It is all about judgment.
SALON: Republicans are already starting to gird themselves for a Nov. 4 debacle. A front-page story in Sunday’s New York Times featured GOP leaders lamenting the disarray in the McCain campaign. More ominous for McCain are the results of a secret-ballot survey by National Journal magazine of roughly 100 prominent Republican campaign consultants. Freed from the demands of on-the-record spin, 80 percent of these operatives admitted that it was highly likely that Obama would win the White House. The other 20 percent — the cockeyed optimists of the GOP camp — predicted that the election could go either way. MORE
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Political Insiders Poll
Q: On a scale of zero (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Democrats to win the White House in November?
Republicans (76 votes)
LOW (0-3) MODERATE (4-6) HIGH (7-10) Oct. 11 Average Score: 7.3 0% 20% 80%
Sept. 20 Average Score: 5.3 7% 77% 17%
June 21 Average Score: 6.0 2% 62% 36%
EDITOR’S NOTE: Remember, these are the anonymous/candid comments of top REPUBLICAN pollsters!
• “Wall Street’s collapse probably sealed the deal for Obama.”
• “McCain-Palin have not changed the trend line in three debates, which means the only place to go is more negative. And that won’t work in the midst of the financial crisis. They’re getting critically outspent on TV. And Obama has a much more proficient ground game. Help!”
•”McCain ran a truly awful campaign and hurt his brand big-time.”
•”Very little changed with the debate. And there is likely nothing that will change the political environment for McCain to close the gap.”
•”You can never entirely count McCain out, but both the atmospherics and the fundamentals are now pointing toward an Obama rout.”
• “It feels like 1996.”
•”As long as economic news dominates, McCain appears to have no way of breaking through.”
•”O.J. [Simpson] has a better chance of getting community service than McCain has of winning this thing.”
•”There is just no juice in the Republican effort–and no wonder: We failed time and again to provide appropriate leadership for our country and the world. We don’t deserve another chance–at least for a while. And the American people agree.”
[via NATIONAL JOURNAL]
BRENDAN CALLING: Mom has been wondering about the way the McCain campaign has been saying how we don’t have to worry about John McCain’s health because his mother is so healthy at age ninety two. You can learn a lot from what people don’t say, so we decided to look into John McCain’s father’s biography. Seems the old man died of heart failure at age sixty.…and his grandfather died of a heart attack at 61. MORE
INDIANAPOLIS STAR: Last week a full-page ad appeared in The New York Times with the names of 2,768 doctors who call on Sen. John McCain to issue a full, public release of his medical records. McCain is 72 years old. Should he be elected, he would be the oldest man ever to assume the presidency. He has suffered four bouts of cancer, invasive melanoma, most recently in May of this year. Dr. Rachael Clark, professor of dermatology at the Harvard Medical School, put it this way: “I feel it is critical that people understand how quickly and fatally melanoma can recur, sometimes with decades of remission preceding a rapid decline.”
The GOP has a habit of drawing its presidential candidates from the ranks of the elderly. When he took office, Ronald Reagan was the oldest ever to do so. Looking back on his final years as president, there were many indications of the Alzheimer’s that finally ended his life. When Sen. Robert Dole was nominated in 1996, he was slightly older than McCain is now. Like McCain, Dole had war injuries. His prostate was removed in 1991. Unlike McCain, he treated age and health issues directly and with candor. “You have to be honest with yourself,” Dole allowed, “It’s certainly important to the American people.” Dole released a detailed set of medical records, considered to be the most complete for any candidate up to that time. McCain has resisted a full public release. Nor will he allow a panel of physicians to examine his records and make their assessment public. MORE