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Saturday, November 15, 2008

the home stretch

alright, two emails today!

I think that's John Edwards (expensive) hair on Obama's head. McCain just looks like he's been in some sort of terrible accident. (fell asleep in a tanning booth? tripped and fell into a vat of industrial chemicals?)

the Obama campaign has produced an excellent video on spotting dirty tricks from the GOP

the known unknowns

Nate Silver shows what a McCain win would look like (in terms of the electoral map, that is)

not that it's gonna happen anytime soon, but why not just count the popular vote and be done with it? Of course even I don't want Obama, for instance, to waste political capital on this issue when there's so many more important issues to deal with... so I guess that's why!

Frank Rich:

After some 20 months, we're all still getting used to Obama and still, for that matter, trying to read his sometimes ambiguous takes on both economic and foreign affairs. What we have learned definitively about him so far — and what may most account for his victory, should he achieve it — is that he had both the brains and the muscle to outsmart, outmaneuver and outlast some of the smartest people in the country, starting with the Clintons. We know that he ran a brilliant campaign that remained sane and kept to its initial plan even when his Republican opponent and his own allies were panicking all around him. We know that that plan was based on the premise that Americans actually are sick of the divisive wedge issues that have defined the past couple of decades, of which race is the most divisive of all.

Obama doesn't transcend race. He isn't post-race. He is the latest chapter in the ever-unfurling American racial saga. It is an astonishing chapter. For most Americans, it seems as if Obama first came to dinner only yesterday. Should he win the White House on Tuesday, many will cheer and more than a few will cry as history moves inexorably forward.

But we are a people as practical as we are dreamy. We'll soon remember that the country is in a deep ditch, and that we turned to the black guy not only because we hoped he would lift us up but because he looked like the strongest leader to dig us out.

Hilzoy on Obama's (not so) odd strategy
of not employing his gift for oratory (at least until recently)

Jay Newton-Small thinks this campaign has changed Obama:

There are the subtle physical changes: the graying hair, the pounds shred from months of grueling 18-hour days. And then there's the legacy of the longest campaign in U.S. history: a stronger debate voice, a flag pin on his lapel and a tendency, picked up from Hillary Clinton, to relay some of the stories he's heard from struggling Americans. Thanks to John McCain and Sarah Palin, he's refined the art of attacking an opponent by flinging their own words back at them.

I think she's right, and I think Obama will be a better President for the experience. Take a look, you can even see it:

Left to Right: Barack Obama announces his run for the presidency in February of 2007 ;  Barack Obama at a campaign rally this week..
Left to Right: Barack Obama announces his run for the presidency in February of 2007 ; Barack Obama at a campaign rally this week..
left to right : Scott Olson / Getty ; Jae C. Hong / AP

Progressive Future has a new ad, that features the music of Paul Simon (vid)

an Obama video on the importance of doing stuff. Not everyone has the time/freedom to volunteer, but if you do then please
help out a little. Every bit helps, and you'll feel good for doing it.

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