmarking and pork-laden governing; that's the only way that Republicans could possible pick up a 'reform' banner anytime soon.

The alternate title of this post could be "what I wish I had the time to read" because I usually get around 15 minutes before I sleep of reading nowadays, at most, after the days workload (I'm really looking forward to the week down on the Keys after the election).

Tags: 2008, Blue & Purple America, by Bill Murphy, In A Time of War, red, ruy teixeira (all tags)



Not 4%

But maybe 6%?

No double digits at any rate. McCain WILL close.

But, we should all be focusing on the Electoral wars now, it's really about FL, PA, CO, VA at this point.

Ohio could be gone to McCain, but for the first time I can remember, that crazy state may not be the coin that flips this.

Oh, and Jerry Ford never sold his integrity out as McCain has...I don't remember Jerry besmirching Jimmy Carter with any of the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove robo call stuff....

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 09:14AM | 0 recs
East Timor

I thought Ford was around as good as GOP Presidents get until I read that he and henry kissinger had
visited Suharto

THE DAY BEFORE the bloody invasion of East Timor.

See ndex.html
and BB62/

by architek 2008-10-22 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Not 4%

I'd call it at best a coinflip as to whether there's any significant closing at this point. Two weeks ago I've have been there right with you -- there's usually some closing -- but two weeks ago the "McCain comeback" theory had more plausibility than it does now.

Arguing in favor of closing:

  1. There's usually some
  2. McCain is going all-out
  3. Republican base seems to be staying fired up
  4. Obama off the trail for a day or two
  5. Possible impact of smear attacks
  6. Republican ground game
  7. Perceived inevitability impacting Democratic turnout and ground game

Arguing against closing:

  1. There's not always some; look at 1980, for instance, and you can make a fairly convincing parallel that Obama correlates to Reagan and McCain to Carter, in terms of electoral position
  2. Obama's going even more all-out; Biden's having more events, Clintons are out hitting hard, Michelle's having her own events, etc
  3. Democratic base is fired up too
  4. Increasing negatives of McCain and Palin vs. increasing positives of Obama and Biden
  5. Powell endorsement. Maybe Lugar? Or anyone else high-profile
  6. Increasing advertising advantage
  7. Obama/Democratic ground game (new, but potentially stronger than Republican ground game; certainly likely to be far stronger than Kerry/Gore ground game)
  8. Perceived inevitability impacting Republican turnout and enthusiasm

I think, if there's going to be a significant closing (4 points counts), it'll start by next Monday. If there's no significant closing (at least 1 1/2 points across the national poll average, relative to Sunday the 19th -- pre-Powell) then I think inevitability will really sink in and clobber Republican enthusiasm. They have a lot more to lose there than we do; we have far more voters who identify as highly enthusiastic, we're doing a much better job with EV than the Republicans, and there are persistent reports from all over the country that our ground game is far more organized and functional than theirs in the first place.

That gives 8 days to close another 2 1/2 points or so. Given that Nate on 538 makes a persuasive case that it's rare for campaigns to close at even 1/4 point per day, that seems about right.

On the other hand, if next Monday looks like 8% or so -- i.e. if it's about where it is now, or slightly more pro-Obama -- I'd be more surprised by 6% or less than by 9% or more. If Obama hasn't started dropping by then I wouldn't rule out a large break of undecideds for Obama.

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-10-22 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Not 4%

Good lists. I've been certain the margin would close to the same 4% range Jerome expects. But the favorability percentages were startling, and when you've got a respected source like PEW jumping in with a huge Obama lead, I'm starting to think it won't close as much as I expected. If not, that means states like North Carolina and perhaps Indiana are possible. My Excel model always indicates Obama needs at least +5-6 nationally to pull North Carolina and more like +8 to drag Indiana.

But I'm stubborn and several months ago I predicted 51.5% for Obama on many sites. I'll stick with that. If you allot a logical 1.5% to third party candidates, that would leave McCain with 47%, and a comfy 4.5% margin for Obama.

I was too low nationally in terms of our net in the 2006 House races and I'll be happy to rerun in terms of the presidency in 2008.

The stock market plunged again today. That certainly doesn't help McCain or the Republicans. Where's that Larry Kudlow guy? He was the champion of dismissing any suggestion of a lousy economy, pointing to Wall Street numbers as counter evidence.

by Gary Kilbride 2008-10-22 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Not 4%

After the last few elections... 350 evs and 4% will be called a landslide.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-22 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

4 points?  I'll take that bet.  

by set 2008-10-22 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

Speaking of "things we read": why is Riverdaughter/The Confluence still on the blogroll?  I didn't read it before the primaries, but today it's a McCain-cheerleading, Anti-Obama, conspiracy-fueled hate-fest (and a few other hyphenated words too).  

Jerome, is it still on your blogroll because you respect its past, respect its present or just forgot about it?

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-10-22 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

Anglachel and a couple of other PUMA sites have stopped linking to them for other, more important reasons.  If you think putting Obama's face on foodstamps is funny then a lot of people are going to question your motives.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 09:45AM | 0 recs
They are in imaginary land over there....

Somehow, in the mind of those loonies there, they have convinced themselves there is some linear path from supporting Hillary to supporting Palin, a few post even seem to believe Hillary is pro-Palin, but she is being muzzled by the evil Obama/Pelosi/Dean triad....

Yes, Jerome, there is NOTHING even slightly progressive, liberal or Democratic about that site.

It's borderline racist, hard right, and if not for the fun of peering into the loony bin, completely without redeeming value.

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 10:01AM | 0 recs

Those in the asylum forfeited their progressive blogging careers when they went down that path of hatred.

They can never, ever, ever be taken seriously again. They traded their blogging careers for 5min of fame.

Leaving their names on the blog roll only implies that MyDD agrees with their positions, in whole or in part.

I think now is the time to start drumming up support to have that list editted.

by iohs2008 2008-10-22 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread
McCain's using a loisng campaign as a model?
by spirowasright 2008-10-22 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

Maybe he thinks that he can improve on the model by making sure he doesn't trip over his own feet.

by Jess81 2008-10-22 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

By keeping them in his mouth?

by Texas Gray Wolf 2008-10-22 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

"I couldn't agree with them more".

by Jess81 2008-10-22 01:51PM | 0 recs
No Nixon pardon, no President Carter

in 1976, and in all likelihood, no President Reagan in 1980.

Ford wasn't great, but at least he didn't put hard-core wingers on the Supreme Court like Reagan.

by desmoinesdem 2008-10-22 09:56AM | 0 recs
Ford wasn't from the Nixon-wing of the GOP

in other words, he was a decent human being.

by Paul Goodman 2008-10-22 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Ford wasn't from the Nixon-wing of the GOP
Yes, a decent human being.
There used to be more of those in the Republican party.
by spirowasright 2008-10-22 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Ford wasn't from the Nixon-wing of the GOP

I think most are either dead or teaching college.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-22 12:32PM | 0 recs

I am worried about McCain closing to maybe 1 or 2 points. My main concern is what Palin will be bringing to the table in the closing weeks.  As Jerome said of Palin, "We have met someone that we will be doing battle against for a decade or more. Seriously. I've never seen a woman, or a man for that matter, speak that way, prime time, national, convention, live, ever. She blows away Hillary Clinton. Sorry, but that's what it is. Palin's deft speaking style is like watching visceral connective tissue being torn-- with a child in arms."

by scd2 2008-10-22 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Closing


Just five second ago, I said, here come the trolls...

then this clown logs in....

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Closing

Not a troll, but I may have been too dry.  Just questioning the premise that McCain will actually close to within four points.  

by scd2 2008-10-22 10:45AM | 0 recs
Your too good

Got put at least SOME clue in there...

Cause, what you did IS going to be replicated here by real trolls.... vRRUl81LuDA_P2t_goU2kGAD93VM2F80

by WashStateBlue 2008-10-22 10:47AM | 0 recs
She Blows away Hillary?

Seriously, you believe that?    I don't know any woman who thinks that Palin is worthy of the office.  I know several who are voting for Obama because they hate Palin and strongly beleive that McCain will be dead within 4 years and don't want her as President.

Yeah, Rich Lowry and others over at NRO get little stiffies whenever they see her speak, but I have to say that Palin is a huge albatross for the GOP.  Over 50% of American's do not like her.  Sending her up to speak a few days before the election would only serve to remind people of that and would keep McCain out of the White House.

by gavoter 2008-10-22 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Closing

Its not effective though... THAT's what you have to remember.

She needs a LOT of seasoning if she is going to fulfill Jerome's prediction... but that being said, she needs to survive re-election and the troopergate probes as well.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-22 12:35PM | 0 recs
This is the last of her

No offense to Jerome, but I disagree witht his prediction. Strongly.

Unlike other wingnuts, there has never been any broader appeal outside her base. Contrast this with a Barack Obama, whi Jerome also misjudged in terms of appeal outside of base.

Coupled with her ineptitude, blunders, faux pas's, contrary messages, representation of the past, and divisiveness, the chances of Palin being a National factor after this election is about as close to zero as you can get.

She's done.

by iohs2008 2008-10-22 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Closing

Meh.  Jerome just thought she was winking at him, and saw stars.

by username 2008-10-22 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Book thread

Lets hope your wrong and Obama closes like Reagan in 1980... Blowout blossoming in the last few days.

by yitbos96bb 2008-10-22 12:30PM | 0 recs


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