September 16 2004
MEMO TO DAN: FAKE BUT ACCURATE ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH: It's
pretty remarkable to watch one of the icons of the news
business try to single handedly lower the bar of the journalistic
profession to save his own hide. Last night Dan Rather looked
America in the eye and told us that "fake but accurate"
is good enough - at least for him and his pals at CBS News.
It's not. And the manner with which Rather has conducted
himself in this and in other
incidents makes you wonder just how mobile the bar of
professionalism might have been for him throughout the years.
are two great ironies to be gleaned from Rather's fantastic
act of self-immolation this past week. The first is that
Rather has now confirmed that the "pajama people"
have higher ethical and journalistic standards than he does.
days ago Rather was deriding the Internet and the blogosphere
as "the professional rumor mill." That statement
shows a fundamental misunderstanding of who bloggers are
and what they do. The blogosphere is indeed a living, swirling
mass of opinion and commentary but, thanks to the wonder
of hyperlinking and search technology like Google, it's
also a very transparent, self-correcting environment ultimately
based on facts. Hoaxes can be spread via the Internet, but
they can't exist there for very long in today's environment
without being challenged and debunked. The mainstream media
is just beginning to understand the velocity and the ferocity
with which the blogosphere processes, analyzes and scrutinizes
second irony of this episode is that Dan Rather threw his
entire career and reputation away on a story that didn't
matter. More than anything else this shows just how out
of touch Rather, the Democrats, and the rest of the mainstream
media are - especially when it comes to this election.
was so convinced this story was a game-breaker for Bush
that he threw journalistic caution to the wind to get it
on air. But even had all of the allegations in the story
been true (as opposed to a collection of forgeries and hearsay)
it wouldn't have made any difference with the public. The
National Guard story is old news and no amount of rehashing
is going to make it new again.
bottom line is that Dan Rather and Andrew Heyward should
go. Not next year or in 2006 but now. I don't know if it
will happen or not - I'm inclined to think they will both
stick around - but the longer Rather and Heyward continue
on as the controlling forces at CBS News the further the
credibility of their organization will sink.
OTHER SOROS: Earlier in the week Drudge linked
story about my alma mater which reported that John Kerry
has racked up $40,950 in donations from Princeton University
employees while President Bush has only received one single
donation of $250.
lopsidedness of financial support at Princeton and elsewhere
is depressing because it reflects the continuing, near-universal
death grip of liberal orthodoxy throughout academia, which
only a fool would argue doesn't make its way into the classroom
caught my attention, however, was this blurb at the end
of the article about Peter Lewis:
and close friend George Soros have each pledged $10 million
to America Coming Together, a 527 dedicated to defeating
Bush through get-out-the-vote efforts in swing states
such as Lewis' native Ohio.
Lewis, the former chairman of Progressive, Inc., has already
donated more than $11 million to other anti-Bush groups,
according to the Center for Public Integrity. His current
total is $14.3 million, making him the single largest
donor for any election cycle.
has gotten all of the press, but most people don't know
that Lewis is just as influential and has actually contributed
nearly $2 million more than Soros thus far. He's helping
to fund just about every
anti-Bush group under the sun, including a $50,000 donation
Inc. which is trying to mobilize the influential punk
rock community to vote against Bush with a series of concerts
across the country and with high-minded messages like this
one on their web site.
list of the top individual donors to 527's. So far,
twenty-five individuals have contributed $58,218,283 to
these groups. Of that total, 97% has gone to liberal and/or
anti-Bush organizations and Soros and Lewis are responsible
for nearly half of that money ($26,830,000) just between
the two of them.
are astonishing sums of money being spent to try and influence
this year's election. Even more astonishing is that the
money comes from people like Soros, who from
1997 to 2001 spent $4.7 million bankrolling the effort
to enact campaign finance reform to get money out of politics.
The word "hypocrisy" doesn't begin do justice
here. - T. Bevan 9:55 am Link
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September 15 2004
KERRY STATE SLIDE CONTINUES: There's been a flood
of state polls out over the last forty-eight hours, most
of it showing a continuing deterioration in John Kerry's
position in the Electoral College.
the bright spots. A new
Gallup poll shows Kerry maintaining a 6-point lead in
Michigan and a Minnesota
Star-Tribune poll released today shows him with a conspicuously
large 9-point lead over Bush.
big news, however, is in Wisconsin where three
new polls by Gallup, Rasmussen, and Strategic Vision
show Bush moving ahead of Kerry by 10, 2 and 8 points, respectively.
(Note to future candidates: Wisconsin voters do not think
highly of people who think the Packers home stadium is called
of the shift in Bush's direction, we've moved Wisconsin
in our RCP Electoral
Count from "toss up" to "leaning Bush."
As a result, Bush
now leads Kerry 279-228.
still have three states listed as toss ups: NV, NM, and
PA. In Pennsylvania - a state Kerry must win to have any
hope - the race
remains a dead tie. In Nevada
and New Mexico,
the most recent polls out of each of those states that aren't
Zogby online polls have Bush ahead, though narrowly.
other potentially ominous news for the Kerry camp, the polling
out of New Jersey
shows that it's getting awfully close to becoming a "toss
up" state as well. And two new polls out of New
York today also show significant movement in Bush's
direction, though the bottom would have to fall out of the
Kerry campaign for him to lose the state.
for the Democrats, the bad news in the polls for their presidential
nominee is juxtaposed with some pretty good news for their
hopes in the Senate. In Florida, a new poll shows Betty
Castor narrowly leading Mel Martinez and in Oklahoma Brad
Carson has inched ahead of Tom Coburn. (Incidentally, we've
put together a new page rounding up all the latest polls
in the competitive Senate races this year.) There's
a lot of race left, of course, but holding Florida and stealing
Oklahoma would be huge for the Democrats. - T. Bevan
11:42 am Link
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September 13 2004
JOHN EDWARDS AND THE SHRINKING BATTLEGROUND: On
Friday last week John
Kerry was in Missouri thanking "his good friend"
Dick Gephardt in glowing language. Unfortunately, I don't
have a transcript of his remarks, but it went something
like: "this is a man I've known for over twenty years
who is the most decent, most honorable.... a man who fights
for the average guy, a man who cares deeply about the country..........."
The emotion from Kerry seemed genuine and heartfelt, and
I got the feeling he really believed it. I also got the
feeling Kerry wished he had chosen Dick Gephardt as his
made me think about Kerry's actual running mate, John Edwards.
At the time of Edwards announcement I
this pick may play well in the next three weeks I don't
know how well it is going to work after Labor Day when
the real contest begins....The Edwards pick is a poll-driven
mistake...This is a very serious election, and the Bush-Cheney
campaign will make that abundantly clear. Kerry would
have been better off with the safe, solid choice of Dick
Gephardt who at least would have helped potentially win
Edwards did give Kerry a little bounce, which can be seen
in a our historical chart of the RCP
Poll Average. A week before Kerry's VP announcement
Bush was up about two points and a week after Edwards was
chosen the Kerry/Edwards ticket had moved to roughly a three
point lead. So Edwards delivered about a five point bounce
that subsequently faded during the rest of July as Kerry
headed into his convention in Boston.
now we are in the middle of September, and you have to wonder
just what John Edwards is bringing to the table. The contrast
with Dick Cheney that all the pundits were atwitter about
in early July suddenly doesn't look so great from the Kerry
Post ran a front page story from Dan Balz on how
'Kerry's battlefield is shrinking':
the number of truly competitive states has shrunk, Kerry
is faced with the reality that he must pick off one of
two big battlegrounds Bush won four years ago -- Florida
or Ohio -- or capture virtually every other state still
shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone with a calculator
and a 2004 electoral map, especially the professional operatives
in the Kerry campaign. Balz continues:
Massachusetts senator spent much of the summer trying
to expand the number of battleground states with television
advertising and campaign trips to places such as Arizona,
Colorado, Louisiana and Virginia.
Colorado Louisiana and Virginia? It's not complicated to
figure out that if these states are close Bush is finished.
So what was their strategy in spending time and money in
states that they were only going to carry if they didn't
need them to win the election? Maybe they bought in to the
conventional wisdom over the summer that Bush
was in big, big trouble. Whatever the strategic rationale,
it was a major mistake and a misallocation of resources.
the wasted money and time in states they don't have a prayer
of carrying and a VP nominee that can't make a difference
in any state that will matter, the Kerry folks have boxed
themselves into an electoral corner. So now they are not
only staring at how they get this race back to even in the
national polls but also
how they are going to piece together the necessary 270 Electoral
of the unwise choice of Edwards as a running mate, even
if Kerry pulls back to even in the national polls his
route to 270 electoral votes is a big problem - and
almost impossible if he can't win either Florida or Ohio.
Had he chosen Gephardt and put Missouri into play, the Kerry
campaign's electoral math would look considerably kinder.
Flipping Missouri alone would get Kerry over 270 EV's, and
flipping Missouri and New Hampshire would allow for the
loss of New Mexico. Wining Missouri, New Hampshire and Nevada
would have allowed Kerry to lose Wisconsin and still win
course, it is not a sure thing that Gephardt would have
been able to deliver Missouri. Given Gallup's
latest poll showing Bush ahead by fourteen, maybe even
Dick Gephardt wouldn't have been able to deliver his home
state. But unlike North Carolina, Missouri is a much more
competitive state for Democrats, and in a close election
where Kerry had a chance to win, one would think Missouri
with Dick Gephardt on the ticket would have been very much
electoral logic also applied to either Senators Nelson and
Graham in Florida. And with 27 Electoral Votes compared
to Missouri's 11, the damage to the Bush reelection hopes
of flipping Florida would have been decisive.
Kerry is stuck with a running mate who brings nothing except
a pretty smile. The Kerry campaign had run a pretty darn
good campaign through June, but starting with the Edwards
choice, a wasted convention, an insane comment at the Grand
Canyon and no answer to his Vietnam and antiwar past, Kerry
has dug himself what may be an insurmountable hole. -
J. McIntyre 9:15 am Link
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