Wednesday, September 17


Rasmussen - Sarah Palin bests Joseph Biden 47% to 44% in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up for the presidency, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just over half of voters view both of the vice presidential candidates at least somewhat favorably, although 35% rate their opinion of Palin as very favorable while only 23% feel that way about Biden. Twenty-eight percent (28%) have a very unfavorable opinion of the woman governor of Alaska versus 20% who say that about the longtime Delaware senator. Women continue to be more skeptical than men of the Republican vice presidential nominee, only the second woman to be on a national political ticket. While men split 50% to 37% in Palin's favor, women support Biden 50% to 44%. When Palin is pitted against Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee wins 50% to 43%.

Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that he has not yet decided which candidate to back in this year's presidential race. The election of an African-American president "would be electrifying," Powell told a George Washington University audience, "but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America. I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I'm interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this 'lipstick on a pig' stuff and get into issues," he said.

Daily Kos - Former GOP governor Linwood Holton today endorsed a Democrat for president for the first time and is going to stump critical areas of the state for him. Linwood Holton is the hero of moderate Republicans in Virginia. He defeated the segregationist Democrat for governor and fought GOP right wingers. Holton is widely regarded as the father of the Republican party in Virginia. When Richmond public schools were ordered integrated Holton enrolled his children in the AA school close to the governor's mansion and walked them to school. He supported his son-in-law Tim Kaine for governor but has never supported a Democratic presidential candidate.

The Democratic presidential nominee has never tried to hide the fact he delivers speeches off the device, though normally he doesn't use one at standard campaign rallies and town hall events. But the Illinois senator used a teleprompter at both his Colorado events Monday - making for a particularly peculiar scene in Pueblo, where the prompter was set up in the middle of what is normally a rodeo ring.

On the other hand, his partner could have used one. This, from Biden, is not the best way to win votes: "The Republican party and some of the blogs and others on the far right, are trying very hard to paint a picture of this man, they're trying the best as they can to mischaracterize who he is and what he stands for. All this stuff about how different Barack Obama is, they're not just used to somebody really smart. They're just not used to somebody who's really well educated. They just don't know quite how to handle it. Cause if he's as smart as Barack is he must not be from my neighborhood."

Politico - As banks reeled and presidential campaigns scrambled to react to the crisis on Wall Street Monday, color one man unsurprised. "I predicted this," said Ralph Nader, the independent presidential candidate. "All this I've written about five, 10 years ago.". . . It wasn't just banks that Nader criticized. In a letter to congressional leaders, Nader also attacked the idea of a government loan to major automakers, alleging that Congress was rushing to pass "panic legislation without due deliberations, without even having public congressional hearings." As Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain attempt to present themselves as plausible economic stewards, Nader told Politico both major party candidates fall short of addressing the root causes of the latest bank failures. According to Nader, Obama and McCain are too worried about containing fallout to take on the banks' irresponsible behavior. "Look at how they are knee-jerking similar approaches," Nader said, chiding the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees for their support, earlier this year, for bailing out Bear Stearns.

Huffington Post - "She's not telling the truth when she told ABC neither she nor her husband pressured me to fire Trooper Wooten," said Walt Monegan, the Alaskan official whose dismissal by Sarah Palin is the focus of a state investigation known as "Troopergate". "And she's not telling the truth to the media about her reasons for firing me." In an exclusive interview with ABC, former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan said he resisted pressure by the First Couple to re-open an old case against a state trooper, who was in a hotly contested divorce and custody battle with the Governor's sister Molly. Alaskan lawmakers are investigating whether Palin and her husband used the power of the Governor's office to conduct a personal vendetta against their former brother-in-law, whose behavior during the 2005 divorce was described by the Palin family as " threatening."

Radar - John McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina, being interviewed by a St. Louis radio station, was asked whether vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had the experience to run a company like Hewlett-Packard, which Fiorina herself once headed. "No, I don't," she responded. Fiorina, who was forced out of her job after her company lost half its market value, quickly added, "But you know what? That's not what she's running for." Anyway, who cares? She can kill and clean her own moose! What more do you people want?

Political Wire
- Gov. Sarah Palin "had a private tanning bed installed in the Governor's Mansion in Juneau," according to Us magazine. "Tanning beds can cost up to $35,000 to install in a home -- not including the cost of parts." Said a spokesman: "She did. She paid for it with her own money."


Cincinnnati Enquirer
- About one-third of the absentee ballot applications received at the Hamilton County Board of Elections have been ruled invalid because Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign printed a version of the form with an extra, unneeded box on it. In a narrow interpretation of Ohio law, Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner says many of the McCain forms have not been completed properly. If the box stating the person is an eligible elector -- or qualified voter - is not checked, Brunner said, the application is no good. Even though the box is unneeded, by not checking it voters are essentially admitting they're not eligible, Brunner said. "I have not seen a ruling that indirectly impacts voters to the enormity of this since I've been here,'' Hamilton County Board of Elections Deputy Director John Williams said of his nearly five-year tenure at the board. More than 750 absentee ballot requests in Hamilton County have been invalidated because of Brunner's ruling, Williams said. Absentee voting begins in 19 days, or on Sept. 30. If a registered Ohio voter's application is rejected, Brunner said, "We said you have to notify them within 48 hours and we also suggest that (Board of Elections) send them a new application." That means county Boards of Election must contact tens of thousands of voters and ask them to fill out a new, valid form in time to vote for the Nov. 4 election. The McCain campaign says it mailed out about 1 million of the faulty forms.


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