This could be a Very Bad Week for Sen. John McCain.
Last week, McCain attempted a stunt for the ages, announcing that he was “suspending his campaign” so that he could rush back to Washington, where he was apparently desperately needed in order to pull together an economic bailout package. He called on Sen. Barack Obama to stop stomping the shizzle out of him on the campaign trail join him in pursuing a non-partisan solution that would ease the suffering of his cronies on Wall Street the American people.
Needless to say, the plan fizzled, and for a variety of reasons.
- For starters, McCain has been absent from Washington for so much of this year (and most recent years, for that matter) that when he showed up, most people didn’t know who he was. Read more
Hey, what’s that in our stocking? It’s Ron Paul! Oh joy – we got The TruthÂ® for Christmas!
Ahem. So those of you who thought Ron Paul was going to go away once the big boys got serious have probably been surprised by his staying power so far. He’s polling in the high single digits (something
Ronald Reagan Fred Thompson can’t say) and one pollster thinks his actual numbers are in the double digits. He says he’s raised $19M this quarter. His supporters are insane courageously enthusiastic, and he seems to be showing strength among some groups that you wouldn’t expect – progressives, younger voters, etc.
And of course, he’s left the rest of the pack for dead in the highly scientific S&R reader poll, where at the moment of this writing he has over twice as many votes as the rest of the GOP candidates put together (unless you count “other”).
Election watchers in both parties are trying to better understand Paul’s appeal and what it means for their candidates’ chances. Read more
In America, the Republicans are seen as the party of money and wealth. This perception is certainly accurate in one sense – the GOP is the favored party of the wealthy elite. Unfortunately, the party is also supported in large numbers by those who have no wealth, and thanks to the policies of the Republican party, no hope of ever attaining any. But they continue to support the party for reasons that seem irrational to us. Why?
In a nutshell, I want to argue here that they do so because the GOP has, through a long-term and exceptionally effective messaging campaign, drawn around itself the ideology of hope. Forgive a brief over-generalization, but they’re the party that preaches wealth and that tells people they can join the club (never mind that the message is a lie, given our current economic policy structure). In the popular frame, the Republicans are often seen as being about getting and having money while the Democrats are about taking your hard-earned money and giving it to people who didn’t earn it. Read more
Tom Schaller has a fascinating take today on the evolution of the political center. To use his analogy, it’s evolved from a one-humped camel to a two-humped dromedary, statistically speaking.
The one thing media talking heads agree upon is that the center prevails. Turn on almost any of the nation’s political talk shows and pretty soon somebody will say how crucial it is for politicians to appeal to registered independents and self-described moderate voters. Read more