Ballot Box

A guide to the best political buzz from around the web

Many political observers believe that McCain's negative campaigning has exacerbated his poor standings in the polls  Today's buzz: What can McCain do to eke past Obama or is it too late?

  • William Kristol in the Sunday NYT wrote that  McCain ought to fire his entire campaign staff. McCain is overmatched and should go back to what he does best, which is run a cheerful campaign. Take-away: "What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over."
  • It's a long shot but McCain isn't out of this yet and there are four things he needs to do to secure a W on Nov. 4, wrote Walter Shapiro in Salon. Take-away: "What polling mavens too often forget is that an election is not a computer simulation or a contest decided by the best use of regression analyses in analyzing published data."
  • WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt wonders what McCain's campaign would be like if he didn't  go against his character and get ugly.  Take-away: "Imagine if McCain had selected for his runningmate not a partisan attack dog but soeone with deep knowledge of the economy and a record of reaching across the aisle."
  • If McCain loses the election it will be Sarah Palin who haunts the GOP because of her radical populism, writes Gregory Rodriguez in the LAT. Take-away: "If McCain loses, the leaders of the GOP will be forced to reevaluate his lurch toward populism and think about just which kind of conservatism they want their party to represent."
  • Obama owes the success that he currently enjoys as the front-runner to the economic crisis, writes John Heilemann in NY Mag. Take-away: "That Obama turned this crisis to his advantage reflected his skills, his temperment and the fact that he finally found both his footing and his voice on matters economic when he needed them most."
  • The WSJ slams Obama's "miracle" tax plan and editorializes that the candidate is deceptively redefining the term.  Take-away: "One mystery -- among many -- of the McCain campaign is why it has allowed Mr. Obama's 95 percent illusion to go unanswered."
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