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October 11, 2008

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Good news for Obama, if true. On the other hand, while Obama + the DNC have in recent months matched McCain + the RNC, that was because Obama and the RNC each had loads of money. If the RNC really does switch efforts to Congress, I think the RNC + NRSC + NRCC could be in a position to greatly outspend the DNC + DSCC + DCCC. And of course, one should never underestimate the ability of a Democrat to lose an election. I'll not believe Obama's got this one before November 5, and maybe then I'll wait until January 20 to be sure.

I'm not sure I follow the "opportunity cost" argument. Doesn't Obama's fundraising have an opportunity cost to other Democratic candidates? That is, it seems likely to me that some contributors are choosing to give to Obama rather than the DNC, or other candidates.

I admit I don't understand the rules all that well, so I may be missing something.

I have a mixed reaction. Good news for Obama. But I live in Oregon and am helping out with Jeff Merkley's neck and neck campaign against Gordon Smith. And I suspect that's one of the campaigns they'll be targeting.

Obama's ground game makes up for his fundraising opportunity cost to other Democrats. Motivated volunteers are going to get votes out in the local races, too.

It's true that money to Obama is probably also money not going to the DNC, but on the other hand, a winning presidential candidate can also pull downticket candidates in his slipstream.

I do believe that Obama has sick loads of dough, since they are buying up 30-minute spots on broadcast TV. Apparently they don' know what to spend the money on. Why can't donors get some of it back? While I want him to win and all, his campaign is also the apotheosis of the corruption of the American electoral system (not corruption in that sense, corruption in the sense of the system's ideals being lost in the money swirl).

Warrent Terra:

If I recall, the DSCC had about a $10M advantage in cash-on-hand, and the DCCC something like a $40M advantage. The RNC shifting money could dull that advantage, but I don't think it would completely overcome it.

I don't know how much more fundraising the party committees are doing at this point, but you have to think if the RNC does concede the presidential election that would be hugely demoralizing and would hamper its ability to raise funds down the stretch drive. That may be irrelevant at this point, but the party might also face something of a backlash from those who donated because of Sarah Palin, deepening the internal rifts in the Republican rants.

Umm - isn't it illegal for the RNC and the McCain campaign to coordinate their activities? Or am i hopelessly naive?

RE Joel's comment about downballot effects, and Byrningman's concerns about too much Dem money being concentrated on Obama, I wonder whether Obama might spend more money on swing Senate races and House districts that aren't in swing states for President. Obama doesn't have time to campaign in Oregon, a state he basically can't lose, but I don't see why he couldn't pay for some joint rallies with Merkley and an Obama surrogate, say Tester or Webb - or even some more generic Dem advertising, or spending to reinforce his ground force still more (though you kinda have to think Obama's already hired and deployed about every professional ground manager he could find). I am very curious about Obama's September numbers; I could easily see $60m. It is perhaps telling that Kos basically switched to fundraising for Congressional and Senate races weeks ago.

I doubt there's much opportunity cost to the Obama fundraising. People fund money to donate to a winner. And he, and a whole lot of our Senate and House candidates, look like winners right now.

I think Yglesias is right about the "magic number of 60". The more Democrats in the Senate the better, but there's no discontinuity at 60 like what happens at 51. Few votes are completely on party lines.

It's actually probably better if the Dems don't get 60, I would imagine policies more reflective of the public's preference would result if the party I agree with more was in a dominant, but not totally domineering position. Then again, whatever it takes for Lieberdouche to get keel-hauled is ok by me..

I hDn't realized the Dem campaign committees were doing so much better than the R ones, and I thank BP for the comment. In a related vein, there was a post by Tim Fernholz in TAPPED yesterday about Wachovia, a taxpayer-bailed out bank that isn't doing much loaning to anyone, suddenly loaning $8 million to the NRCC last week - at a time when the NRCC, reeling from last year's accounting scandal, is desparately short of cash. I assume the NRCC is good for the money - apparently they've never yet defaulted on a loan - but the appearance is odd.

Umm - isn't it illegal for the RNC and the McCain campaign to coordinate their activities? Or am i hopelessly naive?

As always, there is a loophole permitting this; I dont recall the specifics, but they can work together. Likewise, McCain has done some legal coordinating with state parties.

As far as the RNC abandoning McCain, I just think the optics are too bad. I dont see why they couldn't shift a lot of their money to Congressional races without putting out a press release on how their presidential candidate is hopeless.

To make things worse, I read in the WSJ today that an Obama campaign official said its September haul was “obscenely large.”

I did my part. Big fat check for the Big O. Call it the Palin effect.

The contrast between the Obama and McCain transition efforts leads me to believe that McCain is not, at present, running to win.

I dont see why they couldn't shift a lot of their money to Congressional races without putting out a press release on how their presidential candidate is hopeless.

I assume that if the RNC is doing it, they're doing it on the down low, and that there won't be much in the way of press on the matter. I'm ambivalent about it, frankly. I'd like to see the RNC throw more good money after bad in hopes of keeping McCain alive, considering that we're going to make huge gains in the Congress no matter what they do, but I won't be disappointed if they toss McCain an anchor with three weeks to go.

I don't know, i hope obama if they really have some large amount of cash puts some of it towards states with senate races. Considering Chicago usually seems to think a couple steps ahead, I hope they figure that out.

"...particularly when the magic number of 60 is very much in play in the Senate."

To which I'd like to say to all the people who, months ago, told me I was fantasizing: ha, ha ha, I told you so.

There, that's better.

;-)

Btw, seen this weird invocation by a preacher at a McCain rally in Davenport, Iowa?

There are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his [McCain’s] opponent wins, for a variety of reasons,” said Arnold Conrad, former pastor of Grave Evangelical Free Church. “And Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name in all that happens between now and Election Day.”
I guess the nine billion names is a heathen idea.

"To make things worse, I read in the WSJ today that an Obama campaign official said its September haul was 'obscenely large.'"

You may not have noticed my pointing out in comments yesterday that ABC was reporting that the Obama campaign was spending tens of millions buying half-hour blocks of air time for the last week before the election.

"As always, there is a loophole permitting this; I dont recall the specifics, but they can work together."

In fact, they can do ads that benefit both, such as this weirdly incoherently schizophrenic one, which various folks have written about, including Jay Carney.

"The contrast between the Obama and McCain transition efforts leads me to believe that McCain is not, at present, running to win."

But it's good to know that if, somehow, McCain does win, he'll be really unprepared.

From your linked story: "The Arizona Senator has instructed his team to not spend time on the transition effort, according to the source, both out of a desire to have complete focus on winning the election as well as a superstitious belief that the campaign shouldn't put the cart before the horse."

This fits in with all the stories about McCain's long standing extreme superstitiousness.

From 2000, Dana Milbank:

If John McCain wins today's South Carolina primary, some will credit his tax plan, while others will point to his war record. Those in the know, however, will attribute victory to the Spring Hill Lizard.

The reptile, believed to have mysterious powers, is the property of one Lanny Wiles, McCain's trip director. Wiles used it to help Texas A&M beat Nebraska, and to force a golfing opponent to miss a $100 putt. He employs the lizard (which isn't a lizard at all but a certain spell cast by wiggling the right pinkie) only on rare occasions, such as today. "We use it only if we're at Def Con One," says John Weaver, McCain's political director and occasional witch doctor.

[...]

"I'm wearing my lucky shoes from today till Sunday," McCain says from his bus on Wednesday. At the moment, his pockets contain the compass, feather (from a tribal leader) and penny (flattened, in his wallet). When McCain once misplaced his feather, there was momentary panic in the campaign, until his wife found it in one of his suits. When the compass went missing once, McCain assigned his political director to hunt it down. Weaver found it, and it remains safe, knock wood.

Primary day requires additional rituals. By the time you read this, Steve Dart, McCain's lucky friend, should have arrived in South Carolina from California. He has been present with McCain for every Election Day since McCain first won a seat in Congress. McCain must sleep on a certain side of the bed, particularly before an election (and he never puts a hat on a bed--bad luck). Rain is good for Election Day, as are motion pictures. McCain requires himself to view a movie before the vote is counted. He fell asleep in his hotel room in New Hampshire before he watched a movie on primary day, but his staff didn't panic. "We have superstition fire walls," says Todd Harris, a spokesman.

That's for sure. Even some foods carry special powers. McCain insists that he and his staff eat barbecue--"our lucky food," says Cindy McCain, the candidate's wife--before each debate, sending Wiles out to find ribs or pulled pork even in New Hampshire or Michigan.

[...]

McCain's staff and family have embraced their candidate's hocus-pocus. Cindy McCain may well don her lucky purple suit today, and Rick Davis, the campaign chairman, will likely sport his lucky tie, with the state of New Hampshire on it. Murphy should bring out his magic Hawaiian shirt and "the lucky khaki socks with the palm trees." And Weaver may even send for his lucky football ("I save it for the big enchilada," he maintains). But one thing is for sure: Mark Salter, McCain's chief of staff, will not shave his beard, grown during McCain's New Hampshire surge, until the nomination battle is over.

McCain's superstitions have origins in the military. His grandfather, during World War II, kept a lucky crushed cap, and the whole crew on his ship believed in its powers. "When it would blow off people would dive for it," says Salter.

McCain himself, when flying during Vietnam, insisted that his visor be cleaned by his parachute rigger immediately before each flight. "A lot of guys are superstitious who are aviators," the candidate says. "It's either a pilot thing or a stupid thing."

Gosh, wouldn't it be so great to have a government run this way?

The contrast between the Obama and McCain transition efforts leads me to believe that McCain is not, at present, running to win.

I'm not sure he was ever running to be President. He was running to win, but never to rule.

==============

There are millions of people around this world [and in this country!] praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his [McCain’s] opponent wins, for a variety of reasons

Chief among them is that @$$hats like you want to take away their rights for not being Christians. Duh, yeah, they want the guy who isn't out to inprison or murder them to win! Ya think?

I guess the nine billion names is a heathen idea.

Man, I love that story...

Gary Farber: Gosh, wouldn't it be so great to have a government run this way?

probably not. hasn't worked for the last seven-plus years.

Eric: "I did my part. Big fat check for the Big O. Call it the Palin effect."

Me too. I was saving up to donate. Sometime at the very beginning of Sept., Sarah Palin said something that made me max out on my credit card.

From the wonderful world of the Corner:

The Further Debunking of Dr. Joseph Stiglitz

Because I just totally take the word of the Corner over a Nobel Laureate. That, plus the fact that their beef with him seems to be that he said that the risk exposure from Fannie and Freddie was quite low. Hah! say the Cornerites: wrong again, Stiglitz! But he said this in 2002, when iirc it was quite low.

The contrast between the Obama and McCain transition efforts leads me to believe that McCain is not, at present, running to win.
===========
I'm not sure he was ever running to be President. He was running to win, but never to rule.

Almost. The contemporary Republican Party, at least at the national level, seems to be have been very interested in "ruling," as in the unitary executive kind of thing. Governing, as in a checks and balances sort of thing, as in a being concerned about the well being of the large middle or working class, not so much.

Heck, I came to that conclusion months ago: It's the Dole campaign all over again, a geriatric incumbent Senator who views the Presidential nomination as a retirement award, and after securing it stops seriously campaigning.

The GOP lost the election when McCain won the nomination. A fair number of Republicans understood it at the time, the realization is now becoming widespread, and it's driving them absolutely bonkers to know that they've got no way to pull a Torricelli, and replace their losing nominee at the last minute.

McCain himself, when flying during Vietnam, insisted that his visor be cleaned by his parachute rigger immediately before each flight. "A lot of guys are superstitious who are aviators," the candidate says. "It's either a pilot thing or a stupid thing."

I guess he stuck the course on that ritual, in the face of losing multiple planes...

I leave it as an exercise to you to figure out the different. Putnam was too afriad to mention the reason in "Bowling Alone" and had to write another book before he would admit the reason. What is odd is that the progressive white elite Democrats keep making proposals to make the U.S. less like Vermont and more like Nevada.

Nevada is 85% white. I leave it as an exercise to you to figure out what point you think you're trying to make here.

You know another state that has a really high crime rate? Alaska. Interestingly, this indicates that Alaska's crime rate is about 50% higher per capita than Alabama; it also shows that, for 2005, Minnesota's crime rate had edged slightly above that of Mississippi. Kansas and Iowa also have higher crime rates than Mississippi.
Guess you'll conclude that white folks are just criminal by nature- how else can you explain this data, using your bizarro-world logic?

If elites believe diversity is good then they should stop moving to Vermont and Portland

Portland (77% white) is an example of a 'white' location. Nevada (85% white) is an example of a 'non-white' place.
Why does this apparent mismatch occur? Becuase Nevada has a high crime rate, and you want to blame that on the n*****s. High crimes rates, you think, are solely caused by n*****s ruining the neighborhood. So, in your mind, Nevada becomes racially mixed.
You are a sick, sick puppy.

This non-sequitur has been brought to you by the what-page-am-I-on-anyway dept.

This non-sequitur has been brought to you by the what-page-am-I-on-anyway dept.

The logic you are arguing against is another one of those toxic things which the RNC currently counts as an asset on their books, but which may prove to be liability in the long run.

So perhaps not as off-topic on this thread as you thought, C.W.

;->

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Whatnot


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