Edwards Got Trimmed by the Obama Campaign

The other tell-all book being released is Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe's aptly named The Audacity to Win. Today, Ben Smith of Politico had a confession to make well because it was about to be divulged anyway. Smith's source for the John Edwards $400 haircut story was the Obama campaign. Here's the original post from March 2007 entitled The Hair's Too Perfect:

Well, John Edwards' campaign for president spent $400 on February 20, and another $400 on March 7, at a top Beverly Hills men's stylist, Torrenueva Hair Designs.

The expensive haircut is, of course, a perennial. Bill Clinton got zinged for getting a cut from Cristophe, and Hillary was found at one point to have buried a stylist on her campaign payroll.

Obama, on the other hand, gets his cut cheap and frequent -- but he does take the process seriously enough to hold his calls.

Only Edwards, however, has had the care he takes with his hair memorialized on YouTube.

Edwards' campaign also spent money at two spas: Designworks Salon in Dubuque, and Pink Sapphire in Manchester.

Note that Smith's reporting juxtaposes Edwards' expensive haircuts with Obama's cheap ones.  Perhaps that comparison should have been the tip-off in hindsight. That post on the cost of the Edwards haircuts derailed his candidacy. I'm shocked that Obama campaign or any Democratic campaign would engage in such pettiness and silliness.  Perhaps I'm just bitter because as a die-hard Edwards supporter anytime I tried to engage in a Two Americas debate all I got back was a retort about a haircut.

Yes, I realize the messenger was flawed but that does not negate the message. There are Two Americas and it behooves the Administration to address this fact if only to atone for such trivialities as the cost of a haircut.

There's more...

The One Plouffe Is Worrying About

Back in February, in a post entitled "The One I'm Worrying About," I wrote about the one potential member of the Republicans 2012 pack I thought might actually be able to give Barack Obama a difficult time: Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.

I don't agree with all of Huntsman's policy prescriptions -- they're all quite conservative -- but to the extent that he is actually speaking about issues that matter to the American people and offering proposals to address them, he clearly stands out from the majority of the Republican leadership this side of Newt Gingrich (who despite the attention lavished upon him remains an immensely unpopular figure).

[...]

Huntsman may not be looking to run in 2012, so perhaps this is somewhat moot in the short run. But I do think we would be remiss if we weren't keeping an eye on him over the coming years -- particularly considering he's just 48 years old at present.

Apparently I'm not the only one keeping an eye on Huntsman.

There is one republican presidential candidate that President Barack Obama's campaign manager fears the most in 2012...and his name is Jon Huntsman Jr.

[...]

While no republican presidential candidate yet makes Obama's team "shake in {their} shoes...," President Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, now says Governor Jon Huntsman makes him, a "wee bit queasy...I think he's really out there speaking a lot of truth about the direction of the party."

A political scientist from Utah quoted in the article immediately above says that Huntsman is positioning himself in a "great place" because he has staked out a position as the moderate in the 2012 race, but I don't think that's quite right. As I wrote back in February with regards to Huntsman, and I wrote again over the weekend in eulogizing Jack Kemp, what the Republican party needs -- and what Huntsman is now doing to strong effect -- are politicians who have a positive vision of the country that extends beyond mere opposition to Barack Obama.

Ross Douthat writes along similar lines today in The New York Times (though he seems to think that a Bush-lackey like Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, the overly partisan Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, or the not-yet-ready-for-primetime Bobby Jindal could fill the role of the thoughtful conservative), so clearly some within the GOP are also thinking that their party needs what George H.W. Bush called the "vision thing."

I don't get the sense, however, that the whole party is there yet. No, the GOP by and large stands in a moment of retrenchment and denial, sticking with the out-of-touch strategies that have rendered the party with virtually no power in Washington today. Some day -- and it might not be until the party loses again, even a few more times -- Republicans will wake up and realize they need to change. And it's for that reason that I'm glad that someone as politically savvy as David Plouffe, who helped engineer Barack Obama's successful run for the Presidency, is keeping his eye on Huntsman.

There's more...

Sporadic Democrats

The McCain campaign, as part of its landslide abatement program, has been spinning the early vote surge as simply Barack banking the votes he would have had on election day. In other words -- no big whoop. On a conference call with reporters today, David Plouffe made it clear that their numbers are showing that's not the case; on the contrary, large percentages of the early vote in key states are made up of new or "sporadic" voters. A John McCain comeback depends on a turnout model similar to years past. So far, looking at the early vote totals, it's looking as though that's just not happening. Via Marc Ambinder:

* In NV,  43% of Democrats who have voted early are new or sporadic voting Democrats

* In NC, 19% of Democrats who've voted early are Democrats who've never voted in a presidential election before [...]

* "In Florida, a quarter of sporadic voting Democrats are turning out out that the same rate as very likely Democrats."

This must be good news for John McCain.

Update [2008-10-31 19:12:14 by Todd Beeton]:More from Ambinder on who is getting these sporadic or "low propensity" voters in Colorado. I'll give you one guess.

It's easy to bank high-propensity voters, and McCain is doing better than Obama -- about 29,000 voters better.

It's more difficult to bank middle propensity voters -- and here Obama has a 26,000 vote lead.

And it's very difficult to bank low propensity voters -- and here again, Obama has a 20,000 vote lead.

There's more...

David Plouffe tells us what it is

David Plouffe had one of his periodic telephone calls with the media and provided a number of promising details.  

There's more...

Plouffe quietly confident

(Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe had one of his periodic talks with reporters about his assessment of the state of the race.  Halperin reports that Plouffe believes McCain's challenges in Pennsylvania are daunting:

The Obama camp manager says McCain would have to win 15% of the Democratic vote, 95% of the Republican and 60% of the independent vote to take the battleground.

There's more...

Diaries

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