Wednesday, September 24

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Washington Post - The lobbying firm founded and co-owned by Rick Davis, the campaign manager for Sen. John McCain's White House bid, received payments from Freddie Mac in recent months, despite assertions by Davis earlier this week that the firm's work for the mortgage giant had ended three years ago. An industry source told The Washington Post that Davis's firm, Davis Manafort, continued to receive monthly payments in the $15,000 range from Freddie Mac until very recently, confirming an ongoing financial relationship reported last night in several other publications. The source said Davis Manafort was paid for being on retainer to Freddie Mac but did little actual work after early 2007. Two unidentified sources told the newspaper Roll Call yesterday that Davis Manafort is still receiving payments from the mortgage giant, one of the financial institutions at the center of the nation's housing crisis. The New York Times reported last night that the payments stopped last month.


Yes & Nays, DC Examiner - Amazon.com has unveiled a new feature -- "Election 2008" -- in which it tracks the states buying more liberal or conservative books. And, surprise, surprise: Washington, D.C. buys more "blue" books than any other state in the country (66 percent of all book purchases). Following close behind are northeast states Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Maine and Rhode Island. On the conservative front, Mississippi takes the lead in purchasing conservative books (77% of all purchases), followed by Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Arkansas. D.C.'s favorite blue book of the moment is Barton Gellman's "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency." As for the rare Washington Republican, they're buying Robert Kagan's "Dangerous Nation: America's Foreign Policy from Its Earliest Days to the Dawn of the Twentieth Century" .

According to the Nader campaign, his candidacy actually helps Obama according to five national polls conducted over the past three months, as well as a Florida poll conducted last week and a Virginia poll this week. In each of the national polls, Obama's spread over Republican candidate John McCain widened by an average of more than 3 percent when Nader and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr were included on the menu of choices. Nader appears to be more of a factor than Barr. Nader was ahead of Barr in four of the polls and tied in the other. On average, Nader polled 2 percent higher than Barr

Ben Smith, Politico
- Sen. John McCain's top campaign aides convened a conference call to complain of being called "liars." They pressed the media to scrutinize specific elements of Sen. Barack Obama's record.
But the call was so rife with simple, often inexplicable misstatements of fact that it may have had the opposite effect: to deepen the perception, dangerous to McCain, that he and his aides have little regard for factual accuracy. The errors in McCain strategist Steve Schmidt's charges against Obama and Sen. Joe Biden were particularly notable because they seemed unnecessary. Schmidt repeatedly gilded the lily: He exaggerated the Biden family's already problematic ties to the credit card industry; Obama's embarrassing relationship with a 1960s radical; and an Obama supporter's over-the-top attack on Sarah Palin when -in each case -the truth would have been damaging enough. . . As he went on to list a series of stories he thought reporters should be writing about Obama and Biden, in almost every instance he got the details wrong

Washington Post -
Biden seems to enjoy having journalists following him around, if only to have more people listen to his running commentary on whatever springs to his mind. A CBS reporter following Biden around estimated Biden has done 80 interviews since he was named vice president, compared to two by Palin.

Salon - Ralph Nader will be on the ballot in 45 states and Washington, D.C., his campaign announced. According to the Nader campaign's press release, this "is the most ballots Nader has ever been on . . . Nader was on 34 state ballots plus D.C. in 2004, and 44 plus D.C. in 2000."

Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager was chief lobbyist for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an effort to reject additional regulations. He earned for $300,000 a year on the job which lasted five years.

Newsweek reports that John McCain owns 13 cars - and that contrary to what McCain said in a recent TV interview, the fleet includes three foreign cars. The report shows that McCain wasn't being honest with voters during a recent interview with WXYZ TV in Detroit when he said: "I've bought American literally all my life, and I'm proud."

Jake Tapper, ABC - Gov. Sarah Palin is now talking about "a Palin and McCain administration." I've also heard her refer to McCain as "my running mate" -- a term I don't recall ever hearing a VP nominee use when discussing the guy at the top of the ticket. Maybe the fact that the crowds are leaving after she speaks, while McCain is speaking, is getting to her.

Political Wire - Neither of the previous two Democratic nominees, Al Gore and John Kerry, ever reached more than 50% in the WP/ABC poll. In fact, per George Stephanopoulos, not since 1948 has a candidate with a lead this big this late lost the election. . . [Obama reached 52% in the Wash Post poll]

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