You gotta love this comment from Chris Wallace, which was made during the interview with Barack Obama that Josh mentions below: WALLACE: I wasn't sure whether I was even going to ask you about your former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, but he made it easy for me because he's now begun this public campaign to redeem his reputation. Oh, poor Chris Wallace. He and the fair and balanced Fox News team really did not want to ask about Reverend Wright, but, alas, Wright left them with no choice. --Isaac Chotiner
Jon Chait has already explained why attacks are more damaging to a candidate when they come from someone in his own party. But beyond that, there seems to be a logical flaw in the argument of Clinton apologists (e.g. Paul Krugman) who claim that the Clinton campaign's attacks are in fact acceptable politics. Here is Krugman in his Friday column: According to many Obama supporters, it's all Hillary's fault.
Just to add to Josh's perceptive thoughts below, the weirdest thing about the media coverage tonight (particularly CNN's) is that they are discussing the race as if it's not a zero-sum game (i.e. as if Obama or Clinton does not in fact have to win). So, for instance, I keep hearing that Obama "has to" cut into Clinton's base. Huh? Clinton is not cutting into Obama's base, and if he does not cut into hers, he still wins!
Over at The Stump, Noam has a post on the two campaigns' closing day strategies in Pennsylvania. Jumping off today's excellent NYT article on the subject, Noam adds: So far as I can tell, Obama is spending most of the day in the western part of the state. At first glance, you might wonder why he'd waste his time there, given that he's likely to lose many of those counties by at least 20 points. But, as the article suggests, that's exactly the point. Hillary would have to win the local congressional districts by better than a 60-40 margin (I think) to really pile up delegates.
John McCain's interview this morning on ABC's This Week was an all-around joke. Much of the show consisted of McCain getting angry or peeved, presumably because the questions he was forced to "answer" revealed his lack of even the barest domestic policy expertise. This exchange, however, was particularly egregious: STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s wrong with government — what’s wrong with government-run health care? MCCAIN: And we continue to have these debates — what’s wrong with it? Go to Canada. Go to England and you can find out what’s wrong with it. Governments don’t make the right decisions.
In Round III of his dispute with Jon Chait, Jamie writes: Lieberman won re-election in 2006 with a 10% margin. The Daily Kos-commissioned poll cuts that margin in half. So while the difference between Lieberman's 50%-40% share of the electorate and the poll's 48%-43% sample may fall within the statistical margin of error, the poll is nonetheless weighted in favor of Lamont. Not quite. To add to what Jon said earlier, you would expect Connecticut voters disappointed with Lieberman to say that they voted for Lamont. This always happens with unpopular incumbents.
We are now 45 minutes into the debate and there has not been a single question on the issues. Jon's post below is exactly right. Ugh. --Isaac Chotiner
Obama is doing a better job than Clinton of taking "inside baseball" questions and pivoting to the faltering economy. He even got, finally, some scattered applause. But, again, he looks exhausted. --Isaac Chotiner
Surely this extended rehash of the Wright affair is not exactly what the Obama campaign had in mind. And the candidate himself seems halting in his speech and anemic in his energy level when answering the moderators' questions on the subject. So, bad for him, right? On the other hand, Obama keeps mentioning that he has answered many of these questions before, and he surely has. And the Democratic electorate this year has shown a tremendous, um, capacity to forgive the candidates. So the whole exchange may strike voters as being unfair. In short, who knows? --Isaac Chotiner
It's all "Senator Clinton" and "Senator Obama" from the two candidates tonight. The days of "Hillary" and "Barack" are long gone. --Isaac Chotiner