The Ferry Building/Port of San Francisco on a glorious sunny Sunday summer afternoon. 1000 px here. May be the last chance I get to relax over the next couple of weeks - we will see how things go. Labor Day weekend is looking good for a little break - so far.
Just a few notes and then I gotta run...
My man Greg Sargent does a great job at ferreting out the pertinent stats in the new ABC/WaPo poll that finds the candidates tied among registered voters. Bottom line: Obama wins on sentiment, even on the economy, hands down. On the issues: Gay marriage and abortion, Obama 14pts, women's issues, Obama 16pts, more likeable, Obama 34pts, policies favor middle class, Obama 37pts, understands economic problems, Obama 7pts. So why aren't we winning this race in a walk? This suggests the persistent problem with Democratic messaging - always playing defense gets you nowhere. Pick up the pace, people.
Republicans are very fractured going into the convention, but you might not notice it. They have a way of pulling together and putting on that uniform face - but pay close attention to the last line in this paragraph: "There are evangelicals, Tea Party adherents, supply-siders who would accept no tax increases and a dwindling band of deficit hawks who might. There are economic libertarians who share little of the passion that social conservatives hold on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. There are neoconservatives who want a hard line against Iran and the Palestinians, and realists who are open to diplomatic deal-cutting. More than anything, the party is racked by the challenge to the establishment from Tea Party outsiders, who are demanding a purge of incumbents who play by a set of rules that many of these Republicans reject." Good article, go read.
Chris Matthews goes ballistic on Priebus and the Republicans for playing the race card. Jonathan Chait points out that is exactly what they are doing, and this is "the last time anyone will try to do this." Romney has to win a vast majority of the white vote to win the election because after this cycle, the demographics rapidly fall out of the Republican's favor, and they know it. Ronald Brownstein has more on the statistics. So, Willie Horton and the Welfare Queens it is - and that strategy is absolutely disgusting. No bar is too low for these guys.
Thomas Edsall spells out in clear detail how the welfare and Medicare ads work together - and shows just how divisive the Romney campaign really is. "The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor." Shades of Nixon, anyone?
OK, I'm off. All the best to the people of New Orleans, who shouldn't be far from our thoughts as we deal with this nonsense....